Part of Genessee & Wyoming Inc, Freightliner, which is a well-known freight haulage company, is working with a group of specialist suppliers and has bid successfully for funding to create a dual-fuel solution for the running of the Class 66 locomotive.
The tech being used is one of 30 designs that have won during the latest round of the First of a Kind (FOAK) competition which aims to make the railways, which are already the safest and greenest mode of ground freight transport, even cleaner, greener and more passenger-friendly.
The technology used in the decarbonisation project, which is already being used with the road transport sector, is now being used for the first time within the rail freight sector from this month, with the trial taking place over the next nine months.
Freightliner operates over 113 Class 66’s throughout the UK and has partnered with Clean Air Power, which provides innovation in clean air solutions for freight.
Also supporting the project are Network Rail, Tarmac, Rail Safety Standards Board, Flogas, Carrickarory, and the University of Birmingham.
The project aims to find a replacement for diesel, with a hydrogen and biogas product for the hardworking Class 66, which haul more than 80% of UK rail freight.
Freightliner wants to reduce carbon emissions for one of the industry’s more difficult two-stroke locomotives and which may be achieved by retrofitting the Class 66 with Clean Air Power’s precision injection technology which will mean it can run on a mix of diesel, biogas, and hydrogen.
The exhaust emissions will be investigated using the latest RSSB guidance to read both the baseline conditions and also the effect of dual fuelling for both hydrogen and biogas which will give vital data for moving the project forward.
All static testing and emission data will be carried out at Freightliners vehicle maintenance facility in Leeds and will be supported by Carrickarory Consultancy consulting with RSSB.
Freightliner UK Rail Managing Director – Tim Shakerley, said: “Freightliner is excited to be a key partner in this pioneering decarbonisation project. As the largest freight operator of electric traction, we already have a number of environmentally motivated initiatives underway and are delighted to be working with Clean Air Power and other partners on this additional government-funded project. With decarbonisation high on the agenda, these initiatives will further support the government’s pledge to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
Dan Skelton, Managing Director of Clean Air Power, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Freightliner and other partners on this project. All parties are focused on delivering a fully functioning low-carbon, low-emission, hydrogen-friendly Class 66 locomotive.
“Our solution offers a route to viable, long-term decarbonisation and its associated cost benefits, which will be practical to implement and scale. With the know-how and expertise, we share, we’re looking forward to this new and exciting initiative making a real difference.”
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