Faster acceleration, reduced consumption

Whilst electrification has enabled the de-carbonisation of much of the UK’s rail sector, the high capital costs in electrifying new lines means that much of Britain (and the world’s) railways will continue to rely on diesel.

In 2010, Artemis completed a study with First ScotRail which showed that between 64 and 73 percent of a train’s energy is lost through braking and transmission.

Artemis is now leading the development of a new type of hydraulic transmission for diesel powered rail vehicles.
We are working with JCB and Chiltern Railways on a project funded by the Rail Safety and Strategy Board (RSSB) to reduce fuel consumption and improve engine performance by combining highly efficient hydraulic transmission with on board energy storage in the form of hydraulic accumulators, which store energy during braking for reuse during acceleration.

The project will comprise a JCB diesel engine powering a standard Artemis E-dyn 96 Digital Displacement hydraulic pump.

Energy which is accumulated during braking can be released to supplement engine power, reducing journey times through enabling trains to leave stations more rapidly.

The technology could be applied to non-electrified rail routes where the case for future electrification is difficult to make. It also has the potential to provide benefits to rail users and train planners through reducing station dwell and journey times. The hybrid drive train can also be combined with an efficient downsized engine to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of the fleet.

Artemis is testing the new solution on one of Chiltern Railways’ Mark 3 DVT vehicles. The test will take place over three months, starting in December 2017.