Meridians at Derby station. Picture: Jonathan Webb
East Midlands Trains has launched a brand new initiative designed to cut fuel consumption and reduce enough carbon to take the equivalent of 705 cars a year off the road. The new Energy Saving Mode initiative, which is being introduced on the company’s 27 Meridian trains, allows selected engines to be turned off whilst the trains are sitting in stations, resulting in reduced noise and reduced emissions.
The new technology means that when a train is stood still within a station for more than seven minutes, it will automatically go into Energy Saving Mode which shuts down virtually all the engines, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Whilst this mode is in use, there will be some minor changes to the train such as slightly reduced interior lighting, no power from the at-seat sockets and limited heating/air conditioning. However, passengers will still be able to board the train whilst it is in Energy Saving Mode, and the doors, electronic seat reservations/display screens, WiFi and toilets will all continue to work as normal.
Full power will be restored to the train a few minutes before departure allowing all on board services to operate as normal at departure time.
Matt Browne, Head of Environment for East Midlands Trains, said: “Travelling by train is already one of the greenest forms of transport, but at East Midlands Trains, we’re always looking for ways to make it greener.
“At stations such as London St Pancras, Nottingham and Sheffield, our trains can be stood for up to an hour waiting for their next departure. By working closely with Bombardier, we’ve managed to enhance the on board technology to allow us to shut down engines on our Meridian trains quickly and easily during their time at stations, whilst still providing enough power for staff to prepare the trains and for passengers to start boarding.
“As well as the reduction in emissions, this will save up to 54 litres of diesel per train for every hour they are not used, saving a massive 800,000 litres of fuel every year, which is enough to fill 20 articulated road tankers. There will also be some further benefits such as improved fleet reliability and cleaner and quieter stations and depots.”
This initiative is part of Stagecoach Group’s carbon reduction plan, which is targeting a 3% reduction in fleet emissions and an 8% cut in carbon emissions from buildings.