RAIL and business experts at the University of Huddersfield are to share an award enabling them to make a powerful case for new technology that could play a key role in eliminating carbon emissions by freight trains in the UK.

In response to a Government call for the use of diesel-only trains to be eradicated by 2040, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) set up a Decarbonisation Task Force and launched a competition, with a total prize pot of £2 million to be distributed among research teams exploring novel solutions to the problem.

One of the six winners was a project titled Digital Displacement for Non-Passenger Rail, developed by a consortium of Artemis Intelligent Power, the University of Huddersfield and Direct Rail Services, with support from Freightliner and Voith Turbo.

The project, with an overall grant of £120k, will examine the possibilities provided by digital displacement technology developed by Artemis as a more efficient alternative to conventional hydraulic pumps for providing traction and auxiliary power for freight locomotives, shunters and on-track plant.

Use of this technology will help facilitate the development of environmentally-beneficial hybrid locomotives, says Professor Paul Allen, who is Assistant Director of the University of Huddersfield's Institute of Railway Research.

He will work with Dr Messaoud Mehafdi, a Senior Lecturer in the University's Business School.

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