Funding Awarded For Rail Freight Decarbonisation Project

A specialist sustainability business has been awarded a £398,000 grant to work on a decarbonisation initiative in the rail freight transport sector.  Clean Air Power, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, were announced as one of the winners of the latest First of a Kind (FOAK) competition.

The competition is funded by the Department for Transport in partnership with Innovate UK, UK Haulier reports. Clean Air Power will use their prize money to demonstrate ability to substitute diesel with both hydrogen and biogas on the Class 66, which is the locomotive used to carry over 80% of rail freight.

Freightliner UK Rail Managing Director Tim Shakerley said: “Freightliner is excited to be a key partner in this pioneering decarbonisation project.”

Shakerley added: “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.”

The Class 66 will be retrofitted with the company’s precision injection technology, which will enable the locomotive to run on a combination of diesel, biogas, and hydrogen. The technology is widely used in the road industry, but it will be the first time it has been applied to a highly used mode of rail transport.

The work is expected to take nine months, and will be carried at Freightliner’s vehicle maintenance centre in Leeds. Freightliner operate over 100 Class 66s, and they are one of the UK’s leading rail freight companies.

Clean Air Power hope to offer a viable solution to long-term decarbonisation with in the rail industry. They have already successfully worked with major operators in the road transport sector, including Volvo and Mercedes, with the aim of supporting decarbonisation, and helping the government achieve its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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