Chiltern class 168 diesel/battery hybrid

Phillipimo

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2013
Messages
96
Location
Portsmouth
Please move to an existing thread if there is one.

I found this tweet about 168 329 which is starting testing as a hybrid. I don't know too much about the project.


Chiltern Railway 168329 formerly 170309 has arrived at Wirksworth on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway for some testing. The unit has been converted by Gemini Rail to a hybrid unit capable of diesel and electric operation. 25/04/21
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Julia

Member
Joined
19 Jun 2011
Messages
227
LUL fourth-rail? Or heading somewhere other than Chiltern soon?
 

JonathanH

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
9,250
Is this 'off-lease' given the removal of Chiltern branding?

Presumably one battery car and one diesel car?

Although the front bogie may look like it has shoegear I don't think it is actually modified - see this 'before' picture - which shows that the front coach before the engine was removed - so use of LUL fourth rail is a misnomer.
 

Domh245

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2013
Messages
8,067
Location
nowhere
Is this 'off-lease' given the removal of Chiltern branding?

Presumably one battery car and one diesel car?

Although the front bogie may look like it has shoegear I don't think it is actually modified - see this 'before' picture - which shows that the front coach before the engine was removed - so use of LUL fourth rail is a misnomer.

I think it's likely it's in the process of having a self-promotional livery applied

I'd also think that both cars will be identical in having a small engine, motor, and battery rather than different setups under each

That shoebeam is for the tripcock, no?
 

CyrusWuff

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2013
Messages
2,769
Slightly bonkers that the conversion was done by Gemini at Wolverton but it's gone all the way to the EVR for testing.

By that logic, the Class 165 that's being hybridised at the RTC in Derby (in association with Angel Trains) should be heading somewhere like the Severn Valley for testing. :lol:
 

fgwrich

Established Member
Joined
15 Apr 2009
Messages
7,141
Location
Between Edinburgh and Exeter
Slightly bonkers that the conversion was done by Gemini at Wolverton but it's gone all the way to the EVR for testing.

By that logic, the Class 165 that's being hybridised at the RTC in Derby (in association with Angel Trains) should be heading somewhere like the Severn Valley for testing. :lol:

More so considering the far more local Chinnor and Princes Risborough railway has been used by Gemini in the past.
 
Last edited:

superkev

Established Member
Joined
1 Mar 2015
Messages
2,584
Location
west yorkshire
I wonder if there keeping the same engine.
If it's a parallel hybrid with the electric bits running in parallel with the mechanical they could also retain the transmission.
If it's a series hybrid where the engine drives a generator with a motor driving the wheels prob need to change the lot.
Modifying existing stock has not gone well. Think 769, 230.
Perhaps electrifying a dmu may turn out easier than dieselising an emu.
K
K
 

ryan125hst

Established Member
Joined
2 Jun 2011
Messages
1,207
Location
Retford
I wonder if there keeping the same engine.
If it's a parallel hybrid with the electric bits running in parallel with the mechanical they could also retain the transmission.
If it's a series hybrid where the engine drives a generator with a motor driving the wheels prob need to change the lot.
Modifying existing stock has not gone well. Think 769, 230.
Perhaps electrifying a dmu may turn out easier than dieselising an emu.
K
K
They seem to be installing a new engine from what I can see from this press release from Porterbrook:

Rolls-Royce will initially deliver two MTU Hybrid PowerPacks based on type 6H 1800 engines to Porterbrook. These will be fitted into a Turbostar DMU in the beginning of 2020 which will then be trialled for a period of six months during regular operations. The agreement includes an option for the retrofitting of a second DMU with two MTU Hybrid PowerPacks. Based on the performance of the Hybrid fitted units, Porterbrook hopes to offer customers the opportunity to convert their existing Turbostar fleets into HybridFLEX trains through the installation of MTU Hybrid PowerPacks.

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack is an environmentally friendly drive system which combines the advantages of diesel and battery-powered rail traction. The version for Porterbrook incorporates an MTU diesel engine which fulfils future EU Stage V emissions regulations; plus an electric machine, which can be used either as an electric motor or generator; and an MTU EnergyPack battery system, which stores the energy recovered during braking. This enables very low-noise, emissions-free battery-only electric operation in urban areas and around stations.

It appears from this datasheet that they'll also receive the same 6-speed ZF gearbox as the Class 172's, 195's etc as this datasheet mentions the ZF Ecolife Rail:this datasheet mentions the ZF Ecolife Rail

Drive systems Diesel mechanical (incl. ZF transmission) ZF Ecolife Rail (transmission type) Ratio i = 3.36 - 0.62
 

Mikey C

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2013
Messages
4,789
This sounds like a useful way to lower emissions and noise in stations, you imagine this will be especially beneficial at both ends of the Chiltern route

Quite expensive though, I'm not sure what the incentive would be for an operator to do this, unless they are recompensed by the DfT?
 

Domh245

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2013
Messages
8,067
Location
nowhere
Quite expensive though, I'm not sure what the incentive would be for an operator to do this, unless they are recompensed by the DfT?

The TOC should be able to see the fuel saving directly in their bottom line, though I think it's safe to say that any future conversions are rather dependant on some sort of agreement with ROSCOs, and inevitably the DfT too
 

hwl

Established Member
Joined
5 Feb 2012
Messages
6,802
The TOC should be able to see the fuel saving directly in their bottom line, though I think it's safe to say that any future conversions are rather dependant on some sort of agreement with ROSCOs, and inevitably the DfT too
Just as well I didn't have coffee in hand else it would have got split - The fuel savings aren't that large, it all about air quality. It does get you round JoJo's 2040 rail diesel only ban though...

They seem to be installing a new engine from what I can see from this press release from Porterbrook:



It appears from this datasheet that they'll also receive the same 6-speed ZF gearbox as the Class 172's, 195's etc as this datasheet mentions the ZF Ecolife Rail:this datasheet mentions the ZF Ecolife Rail
New engine but it is an updated version of the original engine design (going strong since 1968... mainly in millions on Mercedes HGV tractor units) but supplied in raft format as on the CAF's 195/6/7.
I wonder if there keeping the same engine.
If it's a parallel hybrid with the electric bits running in parallel with the mechanical they could also retain the transmission.
If it's a series hybrid where the engine drives a generator with a motor driving the wheels prob need to change the lot.
Modifying existing stock has not gone well. Think 769, 230.
Perhaps electrifying a dmu may turn out easier than dieselising an emu.
K
K
It is a parallel hybrid but the combined traction motor /alternator (similar power output to the engine) is on the engine side of the transmission which isn't the best for overall efficiency.
 

Mikey C

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2013
Messages
4,789
Just as well I didn't have coffee in hand else it would have got split - The fuel savings aren't that large, it all about air quality. It does get you round JoJo's 2040 rail diesel only ban though...
Exactly. It's beneficial for the passengers and "wider world" but I can't see it being an "economic" decision for the operator unless given an incentive by the government (which I would support)
 

Domh245

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2013
Messages
8,067
Location
nowhere
Just as well I didn't have coffee in hand else it would have got split - The fuel savings aren't that large, it all about air quality. It does get you round JoJo's 2040 rail diesel only ban though...

It is unfortunate that there isn't much fuel saving, as you'd normally hope to see some when hybridising an engine, but I suppose the idling fuel use already pretty minimal (in comparison to loaded) on those engines?

Air quality benefits will always be useful, though much harder to value (for now!)
 

Mikey C

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2013
Messages
4,789
It is unfortunate that there isn't much fuel saving, as you'd normally hope to see some when hybridising an engine, but I suppose the idling fuel use already pretty minimal (in comparison to loaded) on those engines?

Air quality benefits will always be useful, though much harder to value (for now!)
Hybrid buses and Prius's etc are stop starting, accelerating and braking in town all the time, thus their batteries are constantly being charged, whereas trains spend most of their time cruising, especially the 168s which operate longer distance services for Chiltern
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,555
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
This is quite interesting, if testing is successful, are all Turbostar operators going to adopt it?

It would certainly appear to deal with the issue of 170s being used on stopping services but using a lot of energy heating transmission oil*, so it would seem likely given that these units now mostly are doing local stopping services, Chiltern being the only real exception to that.

* Because they don't go fast enough on those services to get into direct drive.
 

Energy

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2018
Messages
2,576
It would certainly appear to deal with the issue of 170s being used on stopping services but using a lot of energy heating transmission oil*, so it would seem likely given that these units now mostly are doing local stopping services, Chiltern being the only real exception to that.

* Because they don't go fast enough on those services to get into direct drive.
Hopefully we see it introduced at Northern and EMR then, particularly the latter.
 

Mordac

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2016
Messages
2,073
Location
Birmingham
It would certainly appear to deal with the issue of 170s being used on stopping services but using a lot of energy heating transmission oil*, so it would seem likely given that these units now mostly are doing local stopping services, Chiltern being the only real exception to that.

* Because they don't go fast enough on those services to get into direct drive.
CrossCountry aren't exactly local stopping services either, even the 170 operated ones.
 

hwl

Established Member
Joined
5 Feb 2012
Messages
6,802
It is unfortunate that there isn't much fuel saving, as you'd normally hope to see some when hybridising an engine, but I suppose the idling fuel use already pretty minimal (in comparison to loaded) on those engines?

Air quality benefits will always be useful, though much harder to value (for now!)
Probably better described as the financial benefit of the fuel saving isn't significant overall with retrofit the payback period is longer than most remaining rolling stock life in many cases. As others have said swapping the hydraulic transmission for a mechanical one (that can coast properly like on the 195/6/7/s unlike the 172) will actually produce a good chunk of the fuel savings on many routes but this isn't just about fuel savings.
 

Energy

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2018
Messages
2,576
It appears to be a parallel hybrid, so the engine will still drive the wheels directly sort-of as it does in e.g. a Prius.
It should still help a little then with getting the train moving from standing still, reducing some of the load on the engine.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,555
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
It should still help a little then with getting the train moving from standing still, reducing some of the load on the engine.

Indeed. You could also put the gearbox in neutral and just use the electric motor, e.g. to get out of a city. Or it could use a Prius style "diff" to do that automatically (Google it, it's quite clever).
 

hwl

Established Member
Joined
5 Feb 2012
Messages
6,802
Indeed. You could also put the gearbox in neutral and just use the electric motor, e.g. to get out of a city. Or it could use a Prius style "diff" to do that automatically (Google it, it's quite clever).
But in this case the combined alternator/traction motor is on the engine side of the transmission... (not so clever)
 

t_star2001uk

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2011
Messages
700
The HybridFlex 168 unit was out on the Chiltern route this morning traveling from Aylesbury as 5Z22 08.59 AYLESBURY to MARYLEBONE. After the unveiling, it took dignitaries on a trip to BICESTER VILLAGE as 1Z22 10.30 MARYLEBONE to BICESTER VILLAGE. The unit remained in platform 2 at BICESTER VILLAGE and then formed 5A22 12.33 BICESTER VILLAGE to AYLESBURY.
 

DerekC

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2015
Messages
1,634
Location
Hampshire (nearly a Hog)
Railway Gazette Online has this article today.

https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/hybridflex-prototype-battery-diesel-multiple-unit-launched/59560.article?utm_source=RBUKnewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=RBUKnewsletter-%2020210722

HybridFLEX prototype battery-diesel multiple-unit launched​

UK: Chiltern Railways has unveiled its prototype HybridFLEX multiple-unit fitted with a hybrid traction system which can offer zero emissions and near silent operation at stations and in other sensitive locations.

Developed by the operator, leasing company Porterbrook and MTU PowerPack supplier Rolls-Royce, the HybridFLEX uses a Bombardier Transportation Class 168 diesel multiple-unit retrofitted with a new traction package including batteries for energy storage. The hybrid drive is expected to reduce fuel consumption and so CO2 emissions by up to 25%, NOx emissions by over 70% and particulate emissions by over 90%.

A letter of intent for the project was signed by MTU and Porterbook at InnoTrans 2018, following extensive simulation using theoretical models and a test rig.

The prototype is expected to enter passenger service with Chiltern Railways in September, enabling the project partners to assess its performance before deciding whether to undertake series conversions.

‘Chiltern has a fantastic track record of innovating and investing in new routes, stations, depots and trains to attract and retain customers’, said the Arriva-owned operator’s Managing Director Richard Allan at London Marylebone station on July 21. ‘We need to modernise Chiltern again and this exciting use of new technology in an older train is a potentially very significant opportunity to help us decarbonise and improve our customer experience.’

Porterbrook CEO Mary Grant said: ‘HybridFLEX is part of Porterbrook’s growing portfolio of alternative traction systems designed to help Britain’s railway accelerate the race to Net Zero.’

The launch event also marked the 25th anniversary of Chiltern Railways, the only passenger train operator and brand to have survived unchanged since privatisation.
Anybody know any more about it? The range with diesel shut down would be interesting.
 

Top