Rail operator One has installed a "green" upgrade on some of its trains in the region.
The move sees the introduction of more energy efficient "regenerative braking" on its fleet of Class 360 Desiro electric-multiple unit trains.
The "green" initiative allows these trains to generate electricity while slowing down, by converting the energy created as the train brakes back into electricity - which is then passed back into the energy supply system to provide electricity for these trains or others using the network to utilise.
The environmental benefit is a reduction in the amount of electricity used. Estimates suggest it could result in a reduction of as much as 16pc in electricity use from the operation of the Class 360 fleet.
While the 21 Class 360 Desiro four-carriage electric-multiple unit trains were originally designed to use the "regenerative braking" facility, the infrastructure in the region was initially not fully compatible with its operation. Recent upgrades completed by Network Rail have now enabled One to make use of this feature.
So far, nine of the Class 360 fleet, which operate on services from London Liverpool Street to destinations including Braintree, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Ipswich and Harwich, have been switched to regenerative braking, with the remainder of the fleet due to switch by the end of January 2007.
Managing director Dominic Booth said: "Customers rightly expect us to ensure rail travel is as "green" as possible. The introduction of regenerative braking on our Class 360 fleet of trains is a major step-forward in reducing energy levels to provide a far-more efficient and environmentally-friendly method of powering this type of train."