Lean, green machine taking to the rails

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TRAINS running between Sheffield and London will be cleaner and greener thanks to new technology which was launched by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.

Operator East Midlands Trains hopes the technology, being fitted to its 27-strong fleet of Meridian vehicles at a cost of £4m, will save up to 2.3m kilogrammes of carbon dioxide from being emitted each year.

It works by giving trains an ‘engine stand-by mode’ which they can use while waiting at stations, meaning they will save around 800,000 litres in fuel each year.

Mr Hammond performed the official ceremony at St Pancras Station, where he named one of the first trains to be fitted with the technology ‘Carbon Cutter’,

The train has also been given a full interior revamp as part of a separate £6 million improvement programme.

The cost of the environmentally-friendly technology is being covered jointly by East Midlands Trains, train builder Bombardier and leasing company Eversholt Rail.

Mr Hammond praised the innovation: “A sustainable transport system which supports economic growth is at the very heart of the coalition government’s vision for the country.

“Initiatives like the ‘Carbon Cutter’ will help us lower emissions and create a transport system that is cleaner and greener.”

Tim Shoveller, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said the new technology would bring long-term benefits.

“Through the unveiling of the ‘Carbon Cutter’ nameplate, which will sit proudly on one of our refurbished Meridians, we’re spelling out our commitment to making travelling by train even greener,” he added.

“The roll-out of our Meridian Energy Saving Mode has taken many work hours and a huge commitment to deliver.”

During the launch event Mr Hammond also had an opportunity to see first-hand the improvements being delivered through East Midlands Trains’ £6 million refurbishment of its Meridian fleet.

The Carbon Cutter is the first of the rail operator’s seven-car Meridian trains, which are used on the bulk of Sheffield to London services, to be revamped.

The new look features luxury leather seats in first class and new carpets and seat covers, as well as additional luggage space and a new space for buggies.

Several of the company’s smaller four and five-car Meridian trains have already received the new look.

Work to refurbish the rest of the fleet is set to be completed by early next year.