Engine stand-by mode to cut pre-departure train emissions

East Midlands Trains has launched an initiative designed to cut fuel consumption and reduce the environmental impact of its trains by introducing an engine stand-by mode.

The Energy Saving Mode initiative, which is being introduced on the company's 27 Bombardier-built Meridian diesel-electric multiple units, allows selected engines to be turned off whilst the trains are standing in stations, reducing both noise and emissions.

When a train is standing in a station for more than seven minutes, it will automatically go into Energy Saving Mode, which shuts down most of the engines. Passengers will still be able to board the train, and the doors, electronic seat reservation display screens, WiFi and toilets will all continue to work as normal. Interior lighting will be slightly reduced, and there will be limited heating or air conditioning, with no power from the at-seat sockets and limited heating/air conditioning. Full power will be restored to the train a few minutes before departure.

Matt Browne, head of environment for East Midlands Trains, said: "At stations such as London St Pancras, Nottingham and Sheffield, our trains can be stood for up to an hour waiting for their next departure. By working closely with Bombardier, we've managed to enhance the on-board technology to allow us to shut down engines on our Meridian trains quickly and easily during their time at stations, whilst still providing enough power for staff to prepare the trains and for passengers to start boarding.

"As well as the reduction in emissions, this will save up to 54 litres of diesel per train for every hour they are not used, saving a massive 800,000 litres of fuel every year, which is enough to fill 20 articulated road tankers. There will also be some further benefits such as improved fleet reliability and cleaner and quieter stations and depots."

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