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13 Feb 2009 05:02:04

New trains to be cleaner and greener



New trains to be cleaner and greener
A new fleet of trains are to be "cleaner, greener" and less noisy than existing models, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT announced a £7.5 billion contract to the Agility consortium to build and maintain 1,400 Super Express carriages, which are 17 per cent lighter than the models they replace.

New trains will come in electric, self-powered (diesel) and bi-mode models, with the electric and bi-mode set to feature technology such as regenerative braking.

The bi-mode and diesel models will feature a hybrid engine which will reduce fuel consumption by 15 per cent.

Agility Trains, a consortium made up of John Laing, Hitachi and Barclays has won the largest ever rolling stock contract.

According to the DfT the trains will be built in the UK, creating or maintaining 12,500 manufacturing jobs.

Alec McTavish, Association of Train Operating Companies' (ATOC's) director of policy and operations, said: "The fleet will provide long distance operators with the trains they need to meet the needs of a growing market and passengers with an attractive, cost effective travel choice, which is essential if rail's potential to reduce the UK's carbon footprint and transport congestion is to be realised."

Figures published by the DfT today revealed that between 1980 and 2007 total road traffic increased by 87 per cent in distance travelled, with the majority of growth coming from car travel, which rose 88 per cent.

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