Transport Secretary Philip Hammond joined representatives from East Midlands Trains, Bombardier and Eversholt Rail at a special train naming ceremony to recognise a successful joint industry approach to delivering greener trains.
The naming of East Midlands Trains’ Meridian 222006 as ‘The Carbon Cutter’ marks a joint investment of £4m from the Stagecoach-owned train operator, Bombardier and Eversholt Rail, which has led to the introduction of an innovative new engine stand-by mode estimated to save around 800,000 litres of fuel a year.
The new ‘Energy Saving Mode’ has been rolled out across the entire East Midlands Trains Meridian fleet of 27 trains. The introduction of this system allows the number of diesel engines on the train to be matched to the duty required to reduce diesel consumption, noise, emissions and maintenance costs. It is believed to be the first retrospective application of this type of technology in the UK.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “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: “This is a very special day for East Midlands Trains, and one that we are pleased to share with the Secretary of State as well as our partners at Bombardier and Eversholt Rail. 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.
“The roll-out of our Meridian Energy Saving Mode has taken many work hours and a huge commitment to deliver. It has required true partnership to create an innovative approach that will deliver long-term sustainable benefits and will also unlock long-term benefits for the rail industry. We’re very proud to be marking a successful and innovative partnership in such a unique way and we hope our passengers will enjoy travelling on The Carbon Cutter”.
Bombardier’s UK Chairman, Colin S Walton, said: “I am delighted that the successful partnership between East Midlands Trains, Eversholt Rail and ourselves has enabled the development of the Energy Saving Mode on the Meridian fleet. Bombardier takes environmental issues and the reduction of carbon emissions very seriously and this is another demonstration of our commitment to protecting the planet. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners to further enhance the performance and reliability of the trains.”
Stephen Timothy, Head of Relationship Development, Eversholt Rail said “We are pleased to be here today celebrating the renaming of the Meridian train as part of the culmination of many months of collaborative work with East Midlands Trains and Bombardier. As both owner and investor in the trains, we embrace this innovative approach which will result in substantial environmental efficiency gains and operational cost reductions in the Meridian fleet for many years to come”.
In addition to naming ‘The Carbon Cutter’, the Transport Secretary also had an opportunity to see first-hand the improvements being delivered through East Midlands Trains’ £6 million refurbishment of its Meridian fleet. This refurbishment marks the latest investment in the East Midlands Trains fleet, which will result in every single one of its trains being improved. Once complete, passengers travelling on the Meridian trains will see added benefits such as luxury leather seats in First Class, new carpets and seat covers throughout as well as additional luggage space and a new space for buggies.
222006 is the first seven car Meridian to be refurbished and ‘The Carbon Cutter’ nameplate will proudly sit on the train, and will be seen by thousands of people each day as the train travels on the main line between Sheffield and London.