British train operator Chiltern Railways is helping to test a new type of hydraulic transmission for diesel-powered rail vehicles. Project partner JCB will supply a diesel engine to power an E-dyn 96 Digital Displacement hydraulic pump provided by Artemis Intelligent Power, Scotland. The pump will supply flow to axle-mounted Digital Displacement motors and the transmission will be installed in a Chiltern Trains Driving Van Trailer.
The project seeks to reduce fuel consumption and improve engine performance by combining hydrostatic transmission with on-board energy storage in the form of hydraulic accumulators, which store energy during braking for reuse during acceleration.
Stored energy can be reused to supplement engine power and to reduce journey times through faster acceleration, allowing trains to leave stations without producing emissions.
The technology could be applied to non-electrified rail routes where electrification is difficult to justify on an economic basis.
The Digital Displacement® Hybrid Rail Transmission project is funded by Artemis Intelligent Power and the Rail Safety and Standards Board Ltd. (RSSB).