HVO-powered rail freight trial “extremely promising” says DB Cargo

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DB Cargo UK said it had successfully trialled the use of 100% renewable Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in one of its freight locomotives.

The results of the trial come just a day after Asda expanded its biomethane-powered HGV fleet with an order for 202 units – a fifth of its fleet.

DB Cargo UK said that tests of the HVO-powered Class 67 locomotive 3,200bhp engine had been taking place at its load bank facility at Toton Traction Maintenance Depot in Nottinghamshire, with red diesel has been substituted for HVO.

Chief Executive Andrea Rossi said: “The government has set the rail industry an incredibly stretching target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and only through the greater electrification of the UK rail network and innovation like this will we meet this challenge. “

DB Cargo UK currently operates 228 diesel and electric locomotives that transport some 37 million tonnes of freight each year across the UK and into Europe. It uses approximately 45 million litres of red diesel a year.

Steve Wilkinson, Head of Asset Management and Maintenance DB Cargo UK, said: “We are very pleased with the initial performance of the HVO fuel which we could use instead of or alongside traditional red diesel. The fact it is compatible with our existing diesel means investment in new storage and fuelling facilities would also be kept to a minimum.

“On top of that, it performs well at low temperatures, has a longer lifespan and is biodegradable.”

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