mtu-powered Irish Rail train is on a mission to cut emissions

Posted on December 16, 2020 by Rolf Behrens, Images by Irish Rail, Neil Dinnen

ZF's new transmission EcoWorld helps make mtu PowerPacks in service for Irish Rail even more efficient.
Although its serial number implies differently, this train’s mission is all but top secret: With railcar 22007, Rolls-Royce and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail have jointly (and publicly!) achieved a major milestone on their path to cleaner and more climate-friendly rail travel. The Class 22000 train, made up of vehicles 22207, 22407 and 22307, has recently entered passenger service. It is powered by three mtu PowerPacks which have been rebuilt by Rolls-Royce with new EcoWorld transmissions from ZF. The train will initially trial the new drive systems between Limerick and Limerick Junction. After successful trials, the train is set to operate on the complete rail network of Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail. The new technology makes the mtu PowerPacks even more efficient and thus climate-friendly.

The project is an important part of a wider plan, explains Stephen Campbell, Project Manager at Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail: “We hope to achieve fuel savings and thus carbon emissions reductions of 20% compared to the previous version of the drive systems. This is a significant contribution to the Irish Government’s Project Ireland 2040 development plan.“

Irish rail wants to achieve fuel savings and thus carbon emissions reductions of 20% compared to the previous version of the drive systems. (Pictures: Neil Dinnen)

For Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, this project does not only showcase the important role its technologies and know-how can play in slowing down climate change, but is also an example of the success of its PS 2030 corporate strategy, under which Power Systems is currently transforming from a manufacturer of engines to a provider of integrated and sustainable solutions: When Irish Rail was looking for a more efficient drive solution on the basis of existing hardware, Rolls-Royce was able to find the best concept, using state-of-the-art simulation equipment and a hardware-in-the-loop test stand. Those allowed to precisely predict the function and effect of the rebuild with new EcoWorld mechanical transmissions from ZF which replaced the existing hydraulic transmissions and are now proving their mettle in the field.

Rolls-Royce and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail are also cooperating on the introduction of hybrid technology onto the rails in Ireland. The even more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient mtu Hybrid PowerPack is also equipped with the state-of-the-art EcoWorld transmissions.  

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