Railway operator for Banbury launches country's first vegetable oil-powered passenger trains

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The railway operator for Banbury has launched the country’s first ever vegetable oil-powered passenger trains

Chiltern Railways announced yesterday (Thursday July 27) that its Class 68 locomotive-hauled trains will be powered with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) derived from used cooking oils, tallow, and other recyclable wastes.

The change from conventional diesel is aimed at reducing the impact the operator’s trains have on the environment and air quality across its network.

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Although vegetable oil fuel is more expensive to buy than conventional diesel, Chiltern has decided to switch to using it as part of its plan to modernise and decarbonise its operations through the Right Route 2030 vision.

The railway operator for Banbury has launched the country’s first ever vegetable oil-powered passenger trains.The railway operator for Banbury has launched the country’s first ever vegetable oil-powered passenger trains.
The railway operator for Banbury has launched the country’s first ever vegetable oil-powered passenger trains.

The company’s proposal sets out how fleet renewal over the next decade should make rail journeys, in their words, “easier, greener, and better for Chiltern customers”.

Richard Allan, managing director for Chiltern Railways, said: "We are determined to operate a railway that is easier, greener, and better for our customers. The conversion of a key part of our fleet of trains to HVO fuel will make a big difference in terms of emissions.

"We have listened to customers and stakeholders who rightly highlighted air quality as a key concern to us and have taken action to minimise the impact on the environment that these trains have through cleaner, greener fuel.

"This is a strong step in the right direction, and we want to do more. In the next few days, we will be inviting train manufacturers for proposals for new trains to replace our oldest diesel trains."