Hitachi opts for MTU PowerPacks supplied by Rolls-Royce for UK’s TransPennine Express

Rolls-Royce is once again to deliver MTU rail drive systems to Hitachi Rail Europe: a total of 57 MTU Series 1600 PowerPacks will be used to power 19 new Class 802 intercity trains.

The trains are scheduled to enter service from 2019 along the iconic Pennine route in the north of England, as well as in Scotland. The trains will be operated by TransPennine Express and financed by Angel Trains.

Berry Sas, Projects Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Our intercity trains will offer passengers on the TransPennine Express route a smoother and more comfortable journey. MTU continues to offer us modern and efficient PowerPacks to help deliver a step change in passenger experience.”

Jürgen Blassmann, Head of Rail Business at MTU, said: “It is a great sign of confidence that Hitachi Rail Europe, following the Intercity Express Programme and the trains to be used in the West of England, has now once again opted for the reliability of rail drives from MTU. The new trains and our PowerPacks are an excellent combination with added value for train operators and travellers alike.”

The MTU PowerPacks are tailor-made for the special challenges of the routes, which travel in part across the Pennines: their core is MTU’s most powerful rail engine of Series 1600. The 12-cylinder diesel engine, delivers 700 kW of power and enables the trains to achieve speeds of up to 200 km/h, also on sections of route with steep gradients. Engines of this type feature a high power density, low consumption and low emissions: with an integrated SCR system, they meet the stringent requirements of EU Stage IIIB emission standards. This means that particulate matter emissions are reduced by more than 90% and NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions have been approximately cut in half compared to diesel engines currently in service. Furthermore, modern MTU electronics for system monitoring regulate and control all PowerPack components to ensure efficient and reliable operation.

The trains will be bi-mode vehicles, which means they are capable of operating both in purely electric mode, taking their power from the overhead lines, and in diesel electric mode on non-electrified lines. They will be able to switch seamlessly between power sources whilst travelling. In the event of an overhead power failure, the MTU PowerPacks ensure that the trains can continue running with no reduction in speed. The trains will run from Manchester and Liverpool to major cities such as Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The Class 802 intercity trains for the TransPennine Express are similar to those of the Class 800 and 801, which are currently being built by Hitachi for the UK’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) and are also fitted with MTU Series 1600 PowerPacks.