Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
[PR] Irish Rail fuel efficency
This came in on the grapevine this morning. Nothing new to RUI members as the 4 coach ICR fleet has been known about for several months
That said from a passenger point of view shorter trains are not exactly always a good thing
Iarnród Éireann targets further €3 million in annual fuel savings
Energy consumption initiatives already yielded €16 million in annual savings
Off-peak DART train size and Intercity train configurations to yield savings
Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail is to implement new energy saving fleet utilisation initiatives to generate fuel savings, which will reduce fuel and maintenance costs by €3.2 million per annum.
The range of actions begin this week, focusing on train size for off-peak DART services.
Currently, 65% of total daily DART passengers travel in the four hours of either morning or evening peak, with the remaining 35% travelling across the remaining 14 hours of travel. In place of longer trains used currently, the company will increase the usage of 2-carriage DARTs at off-peak times from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, and after 7pm, to eliminate unnecessary energy usage and reduce maintenance costs, while continuing existing service frequency to customers.
This approach also allows the flexibility for capacity to be increased on off-peak trains at times of higher demand, such as for major events. Furthermore, the company are continuing to monitor peak train sizes and will increase capacity on one peak service in response to demand, the 16.40hrs Bray to Malahide DART, from 6 to 8 carriages.
For Intercity services, Iarnród Éireann is to reconfigure the Intercity railcar fleet. Currently, the 234 carriages in the fleet are configured to form 48 three-carriage trains and 15 six-carriage trains. This has lead to capacity shortages on some services and oversupply on others. The fleet will be reconfigured to form 45 four-carriage trains and 18 three-carriage trains, allowing greater flexibility in train size, with 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 carriage Intercity trains possible as result by combining train sets together. These changes will be implemented on a phased basis by year end.
As well as savings in fuel and maintenance costs, the new fleet configuration will ensure train size can be targeted to meet demand, and increase train size and seat numbers on services which have experienced high numbers travelling.
The measures are the latest in a range of initiatives introduced by Iarnród Éireann to reduce energy consumption, yielding environmental and cost benefits. Since 2007, energy consumption – the vast majority of which is for diesel and electricity to power trains – has reduced by over one-third in Iarnród Éireann, through actions including:
- New trains incorporating improved energy efficiency
- Automatic shutdown of train engines to reduce idling
- Reduction in DART power supply voltage and competitive tendering of electricity supply
- Extension of regenerative braking on the DART
- More efficient DART train software
- Reduced train sizes where demand has decreased
- Implementation of improved lighting, heating and fan controls in depots
- Changes to lighting in station car parks
- Temperature and lighting control systems in buildings to prevent wastage
In total, energy usage in Megawatt hours has reduced from 793,400 in 2007 to 526,800 in 2012, a reduction of almost 34%.
The company’s energy bills were €16 million lower in 2012 than they would have been had these measures not been implemented.