3:10pm Saturday 5th May 2012
By William Crossley
TRAIN operator First Great Western is on track to cut its fuel bills after installing an in-cab advice system to help drivers stay on time and maximise fuel efficiency.
All 118 High Speed Train (HST) power cars in FGW’s express fleet have been fitted with the computerised system, called EnergyMiser, which uses information about the train and the route it is running on to calculate the optimum speed to run at to stay on time and minimise fuel consumption.
The information is shown on a screen on the driver’s desk, along with the current time, the time the train is due at the next station, an estimated arrival time and the location of the train, as well as temporary speed restrictions.
Trials last year showed fuel consumption could be cut by about 11 per cent. Fuel bills form about 25 per cent of FGW’s rolling stock operating costs. The firm’s HST fleet is the biggest user of diesel fuel on the UK rail network.
FGW decided to fit EnergyMiser, produced by Australian firm TTG, after studying the results of its use since 2010 on Class 180 Adelante trains operated between London and Yorkshire by sister company First Hull Trains.
Five Adelantes are about to return to service with FGW on services between London, Oxford and Worcester via the Cotswold Line through west Oxfordshire.
Similar equipment is expected to be fitted to other trains in FGW’s fleet.
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