“Smart” brakes improve energy consumption on Govia Thameslink Railway fleet

GTR’s trains are now returning over 50% more energy to the network to help power the fleet, following the completion of a £2bn modernisation programme.

Some 115 Siemens Class 700s on Thameslink and 25 Class 717s on Great Northern have on-board systems which recover more energy than previous generations of trains. This energy was otherwise lost in the heat from friction on the trains they replaced, with the feature returning half of this energy to help power the GTR network.

The energy returned to the network, 15.8 GWh, is the equivalent of seven days of domestic energy consumption in a town the size of Bedford and is an extra 5.6 GWh every four weeks compared to 18 months ago.

The green improvements come as the rail operator releases its 2019 Sustainability Report, with other energy-cutting initiatives such as the upgrade of platform lights at all GTR stations to LEDs, which cut energy use by up to 80%, as well as new seasonal lighting controls to further reduce consumption.

GTR’s Head of Environment Jason Brooker said: “We are committed to operating a more sustainable railway by embracing initiatives to tackle energy and water consumption, manage resources more efficiently and reduce waste to ensure we lower our impact on the environment.”

To access GTR’s 2019 Sustainability Report, visit https://www.thameslinkrailway.com/about-us/corporate-and-social-responsibility/environment/sustainability-reports