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Simulation of energy efficiency improvements on commuter railways

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3 Author(s)
Hull, G.J. ; Birmingham Centre for Railway Res. & Educ., Univ. of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK ; Roberts, C. ; Hillmansen, S.

Railway networks consume large amounts of energy and, as a result, are the cause of a significant amount of CO2 and other harmful gas emissions. British railways strive to comply with objectives set by the European Rail Research Advisory Council and the Committee on Climate Change. Improvements in the operation of railway networks through the use of energy efficiency regimes can decrease the operational costs and CO2 emissions. Existing and industry proven methods include regeneration, coasting allowances and driver training. The use of a simulator allows railway organisations to understand and quantify the benefits of the various methods for their particular rolling stock and networks. This paper describes the development of a multitrain simulator for the Merseyrail network. The simulator is based on a pre-existing single train simulator. Results from the simulator show that a combination of regeneration, introduction of coasting points and improved driving style have the potential to provide up to a 50% increase in energy efficiency. In particular, the study shows that a 23% reduction in energy consumption through regeneration; a 22% energy reduction with the strategic placement of coasting points; and a 4% reduction in energy when an improved driving style is adopted, are possible. These improvements have the potential to eliminate 8 kilotonnes of CO2 emissions from Merseyrail per year.

Published in:

Railway Traction Systems (RTS 2010), IET Conference on

Date of Conference:

13-15 April 2010