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Ealing’s trains leading the charge towards net zero

A new battery electric train service between West Ealing and Greenford Stations is set to be trialled later this year – the first of its kind in the country.

The trial has been secured for the borough by Ealing Council and aims to demonstrate that the equipment works reliably for commuters whilst supporting the transition to even more environmentally friendly methods of transport.

The new service is the result of a successful funding bid to the Department for Transport and will be operated by Great western Railway in partnership with Network Rail and manufacturer Vivarail. 

The technology relies on fast-charging battery power and means the service will be net-zero for carbon emissions and there will be less noise for passengers and local people.

Extended battery use to power trains has typically been constrained by its range, meaning widespread implementation has not previously been feasible.

Now, this latest battery power technology affords a range of up to 62 miles and automatically recharges in only 10 minutes at the end of a journey, without affecting the train’s scheduling.

The battery-charging equipment will be installed at West Ealing Station and be combined with a Class 230 train – which was first showcased at COP26 last year when it ran daily services throughout the international climate change conference in Glasgow.

This pioneering trial is another important step as the council works to secure a carbon neutral borough by 2030 through its climate action strategy.

It aims to make the borough’s harmful emissions so low that they are effectively net-zero – this does not mean removing all emissions generated from day-to-day living. Instead, it means considerably reducing them to the point that remaining emissions are cancelled out and balanced by reductions in other areas.

The strategy focuses on five main areas, including transport and how people choose to get from A to B.

Reducing reliance on cars for shorter journeys in favour of public transport, walking, cycling and scooting is vital as a third of the borough’s emissions come from the way we travel.

‘Genuinely pioneering green technology’

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, cabinet member for climate action said: “We have worked hard to secure the trialling of this new technology in our borough and I am delighted to see the new service ready to be piloted later this year.

“This battery-powered system is genuinely pioneering green technology – proven by the fact that it was showcased for the very first time at COP26.

“It is another vital step as we look to secure a carbon neutral future for the borough by 2030. We will always look to support residents to make positive changes and choose environmentally-friendly transport options over shorter, high polluting car journeys.”

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