On track to save electricity

A TRAIN operator which runs services through Dacorum has installed electricity meters on its units to make sure it pays only for the energy it uses.

It’s a big shift away from the traditional system for London Midland which used to be a part of a set-up that bought electricity from Network Rail.

The method would estimate the electricity used to power trains and would redistribute any difference back to train operating companies.

The new system means London Midland will now pay only for the electricity that it uses and also have the information to be able to reduce energy consumption

London Midland estimates being able to save up to 20 per cent of its £15m electricity bill and reduce its annual carbon emissions from 98,000 tons to 78,000 tons.

At the same time, London Midland is looking to work with its train drivers and other staff to make the most of the electricity that they use, in the same way that car drivers can maximise a tank of petrol. Drivers will be encouraged to do things like reduce power when the train is on level or slightly falling gradients.

Electricity can also be saved by smarter use of on board air conditioning, heating and lighting.

All 100 electric trains out of London Midland’s total fleet of 159 trains – the rest are diesel – are now fitted with energy meters. The energy use of each train can even be studied on a minute-by-minute basis.