DB Cargo UK successfully trials use of sustainable HVO train fuel

Posted: 22 February 2021 | | No comments yet

Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) was successfully used to fuel one of DB Cargo UK’s Class 60 locomotives on a journey from Wales to the West Midlands.

DB Cargo UK successfully trials use of sustainable HVO train fuel

Credit: DB Cargo UK

DB Cargo UK and Tata Steel have announced the successful trial of the use of 100 per cent renewable Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) – which is being marketed as ‘one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels’ – in a Class 60 locomotive that was transporting product from Wales to the West Midlands. 

The ‘carbon-busting’ locomotive carrying some 2500 tonnes of steel coil was the first Class 60 train to be powered purely by the environmentally friendly fuel to travel on the mainline UK rail network. 

The train ran from Tata Steel’s steel works in Margam, Port Talbot, to its terminal in Round Oak in Brierley Hill, the West Midlands.  

The fossil-free, FAME-free fuel is synthetically made through the hydro-treatment process from vegetable oils or animal fats, which can reduce harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by as much as 90 per cent. 

DB Cargo UK’s Head of Sales, Roger Neary, said: “This is another significant milestone in DB Cargo UK’s plan to offer all of our customers a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional red diesel and help them reduce carbon in their end-to-end supply chain. Tata Steel’s service was the ideal one to trial it on as they, like us, are continually looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment. We’ve now proved that HVO fuel can be used in our Class 60, 66 and 67 locomotives with negligible impact on power output, which is critical considering the volume of bulk materials that we transport, like steel and aggregates.”

Gareth Lewis, Logistic Operations Manager at Tata Steel, said: “The success of this trial is recognition of our goal for zero CO2 logistics. Our close working relationship with DB Cargo UK has been instrumental in achieving this important milestone. We continue to work with all of our external stakeholders to look for opportunities which further reduce Tata Steel’s environmental impact in all aspects of our logistical operations.”