UK: Hitachi Rail Europe has named MTU as preferred bidder for the supply of 250 underfloor powerpacks for its Super Express fleet of 200 km/h inter-city trains, which are expected to enter traffic from 2017 under the UK government’s Intercity Express Programme.

Having provided an engine for test bench trials at the Hitachi plant in Kasado, Japan, MTU has now finalised a novel design designated 12V 1600 R80L and rated at 700 kW.

The contract is worth more than €200m according to the two companies, and it envisages the installation of ‘at least’ one powerpack in every trainset. For the electric trainsets, the diesel powerpack is intended to provide ‘emergency hotel and self-rescue power’ in the event of a failure of overhead electric supply. According to MTU, this Auxiliary Generator Unit will be used routinely for vehicle shunting in depots to ensure it is used regularly.

The twelve-cylinder engine has been designed to allow a V12 configuration to fit in the confined space beneath the passenger vehicle. Selective Catalytic Reduction will be used to ensure the engine complies with EU Stage IIIB emissions regulations.

Under the terms of the agreement, MTU is expected to provide engine maintenance services for 27∙5 years. According to the supplier, the 12V 1600 R80L is the most compact MTU powerpack to date, smaller railcar engines having been adapted from those designed for Mercedes commercial road vehicles.