Northern 195125 at East Didsbury (Photo: Tony Miles)

UK: Northern Trains is seeking to introduce a battery-diesel hybrid version of its CAF Class 195 diesel multiple-units.

The hybrid DMUs would be used on lines being modernised under the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme, primarily the Leeds –Brighouse – Manchester Victoria – Wigan and Huddersfield – Bradford services, and would expand the proportion of the operator’s fleet which is ‘ETCS-ready’.

The operator has invited bids to provide financing for the acquisition of 20 trainsets, with an initial term of 10, 15 or 20 years and the opportunity to extend.

Rail Business UK understands that the hybrid system is intended to offer similar benefits to the HyDrive system fitted to Chiltern Railways’ testbed DMU 165 022. Battery packs would augment the trains’ diesel engines, giving them the ability to operate under battery power in and around stations, reducing noise as well as cutting fuel consumption and emissions.

The winning finance provider is expected to be announced by the end of March.