A study by CER, UNIFE, UIC and Euromot regarding the railway and engine manufacturing industries concluded that there was a risk of disruptive effect of the NRMM Directive application on the railway diesel vehicle supply market. This leads to a possible risk of a partial modal shift from rail to road on regional passenger lines and freight transportation specialised routes, with foreseeable consequences on the operations of the main electrified system. Such a shift would of course be highly detrimental to the achievement of the general objectives of a sustainable development of the European transport system.
Clean European Rail-Diesel (CleanER-D) was a project that aimed to develop, improve and integrate emissions reduction technologies for diesel locomotives and rail vehicles. Its target was to achieve emission levels below the limits established by the new European Directive 2004/26/EC and to evaluate innovative and hybrid solutions for the best possible contribution to reductions in CO2 emissions.
The project aimed at finding the best balance between environmental and economical requirements, in order to avoid an always possible shift from rail transport to a less sustainable mode like road. Even on electrified main routes, the engine industry need to be encouraged to give rail applications serious consideration in their product development plans and provide the European Commission with proposals for a flexible move to the IIIB objective.
The CleanER-D project offers competitive rail vehicles in order to avoid a modal shift from rail to road, and evaluates different solutions to fulfil the IIIB emission limits on rail vehicles.
The project was built on several application sub-projects, representative of the different engine applications: rail cars, Diesel Multiple Units, shunting locomotives, main line light and heavy-haul locomotives. These applications will enable the industry to evaluate the different solutions to be applied to rail systems in real operating conditions.
The optimum trade-off between the reduction of pollutant emissions by rail vehicles and the fuel energy consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as the overall impact of the applied technologies on the environment through a life cycle assessment approach, will be identified by this experimental part of the project.
The project encourages the rail manufacturing industry to foster development of rail specific applications of innovative solutions, so as to even further develop the competitive advantages of rail transport in terms of sustainable development.
As a first step a generic system requirement specification for the different vehicle types was drafted based on the input of each demonstration project. This was followed by the analysis of the design and development phase of the rail vehicle developments.
This phase was divided into 3 main milestones:
• Finalise emission technology
• Finalise consept design
• Freeze engine and vehicle package
The first phase focused on the engine technology path followed by the engine manufactures and explained the in-engine technology and new aftertreatment systems which had to be specifically developed for each individual vehicle due to the low emissions limit set by the stage IIIB requirements.
In the project, two different ways of lowering exhaust emissions were implemented; while all engines use a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), some reduce NOx emissions inside the engine by means of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and others have opted for reducing NOx using Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment.
Due to its larger NOx emission reduction capability, SCR has been the option for the smaller railcar engines, which have to comply with a 2.0 g/kWh NOx limit, but also for the US market, for the larger engines complying with EPA Tier4. This technology requires the vehicle to carry an additional consumable fluid (aqueous urea solution) as a reagent for the NOx reduction.
On the other hand, EGR has been the option for the larger locomotive engines which have to comply with a 4.0 g/kWh NOx limit. Although this path does not provide potential for much further emission reductions, it avoids the need for a second consumable fluid in the vehicle, and thus allows for a larger operational flexibility of the locomotives and does not require operators to special investments make in infrastructure for distribution and supply of such second fluid.
The next phase was in charge of the monitoring of the design and the design modifications to install the emission reducing engine and its aftertreatment systems. The main emphases were on the engine compartment, the cooling system and other vehicle interfaces with the engine.
Due to the new engine package, each vehicle builder faced weight and space constrains. These challenges were solved by modified vehicle design and by using practical solutions for the cooling system or for the space restrictions. In some cases the original
Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour:
- Promoting more sustainable development