Siemens Mobility, in association with its partners the University of York and British Solar Renewables, has received two contracts to explore solar energy for powering the UK railways.

Under the first contract, the company will conclude the final stages of technical development to feed solar energy directly to trains.

This feasibility study will help address the engineering incompatibilities that have avoided renewable power feeding 25kV trains across the world.

The study is being financed by the Department for Transport through Innovate UK’s First of A Kind programme,

It is expected to help show the solar power of trains operating on the East Coast Mainline during this year.

The second contract will look into the prospects of launching a charging station and how it can facilitate charging on-train batteries in areas that are not electrified.

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It will also help establish green routes for trains powered by battery or electric based on where they are on the network.

This process is expected to help eliminate diesel trains for electric across the country.

Siemens Mobility rail infrastructure managing director Rob Morris said: “Transportation in Britain accounts for 27% of carbon emissions and electrification of the country’s rail network is vital to transform the everyday journeys for passengers and accelerate the journey to net zero.

“Our findings could revolutionise how electricity powers UK  railways, opening up the possibility of a large-scale shift to green electricity across the whole country, reducing costs and creating a raft of new job opportunities at the same time.”

Last month, Siemens Mobility secured a €900m order for the supply of a turnkey metro system for Australia’s Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.