British train operating company Chiltern Railways has unveiled the country’s first battery-diesel train, HybridFLEX.

The prototype vehicle was launched at London Marylebone Station at an event celebrating the train operator’s 25 years of operations.

HybridFLEX is developed under a collaboration between engineering firm Rolls-Royce and rolling stock owner and asset manager Porterbrook.

The train can deliver zero-emissions while running on battery power and trim noise emission at stations.

Equipped with Rolls-Royce Hybrid PowerPack, the vehicle will consume less fuel and will reduce carbon emissions by up to 25%, nitrous oxide emissions by over 70%, and particulate emissions by more than 90% as against the engines it replaces.

The HybridFLEX train is expected to commence operations in September.

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By GlobalData

UK Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris said: “HybridFLEX trains will make rail travel even greener and the air in our stations cleaner.

“Chiltern Railways have connected people for a quarter of a century and now are helping to prepare for the future as we build back greener. This is a great example of how innovation and enterprise can help us reach our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Chiltern Railways managing director Richard Allan said: “Chiltern has a fantastic track record of innovating and investing in new routes, stations, depots and trains to attract and retain customers.

“We are proud and privileged to mark our 25th anniversary by introducing colleagues and stakeholders to the HybridFLEX train. We need to modernise Chiltern again and this exciting use of new technology in an older train is a potentially very significant opportunity to help us decarbonise and improve our customer experience.”

Chiltern Railways provides train services between Birmingham, Oxford and London. It has invested more than $823.81m (£600m) into the network over the past 25 years.

Earlier this month, East Midlands Railway, in collaboration with rolling stock firm Porterbrook and emissions specialist Eminox, conducted a trial of a new emission reduction technology.