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'The Frying Scotsman' British-made green cars exported by train which runs on used vegetable oil

New eco-locomotive highlights the important role rail freight can play to make transport greener.

  • DB Cargo to deliver transport first by hauling British-made cars to continental Europe on trains fuelled by used vegetable oil
  • Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris will unveil the locomotive at the DB Cargo depot in Toton, Nottinghamshire
  • ‘I’m a climate hero’ train set to transport hundreds of Toyota cars a week from the Midlands to France and Czech Republic

In a pioneering and environmentally friendly first for the UK, hybrid cars built in the Midlands will soon be carried to continental Europe via an eco-locomotive that runs on greener fuel made from used vegetable oil.

Rail freight operator DB Cargo’s sustainable hydro-treated vegetable oil fuelled (HVO) locomotive can cut carbon emissions by up to 90% compared to diesel.

The train, named ‘I’m a climate hero’, to reflect its new role, is an important step in the transition towards the government’s goal of net zero by 2050. It highlights the important role that rail freight can play as part of the Department for Transport’s aims to make transport greener, as outlined in the government’s recent transport decarbonisation plan.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris yesterday said:

We are boosting British business while cutting carbon. This is what building back greener is all about.

Trains are one of the most eco-friendly ways to transport goods and, through ingenuity and innovation, DB Cargo are leading the way in making it even greener.

DB Cargo is the largest rail freight operating company in the country and has been trialling and expanding its use of HVO as a way to reduce carbon emissions in the short term.

This new service using HVO will transport Toyotas built in Derby to continental Europe through the Channel Tunnel and import Toyotas on its return leg.

DB Cargo CEO Andrea Rossi yesterday said:

We are very excited at the prospect of working with Toyota to trial the use of HVO on its services to and from Europe. HVO is one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels and has an important role to play in helping DB Cargo UK and its rail customers decarbonise their operations.

This will be the first time we have used HVO on an automotive service and one bound for the continent. It’s a first on many levels for us.

Leon van der Merwe, Vice President Supply Chain, Toyota Motor Europe, yesterday said:

As a company, we are dedicated to making continuous progress towards carbon neutrality and this includes seeking ways to reduce emissions from manufacturing, vehicle use and logistics.

By utilising this new rail freight multi-modal opportunity, we are helping to ensure our low emission hybrid electric vehicles built at our British Burnaston plant can be transported to our customers in an increasingly sustainable way.

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