Labour Councillors have called for clean hybrid trains to replace the dirty, polluting diesel trains currently operating from Marylebone to Birmingham. Councillors have written to Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris calling for the new contract from Marylebone to stipulate that all diesel coaches are converted to diesel/battery bi-mode hybrids as quickly as possible and certainly within a short time period.
Chiltern Railways currently lease Class 68 diesel locomotives to run their service to Birmingham. Chiltern Railways’ current franchise ends on 31 December 2021 and the Department for Transport is expected to make a Direct Award of a contract for between one and six years.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour City Management spokesperson, said:
“These diesel locomotives currently operating from Marylebone were designed to move heavy freight. The levels of noise and pollution which they give out make them unacceptable for passenger use, especially in heavily populated areas such as Marylebone Station. I have urged the Government to take firm action so that when the current leasing of these expires at the end of this year, Chiltern is not permitted to renew the leasing contract on Class 68 locomotives. “
“Residents want the new contract to stipulate that all diesel coaches are converted to diesel/battery bi-mode hybrids as quickly as possible and certainly within a given, short time, period. Diesel/battery hybrid technology offers a much faster route to reduce NO2 and PM pollution which blights the health of many people who live near the station and tracks. This will enable the engines to be run on battery when in urban areas, thereby reducing the levels of noise and noxious fumes when approaching Marylebone, which is unique in being situated in a highly populated area.”