SWR wins Sustainable Business Award for emissions reduction technology

Monday 21st September 2020

SWR, Portbrook and Eminox colleagues standing proud by the new system

South Western Railway (SWR) celebrated success at the prestigious National Rail Awards 2020, scooping the Sustainable Business Award for the successful trial of emissions reduction technology.

Developed in partnership with rolling stock company, Porterbrook, and emissions specialist, Eminox, the emissions reduction system has been proven to reduce harmful emissions from mid-life diesel trains by over 90 per cent.

The Sustainable Business Award was awarded to SWR for the key role the emissions reduction technology plays in promoting a sustainable transport system and helping the industry face up to climate change.

Eminox’s EMxS5 emissions reduction technology was fitted to the exhaust of a Class 159 train in full service between Waterloo and Exeter. The ground-breaking trial produced tangible results in which nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons were cut by 80 per cent, and carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions were cut by more than 90 per cent.

SWR is committed to delivering a cleaner and greener railway, and the success of this project shows that air quality can be improved in a way that is much more cost effective and sustainable than replacing trains, and more immediate than electrification.

SWR was also recognised at the National Rail Awards for a number of other initiatives:

  • The innovative Assisted Boarding Points trial was recognised for helping customers who require assistance to simply ‘turn-up and go’ without needing to book in advance.
  • Welfare Officers (like Lisa Blakeway below) were commended for helping to make the railway safer, as their visible presence has helped reduce trespass incidents and potential fatalities across the network. The officers were introduced as a joint initiative between Network Rail Wessex and SWR.
Welfare Officer, Lisa Blakeway

  • The small maintenance depot team on the Island Line received high commendation for keeping the Island Line trains, which are over 80 years old and nearing retirement, running for the 140,000 islanders and millions of visitors.
  • Susan Fishwick (below) was recognised for her work with the ‘Get Into’ Programme, in collaboration with the Prince’s Trust, which helps young people achieve their potential by learning new skills though the month-long scheme.

Susan Fishwick

Mark Hopwood, South Western Railway’s Managing Director said:

"We’re committed to improving the railway for the communities we serve, but we can only deliver first rate journeys thanks to the innovative ideas and hard work of our colleagues. 

"Our success at the prestigious National Rail Awards show how we’re not only helping to deliver a sustainable, safe, modern and accessible railway for all, but we’re willing to work with others to achieve this by implementing great ideas.

"I want to congratulate everyone on their success."

Note to editors
For more information of each winning initiative, please see below: