Use the bi-mode option
To reduce transport’s energy consumption, trains and buses must become more attractive for journeys through densely populated areas.
Bi-modes could displace all pre-privatisation diesel multiple units (Classes 150-166) by 2028, because of advanced age, emissions non-compliance, and inadequate or absent airconditioning. This would facilitate incremental electrification, starting with straightforward (most favourable clearances) sections of different routes.
Stadler’s FLIRT bi-mode ( RAIL 853), which is more powerful than an HST power car, could manage 125mph on diesel engines (removable by uncoupling vehicles).
Manufacturers should use Stadler’s approach of Jacobs bogies, dedicated power cars, and shorter carriage bodies - enabling level boarding and minimised platform-train gaps, and thus tackling social exclusion and inactivity.
Ben Hughes, North Yorkshire