Railways Illustrated

Our Verdict

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Railways Illustrate­d was invited to the launch event for the Hybridflex on February 10 for the inaugural passenger journey of the train between London Marylebone and Aylesbury. The operator plans to mainly use the adapted train on the Aylesbury route, although it is expected to find use on other lines across Chiltern’s network. The train is smart and has been given a distinctiv­e vinyl wrap, so there is no mistaking which member of the fleet has been used to trial the technology. In normal operating situations the train is supposed to use its batteries for departing and arriving at stations, with the diesel engine normally kicking in once the train is away from station environmen­ts.

The train’s performanc­e was impressive, with generally smooth braking and accelerati­on.

It is incredibly quiet when operated using its batteries.

Chiltern says 168329 will be tested for a year, and the operator is also due to operate trials of a HYDROFLEX train from its fleet, using Hydrogen technology, with work on the conversion of a Class 165 from the Chiltern fleet (165004) currently progressin­g.

The results of the two trains will be analysed and will hopefully allow Chiltern to settle on whichever technology provides the best results for itself, as well as its passengers and also residents who live close to Chiltern’s stations.

 ?? Andy Coward ?? RIGHT: The first 100mph battery diesel Hybridflex unit, 168329, stands at Aylesbury on February 10, having earlier worked its first passengerc­arrying service from London Marylebone. The unit is adorned with a vinyl wrap celebratin­g its new technology.
Andy Coward RIGHT: The first 100mph battery diesel Hybridflex unit, 168329, stands at Aylesbury on February 10, having earlier worked its first passengerc­arrying service from London Marylebone. The unit is adorned with a vinyl wrap celebratin­g its new technology.
 ?? Andy Coward ?? ABOVE: Chiltern Railways managing director Richard Allan celebrates the launch of Hybridflex 168329 at London Marylebone, highlighti­ng one of the main motivation­s behind the project.
Andy Coward ABOVE: Chiltern Railways managing director Richard Allan celebrates the launch of Hybridflex 168329 at London Marylebone, highlighti­ng one of the main motivation­s behind the project.

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