Two new hybrid trains have joined the Sellafield internal rail network, replacing older and less environmentally friendly engines.

It’s part of a plan to replace all solely diesel locomotives with smaller, all-electric 40-tonne versions, making Sellafield’s rail operations 100 per cent electrically powered in 2022.

The new CBD80 tonne locomotives, supplied by Clayton Equipment, are capable of being operated fully by electric and have the cleanest available diesel engines as back-up.

They will safely move nuclear materials and wastes across the internal rail network that criss-crosses the Sellafield site, helping to deliver the site’s purpose of creating a clean and safe environment for future generations.

Sellafield is the UK’s largest and most complex nuclear site. Its main operations are nuclear fuel reprocessing, decommissioning, and waste management.

Mark McSherry, from the Sellafield site railways team said:

“Our existing fleet has done a great job keeping site operations going but they run on diesel, have high emissions, and aren’t environmentally friendly. These new locos are hybrid; they have the cleanest diesel engines available and are able to run completely on electric with on board battery charging. They are designed to reduce operations and maintenance costs and have reduced emissions, reducing our carbon footprint. It’s all positive.

“Our future aim is to reduce the fleet that we have and decommission two of the older locos and replace the remaining diesel model with a smaller all electric version, which will make our rail operations completely electrically powered. We’re still in the commissioning phase, but all the feedback is really good. They are easier and a lot smoother and quieter to drive. It also makes the job a lot easier and reduces rework as we can move more in one go.”

Clive Hannaford, managing director of Clayton Equipment, said:

“We are very pleased with this new order to supply Sellafield Ltd with sustainable, low emission, environmentally compliant equipment which meets their commitment to invest in technology and provide cost savings with long term durability.”