Hitachi Rail pioneers sustainable rail technology in Europe with the Masaccio battery train

Hitachi Rail pioneers sustainable rail technology in Europe with the Masaccio battery train

Equipped with state-of-the-art hybrid technology, the Masaccio train runs on battery, electric, hybrid, and diesel power, reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs by 50% compared to standard diesel trains.

Hitachi Rail has achieved a significant milestone in European rail transport with the completion of the first phase of production of the Masaccio battery train. The tribrid train, capable of operating on battery, electric, hybrid, and diesel power, has already commenced operations on various routes throughout Italy. The completion of the first 20 trains, known as "Blues" and ordered by Trenitalia, is part of a larger framework agreement covering up to 135 trains.

The Masaccio train is the first fleet in Europe to use batteries as the main power source for commercial use. Hitachi Rail has extended its capabilities by incorporating batteries into the power system of the Masaccio train. This hybrid technology allows the train to switch seamlessly between different power sources, optimizing efficiency and reducing environmental impact.

The introduction of the Masaccio train marks a significant step towards decarbonizing European rail travel. By running on battery power in non-electrified urban areas, the train eliminates emissions, including harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx), while also reducing noise pollution. Compared to standard diesel trains, the Masaccio train slashes carbon emissions and fuel consumption by 50%, making it a more sustainable and eco-friendly option.

The Masaccio train is also designed to be compatible with other European railways, ensuring seamless operation across the continent. It is built to a common European gauge and is equipped with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) digital signaling as standard. This interoperability enhances the train's versatility and opens up opportunities for its use beyond Italy, offering a greener alternative for rail travel throughout Europe.

The Masaccio train also addresses the challenge of electrification in the rail industry. “With around 40% of regional lines across the continent remaining un-electrified, battery hybrid technology can have an immediate impact. In Italy, the tribrid Blues train is helping cut carbon emissions by 50% compared to existing diesel services. We know that consumers increasingly prioritize the sustainability of their travel choices. Trains like the Masaccio mean that we can ensure comfortable, clean and efficient rail is an option for as many people as possible across Europe,” said Luca D’Aquila, Chief Operating Officer Hitachi Rail Group and CEO of Hitachi Rail Italy.

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