The Anonymous Widower

Grand Central DMU To Be Used For Dual-Fuel Trial

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first two paragraphs.

An Alstom Class 180 Adelante diesel-hydraulic multiple-unit is to be converted to run on a combination of diesel and liquefied natural gas in a dual-fuel technology demonstration project.

One car of the DMU which Arriva-owned open access inter-city operator Grand Central leases from Angel Trains is to be equipped with dual-fuel technology company G-volution’s Optimiser system, which is used in the road sector. The modifications are expected to be straightforward, enabling trials on the national network to start later this year.

The article dates from May 2019 and I suspect the small matter of the pandemic and Grand Central’s resulting three closures due to lockdowns are the reason this development hasn’t been heard of since.

But this was the London end of the Class 180 train, that I rode from Mirfield to King’s Cross.

I haven’t ridden in a Class 180 train for some years and there was nothing to indicate from the performance, that it was not a standard train.

There are fourteen of these 125 mph trains.

This explanatory video of G-volution’s technology is on the G-volution web site.

Note that in the video, one of G-volution’s Managing Director; Chris Smith says that the technology is fuel agnostic and will work with a range of fuels including ammonia, biodiesel, bio-LPG, hydrogen and methanol.


It will be very interesting to see what is decided to be the ideal fuel-combination and how much reduction is possible for the various emissions.

I’ll end with two questions.

Will Passengers Like The New Trains?

What is there not to like! Same train and performance with lower emissions.

Will Cummins Like What G-volution Have Done To Their Engines?

Cummins might be a bit miffed, as they built the QSK19 engines for the Class 180 trains and may have their own plans for them. But they are a practical and flexible company in my experience and generally they do what the customer needs or wants. Decarbonisation is surely in everybody’s interest.

Incidentally, the same Cummins diesel engines are used in the TransPennine Express, Class 185 trains, I’ve been riding in most of today.

There are fifty-one of these 100 mph trains in use in the UK. They could be ideal for some long routes, if they could be converted to low-emission.



December 16, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. If you have read the G-volution patents you will appreciate that Cummins won’t be upset as in order to adapt the engine it really needs the participation of the engine OEM to make a successful modification free of perturbation. In fact it seems that the QSK19 is the only Cummins engine referred to where it has previously been modified for heavy automotive and marine applications. G-volution also have close cooperative arrangements with Volvo and MAN.
    The patents are well worth a look through particularly from the aspect of control engineering.

    Comment by Alan Morris | December 17, 2021 | Reply

  2. Thanks! I wonder, if these dual-fuel engines take advantage of similar technology that I backed. We all know the speed of sound in water and air, but what is it in a bubbly mixture of air and water. Surprisingly, it is around walking pace. The company I backed, created a nitrogen-powered aerosol valve which was sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    We talked to Jaguar and Lotus about fuel-injection and I experimented, with using the technique to mix oil and water to create an emulsion.

    When you get down to very small amounts of liquid/gas mixtures funny things happen and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re at the heart of these dual fuel systems.

    I don’t care, as I made a lot of money from my investment.

    Comment by AnonW | December 17, 2021 | Reply

  3. […] Grand Central DMU To Be Used For Dual-Fuel Trial, I talk about how Grand Central in collaboration with a company called G-volution are running […]

    Pingback by What Will Happen To Northern’s Class 195 Trains? « The Anonymous Widower | December 23, 2021 | Reply

  4. […] G-volution are developing a dual-fuel Class 180 train, that I wrote about in Grand Central DMU To Be Used For Dual-Fuel Trial. […]

    Pingback by Dual-Fuel Class 37 And 66 Locomotive Concepts Unveiled « The Anonymous Widower | March 30, 2022 | Reply

  5. […] Note that another G-volution project is described in Grand Central DMU To Be Used For Dual-Fuel Trial. […]

    Pingback by Decarbonising Auxiliary Load In Freight Today « The Anonymous Widower | November 17, 2022 | Reply

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