Network Rail has completed a set of engineering work in Royston while producing zero carbon emissions.

Teams worked over four nights to complete overhead line equipment renewals throughout the station.

Instead of using traditional, carbon-intensive, diesel-powered generators and rail equipment, they piloted a zero-emission worksite - with engineers using hybrid rail engineering vehicles in battery mode, battery-powered welfare facilities and battery and solar-powered tower lighting.

Royston Crow: The work at Royston station used hybrid rail engineering vehicles operating solely in battery mode.The work at Royston station used hybrid rail engineering vehicles operating solely in battery mode. (Image: Network Rail)

An 80kw battery pack was used to power the welfare facilities and charge the rail vehicles. Engineers also used battery-powered tools, and recyclable materials including plastics, paper and other consumables.

Hamish Critchell-Ward, environment manager at Network Rail, said: "This is a hugely positive step forward for Network Rail and the rail industry.

"We’re passionate about finding better, more environmentally friendly ways of carrying out essential maintenance and this is a great example of that.

"It has been great to work with industry partners on this project. Their support has been invaluable in helping this pilot be as successful as it has been.

"As we move forward and develop, Network Rail will continue to work closely with its supply chain to deliver environmental benefits during its work.

"This is just the beginning for us and we’re confident that this way of working will expand further into future engineering work."


Zero carbon emissions were created on the site - a first for Network Rail's Eastern region. Rolling this way of working out across future engineering worksites will help Network Rail reach its target of being Net Zero by 2050.

The work at Royston aims to ensure passengers experience smoother, more reliable journeys.

Owen Laws, electrification and sustainable development project manager at Network Rail, said: "This project has been months in the planning and preparation, and I’m delighted that it has finally come to fruition and been so successful.

"We want this to be a rolling programme of work throughout Network Rail and I’m looking forward to helping other teams deliver engineering work projects in a more sustainable way.

"Renewing our overhead line equipment at Royston creates a more resilient railway network and means more reliable journeys for passengers."