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UK trials battery-powered train, ditching diesel

The UK is trialling its first battery-powered intercity train, aiming to reduce emissions and fuel costs by 30%

The UK’s first trial of replacing a diesel engine with a battery on an intercity train has commenced.

The initiative is a collaboration between Angel Trains, TransPennine Express, Turntide Technologies and Hitachi Rail.

The battery, built using the North East supply chain, has been retrofitted onto a TransPennine Express ‘Nova 1’ train.

It is expected to reduce emissions and fuel costs by up to 30%.

The battery, with a peak power of over 700kw, will enable the train to maintain high speed performance while being no heavier than the diesel engine it replaces.

This trial will test the battery’s effectiveness in allowing trains to enter, alight, and leave non-electrified stations in zero-emission mode, improving air quality and reducing noise pollution.

The battery was developed with Turntide Technologies in Sunderland.

The trial aims to provide evidence for a potential 100% battery-electric intercity train, capable of running up to 100 kilometres in battery mode.

This technology could eliminate the need for overhead wires in certain sections, reducing infrastructure costs.

Jim Brewin, Chief Director UK & Ireland at Hitachi Rail, said: “This is an important next step towards a more energy efficient and greener railway.”

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