Posted 10th November 2021 | 3 Comments

Intercity battery hybrid train to be created

Intercity battery hybrid train to be created

Hitachi and Angel Trains have announced a project to create a battery hybrid train for intercity services on TransPennine Express. The work will including retrofitting an existing Class 802 'Nova 1' unit, with test runs set to start next year. It is hoped that such a train will save at least 20 per cent of fuel, and reduce carbon emissions by a similar amount. Assuming that the trials are successful, Hitachi and Angel said they will create a 'pathway' for plans to convert the rest of the 19-strong fleet. Angel Trains CEO Malcolm Brown said: 'Investing in battery technology for our fleet of Hitachi Class 802 trains is critical to delivering a greener service. We are committed to supporting the Government's net zero targets.'

Reader Comments:

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  • strawbrick, Watford

    Nova units are diesel powered.
    The heavy batteries will add to the dead weight of the trains and so must reduce the basic power to weight ratio. I accept that the batteries may used to supplement the diesel engine for short periods of time, but the basic reduction will remain.
    In addition, although the batteries may get a charge from regenerative breaking, there will still be a requirement for the diesel engine to charge the batteries, at which time either the power available to move the train is reduced or the diesel engine will not be coasting when it might otherwise do so.
    I would therefore suggest that the overall fuel consumption of the diesels, and hence the emissions at the tail-pipe, will be only marginally reduced - perhaps someone has done the figures and can prove me wrong.
    There will need to be static charging points at depots and also end of route stations when the diesel engines are shut down and the "hotel" services are consuming power, plus enhanced power distribution cables to those sites. These will all have energy & environmental costs.
    There are also energy and environmental costs in producing and then disposing of the the batteries, and in producing the additional infra-structure required to generate the required electricity 24/7 to feed the batteries.
    Again, I assume that someone has done the figures and can tell me that there is a net benefit to the environment

  • Greg T, London

    Better than nothing
    The real solution, of course, is to properly electrify all main lines, at the very least.
    With this government ??

  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    Great News. I have always thought that Scientific innovation will solve the Climate Crisis. As soon as there is money to be made from 'going green' then the problems will be solved. The American Elon Musk has become one of the World's richest men by taking a huge risk in successfully building electric cars.