Vivarail battery train ready for summer passenger tests

A TWO-CAR former London Underground ‘D’ stock unit – No. 230002, converted by Vivarail at Long Marston to run on battery power – will be tested this summer on a passenger route.

The batteries fit on a raft that replaces the space used by the genset in unit 230001, with four batteries to each train (two per carriage).

The batteries produce 106kW and can be given a top-up charge during a layover at its destination, ideally an eight-minute duration, either using a pantograph, third rail pick-up gear or a static plug-in charger, similar to an electric car.

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Set No. 230002 has passed the necessary approvals for passenger use and is going through a series of final tests.

Its use is envisaged on the Bedford to Bletchley line, with graphic designer Sam Jessup (see p28) having been commissioned by West Midlands Railway to create a livery for the unit.

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