AN ENGINEERING assessment undertaken by Porterbrook has indicated there is a case for the conversion of a Class 350/2 EMU into a battery/electric bi-mode.
The units are one of the most reliable in service, and Porterbrook says with addition of the latest battery technology, the ‘BatteryFLEX’ – as its been dubbed – would be able to match, or outperform, diesel trains on non-electrified routes.Porterbrook has modelled energy and power demands for routes such as the Windermere branch, where a BatteryFLEX unit would eliminate diesel use on non-electrified lines, while maintaining the ability of these highly reliable trains to operate using overhead electrical wires.
Modelling of Class 350/2 performance over the West Coast Main Line also shows these trains can match or outperform rolling stock, particularly on local services.
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Porterbrook is in discussions with specialists in battery chemistry with a view to creating a demonstrator unit that can showcase this new technology to interested train operators.
Read more News and Features in the November issue of The RM – on sale now!