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.
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.
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