Bombardier Celebrates Innovative Battery Powered Train

Image Courtesy of Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation has launched a Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU), which can be driven entirely by battery technology, which will also draw power from its pantograph. The battery train has been modified from an existing Stansted Express Class 379 ELECTROSTAR electrical multiple unit (EMU) train. The upgraded train is operated by Abellio Greater Anglia and is part of a research program which is partly funded by Network Rail and the Rail Executive are of the Department for Transport. A press event was held where passengers were able to view the IPEMU and travel from Harwich International, and meet with the specialists from Bombardier, Network Rail and other partner agencies.

The upgrade of the ELECTROSTAR Class 279 train took 7-months to design, with help from industry stake-holders. The designen abled the installation andintegrationof an operational traction batter system. For the design to hold the new battery system and underframe, engineers modified thecarriage.

Bombardier Battery Technology

Engineers also added high voltage and communications cabling, standard safety features and battery controls as well as integrated the traction and train control management systems. The new design uses existing line converter equipment to charge the batteries and connects the motor converters to the batteries when the 25 kVAC overhead line is not available.

In addition to its low noise and reduced energy consumption, battery operations main benefit is that it enables the train to cross non-electrified lines or can be used in the event of electrical failures without using overhead wire systems or diesel power. They can also use branch lines where it is not cost-effective to install additional overhead electrification as well as expanding rolling stock capacity by increasing the flexibility of existing diesel powered trains.

Per Allmer, Head of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Bombardier Transportation, said:

“The IPEMU demonstrates what battery technology offers the rail industry. Following extensive design and testing work, the train has now successfully begun a trial passenger service, proving the viability of the concept. It’s a technology we can incorporate onto future new-build trains, such as our BOMBARDIER AVENTRA platform and retro-fit into existing modern rail vehicles, adding value to existing fleets.”

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