Hitachi Rail has partnered with Hyperdrive Innovation to develop battery packs for trains. The two parties will also create a battery hub in the North East of Britain.
The two companies, both of whom already have an established presence in the North East, wish to speed up the development of batteries that can be mass-produced. Battery-technology, like electrified operation, has the benefit of being emission-free during operation.
Hitachi Rail acknowledges that this move is a response to the UK’s poor electrification figures, stating that only 42 percent of the rail network is currently electrified. Further, the UK government has set decarbonisation targets while also having abolished electrification programmes, quite frankly the better solution for all mainlines and all lines running higher-frequency services or services above certain speeds.
However, given the circumstances, Hitachi Rail believes that the potential market for Hyperdrive and Hitachi’s battery technology is in excess of 400 trains.
The agreement between Hyperdrive and Hitachi is a step towards commencing battery production at Hyperdrive’s HYVE site in Sunderland. The batteries could then be installed on trains at Hitachi’s factory in Newton Aycliffe 20 miles away.
Hitachi has identified 275 of its trains on the British rail network as suitable for early fitment with battery technology. Hitachi also wants to fit its batteries on new metro and intercity trains that will replace current diesel fleets coming to the end of their lifespans.
Battery trains produce no greenhouse gases or air pollution while in operation. They are also much quieter than their diesel counterparts. Retrofitting existing trains with batteries can increase their range. For example, installing them on electric trains could allow services to be extended to non-electrified sections of track.
“Battery trains can play a vital role in improving the air we breathe, tackling climate change and providing modern, high performing rail service – all things we know passengers want to see.
“The partnership with Hyperdrive creates shovel-ready opportunity for new battery trains to be ordered now. As well as new trains, this is also a window of opportunity to cut carbon and supercharge a green recovery in the North East and across the UK.”
British trains currently use 469 million litres of diesel every year, creating 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Birmingham City Council has granted planning permission approval for HS2's Washwood Heath Depot, north-east of Birmingham city centre.
The UK and Welsh governments are working on a 2.7m GBP study to explore options for new rail stations and services between England and Wales.
Alstom will operate its Coradia iLint hydrogen-powered train on the Réseau Charlevoix rail network in Quebec, Canada.
A feasibility project led by Porterbrook and Eminox to to help reduce NOx emissions in enclosed stations has delivered positive results.
Scotland's Transport Minister has opened Inverness Airport rail station, with passenger trains arriving and departing from 3 February.
The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and the University of Sheffield are developing an AI tool to predict low adhesion track conditions.
California Governor Newsom has announced more than 2.5 billion USD in funding for 16 ongoing projects to improve passenger rail services.
Alstom has concluded its project of manufacturing 163 DT5 metro vehicles for the Hamburg Metro, operated by Hamburger Hochbahn.
HS2's tunnel boring machines, Florence and Cecilia have passed the halfway point on their 10-mile journey excavating the Chiltern tunnels.
Polregio has signed framework agreements with FPS H.Cegielski, Pesa Bydgoszcz SA, Newag SA and Stadler Polska for up to 200 electric trains.
Book your place now at Rolling Stock Networking, taking place on 6 July 2023, as available stand space is now limited.
Amtrak was joined by President Biden, the US DoT and Maryland officials to execute the Project Kickoff for the B&P Tunnel Replacement.
Metroselskabet has contracted Alstom to deliver mid-life fleet modernisation of the M1 and M2 metro trains in Copenhagen, Denmark.
HS2 Ltd’s contractor, Align JV has installed the last of 292 concrete piles, forming the foundations for the UK’s longest railway bridge.
Network Rail has upgraded Banbury train depot to keep trains moving on the Chiltern main line during HS2 construction.
A new substation in South Yarra has been switched on to provide power for high-capacity trains travelling through the Melbourne Metro Tunnel.
Brightline is testing trains at 110 miles per hour in northern Palm Beach County from Saturday 11 February.
Los Angeles Metro has released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the C Line (Green) extension in LA, California.
The inaugural Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train arrived into Grand Central Madison, Manhattan, on 25 January.
Work has begun on the expansion of the West Midlands Metro depot, which includes extended and updated workshop and maintenance facilities.
Network Rail is upgrading almost three miles of railway tracks to improve the reliability of trains running through Scarborough.
Alstom has unveiled two new trainsets for the Hauts-de-France Region: the Omneo Premium and the Regio 2N equipped with ERTMS.
The first of Transport for Wales’ (TfW) new fleet of trains has been officially launched at a ceremony at Llandudno railway station.
The Eurostar Group, an alliance of Thalys and Eurostar, has marked a new milestone with the unveiling of its new brand.
Progress is being made towards Network Rail’s goal to upgrade the UK railway’s ageing telecoms infrastructure.
Aargau Verkehr has ordered five low-floor ABe 4/8 Saphir II trains for the Wynental and Suhrentalbahn (WSB) railway in Aargau, Switzerland.
Estonian railway operator Eesti Liinirongid (Elron) has taken up the option for a further 10 electric trains from Škoda Group.
Talgo has signed an agreement with LE TRAIN to develop a fleet of high-speed trains based on its Avril platform.
STM has announced that over 565 million CAD is being invested to equip the Montréal Metro with a new train control system.
FS Italiane has announced that new high-speed Trenitalia rail services between Rome and Milan commenced service on 23 January.
The first five-metre-tall V-shaped pier for the Curzon No. 3 Viaduct into HS2's Curzon Street Station in Birmingham has been installed.
National Express Rail has been awarded the contract to operate the German RE1 and RE11 Rhein-Ruhr-Express (RRX) lines up to 2033.
Freight railroad operator, BNSF has released a 3.96bn USD capital investment plan for 2023, which focusses on improving its core network.
The new four-car Moravia trainset has entered trial operation on the S2 line from Brno to Letovice in South Moravia.
Amtrak has received submissions from 10 manufacturers regarding replacement railcars for its overnight routes.
Varamis Rail has collaborated with Network Rail to launch a 'zero-carbon freight service' between Scotland and the Midlands.
New funding has been announced for Network Rail to deliver transformational rail projects in the South West of England.
Metrolinx has announced that tunnelling is now underway on Scarborough’s 7.8-km subway extension in Toronto, Canada.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed to promote and develop high-speed rail projects across North-East Europe.
Stadler has won the contract to supply eight four-car FLIRT3 XL vehicles for use on the Rheingau Express (RE) lines in Germany.
Île-de-France Mobilités has announced that the last of 73 Regio 2N trains to equip line N has arrived at Gare Montparnasse in Paris.
Renfe has commenced on-route testing of its AVE high-speed trains that will operate between Spain and France.
Škoda has received an order for nine sleeping coaches and eight freight wagons for cars from Finnish state railway company VR Group.
Liverpool City Region’s new fleet of publicly-owned trains could enter service as soon as 23 January, the city mayor has announced.
RATP Dev has been awarded a one-year Early Operator Assistance contract for the Belgrade automated metro system.
VR Sweden has renewed a contract with Alstom to provide maintenance for the 30-strong Tåg i Bergslagen’s (Tågab) fleet of regional trains.
Siemens Mobility will supply Indian Railways with 1,200 locomotives, marking the single largest locomotive order in its history.
ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (RCG) has founded a new subsidiary in Belgrade, Serbia to provide sustainable rail freight transport.
Sydney Metro has contracted Hyundai Movex to install mechanical gap fillers at stations for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
Rail Baltic Estonia has awarded the design works of seven regional stations across the counties of Harju and Pärnu to Ardanuy Ingeneria.
Stadler has signed an agreement with DB Netz to retrofit up to 80 maintenance and track service vehicles with its GUARDIA ETCS system.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has confirmed the first instalment of its 72 million GBP investment in Coventry Very Light Rail.
CAF has taken ownership of the former BWW Bismarck railway depot in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
Île-de-France Mobilités has announced plans to update metro line 6’s entire fleet of MP73 trains and update the line's track and platforms.
Major works were completed last month to the Bakerloo line and London Overground between London Euston and Watford Junction.
Alstom has signed a contract to supply 10 three-car Metropolis trains for operation on Line 1 of the Santo Domingo Metro.
Thales has been selected to design, install and commission the Operation Control Centre (OCC) for Line 7 of the Santiago Metro in Chile.
Works on the Bay Line transformation project in Wales are set begin with the construction of a new two-platform Butetown railway station.
A total of 130 metres of double track has been installed along Lower Bull Street as part of the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension project.
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York's Interborough Express service will be constructed as a light rail line.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has signed a new 10-year locomotive leasing deal with rolling stock leasing company, Akiem.
FEATI University, the Philippines, has set its sights on becoming a leading academic institution in railway engineering and technology.
EMR and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre are developing a simulation tool to improve depot efficiency.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) has signed an agreement with Hitachi, Mermec, Progress Rail and Alstom to install ERTMS onboard its trains.
Alstom will carry out an overhaul of ScotRail’s Class 334 fleet of 40 trains that operate between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Brightline has released a video and renderings of the future station at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is introducing real-time occupancy information displays on regional routes for the very first time.
Irish Rail has awarded John Sisk and Son the contract for phase 1 works to reinstate the Limerick to Foynes rail line for freight services.
Three international consortiums have qualified for the second stage of the Rail Baltica energy subsystem design and construction procurement.
The West Coast mainline near Carstairs has been reopened for passenger services after emergency engineering works was completed.
Orlando's Right Rail and Universal Orlando Resort have announced plans to open a new SunRail station at the Orange County Convention Center.
The construction tender for the second section of Rail Baltica mainline in Estonia has been announced. Construction is to begin later in 2023.
The Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) is continuing with its largest ever expansion and investment programme in 2023.
Renfe Mercancías has announced plans to invest 122.7 million EUR into the decarbonisation and digitisation of freight rail in Spain.
Beijing MTR, a subsidiary of MTR Corporation, has announced the opening of Beijing Metro Line 16’s phase III southern section.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has reached its target volume for biofuel two years ahead of target, hitting 17 million litres of HVO.
Network Rail has completed a series of improvement works for the Transpennine Route Upgrade between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Egypt National Railways (ENR) has commenced the commercial operation of Talgo Intercity trains between Cairo and Alexandria.
An Alstom consortium has been awarded two new signalling and electrification contracts to support rail modernisation in Romania.
Slovakian rail company ZSSK has ordered a further five RegioPanter electric units from Skoda Group as part of the modernisation of its fleet.
The US DOT has announced nearly 9 billion USD in funding to upgrade and expand passenger rail services along the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
The first RegioPanter trains have commenced service on the newly electrified line from Olomouc to Šumperk via Uničov in the Czech Republic.
LTG Infra has announced a new tender for Rail Baltica construction works in Kėdainiai and Panevėžys, Lithuania.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has opened its extended vehicle hall at the ICE maintenance plant in Berlin-Rummelsburg.
Progress Rail has been contracted to supply 12 new GT46 locomotives to Qube, an import and export logistics service provider in Australia.
Alstom has completed the extension of the PHX Sky Train automated people mover (APM) system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Brightline has celebrated the ribbon cutting of its Aventura and Boca Raton train stations in Florida, US.
In his final column of the year, Jonn Elledge discusses British and European night trains and uses the phrases 'utter delight' and 'magical'!
VIA Rail Canada has announced the incorporation of VIA HFR to manage the development and delivery of its new High Frequency Rail project.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI have inaugurated the Madrid-Murcia high-speed railway line.
Transdev is modernising its fleet in Germany with the introduction of 16 four-unit Stadler FLIRT 3 XL articulated trainsets.
Trenitalia’s ‘Blues’ battery hybrid train is the first tri-mode train to enter passenger service in Europe.
Houston METRO has debuted the first of 14 new fourth generation (H4) light rail vehicles (LRV) for use in downtown Houston, Texas.
Construction has begun on Union Station’s new south passenger concourse in Toronto.When completed it will span roughly 325 metres.
The first RER New Generation (NG) 130-metre train has arrived at SNCF’s Technicentre in Villeneuve Saint-George, France.
Renfe has purchased an additional 97 new Cercanías and Media Distancia trains as part of its train fleet renewal plan.
The Parklife Metro consortium has been awarded the third and final major contract for the Sydney Metro — Western Sydney Airport project.
Transport for London (TfL) has contracted Dr. Sauer & Partners and Arup to complete a Bakerloo Line Extension feasibility study.
Dutch transport company, HTM has contracted Stadler to supply 56 TINA trams for use in The Hague, the Netherlands from 2026.
Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.