Next-Generation Battery Train to Launch at COP26 Climate Conference

Vivarail’s next-generation battery train will be launched at the international climate change conference COP26 this November, and will run daily services throughout the event.

Vivarail train at Droitwich
Vivarail train at Droitwich

This will support the UK government and rail industry’s ambition to reach carbon reduction targets by showcasing the emission-free technology in action.

As part of the spirit of collaboration across the rail industry, Vivarail has been helped by SLC Operations, Alstom and VTG with drivers, electrical charging and transport.

The zero-emission train uses new batteries to combine maximum range with the ability to recharge quickly. The result is a train that can travel for up to 80 miles on battery power and recharge in only 10 minutes using Vivarail’s Fast Charge system.

The development of this system was supported by an Innovate UK grant and will shortly begin its final stage of Network Rail approvals.

Steve McBride, Managing Director of Vivarail, said:

“It's a great honour to be asked to support such an important event. The achievement of an innovative British company like Vivarail to build a first in class train is a great example of our country’s ingenuity and ability to find new technologies and ways to do things.

“Our R&D team has spent three years developing these new batteries, working with specialists Hoppecke. The result is a new traction and charging system able to convert diesel stock or act as range extenders on other types of electric train. We are now ready to play our part in delivering an electrified network in the shortest possible time.

“We have already sold our first train to the United States – with a second on order. As part of the RDC family we have benefitted from insights and help from the US and Europe, so we know our products have ready export potential – helping decarbonise across the world.”

A hydrogen-powered train will also feature in a fringe event at COP26, announced earlier this year by Network Rail and Porterbrook.

Together these two solutions will give guests a first-hand experience of how alternative fuel trains of the future will play a vital part in building back better and greener from the pandemic.

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