The TU Dresden, the University of Birmingham and Rock Rail have entered into a research collaboration to study innovative battery technology as an environmentally friendly alternative traction technology for the rail sector.
The two academic institutions have joined forces to investigate battery traction technology for the railways. Rock Rail, which leases rolling stock to TOCs among other things, is the initiator behind the project. It says the research work will foster its operations in Germany, where it wishes to make rolling stock with modern and environmentally friendly combined electric and battery traction technology available in the German market.
The project is one of four international projects housed at BTS Rail Saxony’s SET4FUTURE rail innovation cluster.
One way in which rail can contribute to reducing the overall carbon footprint of the transport sector is by making its traction greener. Electrification is already a green and – depending on the source of the electricity – emission-free option for powering trains. Of Germany’s total rail network, 60 percent is electrified and this 60 percent sees 90 percent of all traffic volume.
Leaving aside the question of whether electrifying a greater percentage of the network is economically viable, it remains an option for non-electrified routes to run services that have low-carbon propulsion alternatives to diesel. And it is these options that the collaboration between TU Dresden and the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education wants to investigate.
“For more than 10 years we have been conducting research on alternative electric propulsion for modern rail vehicles. Now this topic has reached the public market and requires a swift assessment of the various operating options. We can achieve this with the conjoint support of our colleagues in Birmingham in the best manner. Railways are a European transport vehicle and therefore require solutions on a European level.”
The project will have a runtime of three months. During this time, researchers will examine the potential of battery technologies to replace traditional diesel traction on Germany’s rail network.
“We are really pleased to be working with our industry partner Rock Rail and our friends at the Technische Universität Dresden on this relevant research assessing battery technology for trains. Rail decarbonisation is the big challenge facing the global rail industry and our two universities are at the forefront of research and development work in this field. As leaders in the field of railway traction power and energy systems, our research is hugely important in developing the future solutions that will deliver a decarbonised railway.”
The project partners met at a technology workshop in March 2020 that was funded by the Free State of Saxony and organised by SET4FUTURE together with the UK’s Rail Alliance and BTS Rail Saxony. Both of these organisations have been working closely together over the past ten years as part of ERCI – the European Railway Clusters Initiative.
“I am very happy about the dynamic development of the European Railway Clusters Initiative, ERCI. Such research projects result from a regular and intensive international exchange and the mutual trust that has been growing over many years. Not least they are an important driver to fulfil our mission and strengthen the railway industry in Europe.”
BTS Rail Saxony is the largest railway cluster in central Germany. SET4FUTURE is one of four clusters that has been receiving funding from the Free State of Saxony since July 2018. It aims to improve the efficiency, profitability and attractiveness of rail transport through technological innovations.
Bombardier will overhaul 143 first-generation double-decker TWINDEXX coaches for Israel Railways, including modernising the doors.
The European Commission has published the 7th monitoring report (2015–2018) on the development of the rail market in the EU.
Siemens Mobility has signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of 1,000km of high-speed rail lines in Egypt.
Stadler has signed a framework agreement with Austrian Federal Railways for up to 20 fire-fighting and rescue trains.
Ballard Power Systems announces order from Arcola Energy for modules to power Scotland’s first fuel cell-powered train.
Bombardier has signed a contract with SNCF for three additional OMNEO Regio 2N trains for the Île-de-France region (Paris).
Alstom's Citadis X05 trams have started carry passengers on the South Circular section of the Circular light rail line in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
BNSF and Wabtec are testing a battery-electric locomotive between Barstow and Stockton (CA) to test the viability of battery technology.
Network Rail and its partners have launched the tram train pilot learning hub, a "comprehensive body of learning" that is free to access.
A look at Edmonton's Valley Line Southeast, which is due to open in 2021. 2021 will also see the start of phase 2 construction.
Stadler will supply eight electric multiple units for the Centovalli railway between Switzerland and Italy starting in 2023.
During the Christmas closure of London King's Cross, Network Rail engineers lifted all four tracks going into the station to divert a sewer.
A look at three rail line extensions that will open in the United States in 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, and the Boston area.
Colorado Pacific Railroad will challenge a deal between Union Pacific and Rio Grande Pacific to run rail services on the Tennessee Pass Line.
Bombardier will supply 33 OMNEO Regio 2N double-decker trains to SNCF for the Hauts-de-France region. Delivery will begin in 2024.
Alstom has deployed its ground-charging technology for the Eminonu-Alibeykoy tramway in Istanbul, Turkey, 9km of which opened on 1 Jan 2021.
Bombardier will maintain the rail vehicle fleet and wayside track and overhead line assets for a Toronto light rail project for 30 years.
Alstom has completed the first test run for the Mostaganem tramway project in Algeria. The rolling stock for the 14km line is the Citadis.
Skoda Transportation will deliver a further 79 low-floor RegioPanter electric multiple units to Czech Railways (České dráhy) over four years.
TransLink has ordered 205 rail cars – 41 five-car metro trains – for Vancouver's SkyTrain from manufacturer Bombardier Transportation.
The new S-Bahn trains for Berlin, built by a Stadler-Siemens Mobility consortium, will enter passenger service on the city's Ringbahn line.
Bombardier has completed the first ZEFIRO Express for Västtrafik. The high-speed train will now undergo testing and commissioning.
Alstom has won a contract with Toulouse Metropole to supply systems for the Toulouse Aerospace Express metro line, including rolling stock.
Bombardier will upgrade 73 of Railpool's TRAXX MS2 locomotives from ETCS Baseline 2 to Baseline 3 to deliver safety and performance benefits.
HS2 has started its search for a switches and crossings supplier for Phase 1 and Phase 2a of the high-speed line between London and Crewe.
Success for the Autonomous Train project: a Prima BB 27000 locomotive ran semi-autonomously on the French national rail network under ERTMS.
Berlin will get up to 117 new FLEXITY trams after Bombardier and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) signed a framework agreement worth €571m.
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated former Mayor of South Bend as his transportation secretary, a move welcomed by the rail industry.
The National Infrastructure Commission has published its Rail Needs Assessment report, causing widespread dismay over possible cuts to HS2.
Hitachi has partnered with Eversholt Rail to install batteries in a Class 802 Intercity Express Train, removing one of the diesel engines.
Seth Moulton introduced the American High-Speed Rail Act which proposes to invest $205 billion in the US's high-speed rail infrastructure.
Estonia's rail infrastructure manager Esti Raudtee has awarded a contract to electrify the country's rail network to a Spanish JV.
Bombardier has revealed its first body shell for its FLEXITY trams for Dresden, which have undergone testing and have been accepted by DVB.
On Sunday, 13 December, timetabled passenger and freight services started operating through the Ceneri Base Tunnel, completing the NRLA.
Alstom is the latest member to join the US High Speed Rail Association following Deutsche Bahn prior to Biden's inauguration.
Zurich will get a further 40 FLEXITY trams as VBZ has signed a contract with Bombardier based on an option in the original 2017 contract.
The European Commission has presented its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy with ten flagship ideas to decarbonise transport.
Siemens Mobility has won a contract to provide signalling and train control technology for the Yellow Line of the Bangalore Metro, India.
There will be new international night trains in Europe from 2021, as agreed by the bosses of Deutsche Bahn, SNCF, OEBB and SBB.
Bombardier has won a contract to modernise the 430 and 423 fleets for S-Bahn Stuttgart, which is operated by DB Regio.
The Siemens Mobility Mireo is among the winners of the German Sustainability Award Design in the pioneer category.
United Wagon Company has received a further order from leasing company Dessa for flat cars for the transportation of timber.
DB Cargo is trialling automatic shunting locomotives and automating brake inspections at its shunting yard in Munich-North.
Amtrak will operate the Metrolink services in Southern California from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2025, having beaten four competing bids.
HS2 Ltd has revealed the first images of the north portal for the Long Itchington Wood tunnel site southeast of Birmingham.
Bombardier has handed over its 200th TRAXX locomotive to Railpool, which has ordered a total of 232 units since 2009, 10% of the global total.
BNSF has won a court case in Oklahoma challenging a state law banning trains from stopping for more than 10 minutes on a level crossing.
The Mayor of London, TfL, the DfT and the treasury have agreed a funding and financing package for the final phase of Crossrail.
Alstom's hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint, has successfully completed 3 months of test operations in regular passenger service in Austria.
Alstom and Bombardier have announced the expected closing date for Alstom's acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.
Brexit: the European Commission has proposed a regulation giving extensions covering the Channel Tunnel infrastructure and train licences.
CSX, a United States Class 1 railroad, has announced that it will acquire Pan Am Railways, expanding its presence in New England.
Jure Mikolcic, CEO of Stadler Pankow GmbH, at the VDB Digital Dialog Forum "Rail Revolution 4.0: Picking up Speed after the Crisis".
Northern has removed the last of its 102 Pacer trains from service, following regulations requiring rolling stock to be accessible.
Train operator Grand Central to resume services from December at a reduced level. These will be reservation-only to enable social distancing.
Bombardier's TRAXX Africa locomotives, operated by Transnet Freight Rail in South Africa, have completed 10 million kilometres in service.
Italy is to get its first hydrogen trains with delivery starting in 2023. FNM has ordered six Coradia Stream trains from Alstom for Lombardy.
State aid: the European Commission has approved Austrian measures to support passenger and rail freight affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Talgo has unveiled its plans to get into the hydrogen train market, with the Talgo Vittal-One, named in honour of hydrogen's atomic number.
HS2 and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will work together on utility diversions in readiness of the metro eastside extension.
Railtex 2021, which was to be held jointly with Infrarail in May 2021, has been postponed to 7–9 September because of COVID-19.
Alstom and Kiepe Electric have won a contract with the Cologne Public Transport Authority (KVB) for 64 low-floor Citadis trams.
The FRA has published its third quarter 2020 update on the implementation of positive train control on the mandated route miles.
Reearch by City & Guilds and the National Skills Academy for Rail says the rail industry will face a critical skills shortage by 2025.
Bombardier has announced it is opening an engineering academy in Cairo, Egypt, to train engineers for its monorail project in the capital.
Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility launch the H2goesRail partnership to trial a hydrogen train (Mireo Plus H) and refuelling infrastructure.
Network Rail has announced major works at Euston for the construction of the HS2 terminus and on the West Coast Main Line in 2021.
Bombardier's BST joint venture in China has won a contract to supply 14 CR300AF high-speed electric multiple units. Delivery by January 2021.
Following the funding agreement reached between TfL and goverment, consultancy work on Crossrail 2 will end, safeguarding will continue.
Deutsche Bahn has become a member of the US High Speed Rail Association, which aims to promote support for high-speed rail in America.
CFL cargo has signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation for 10 TRAXX multi-system locomotives, which run on AC and DC, plus last mile.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution aims at incentivising driving and doesn't mention rail.
Amtrak, SEPTA and PennDOT have received 15.9m USD in grant funding from the FRA to upgrade signalling equipment on the Harrisburg Line.
The University of Leeds has entered into a research collaboration worth 1 million GBP with the West Coast Parnership, which will operate HS2.
Alstom will supply an additional 13 Citadis Dualis tram-trains for the Île-de-France region. These are an option from a 2007 contract.
USHSR has published a 5-point plan for developing high-speed rail in the US, starting with a new High Speed Rail Development Authority.
Hong Kong's MTR Corporation has announced that the first new Phase 5 light rail vehicles will start carrying passengers on 17 November 2020.
Project Connect was on the ballot for voters as they went to the polls on 3 November 2020 and they voted in favour of light rail in Austin.
The American Public Transportation Association says all commuter railroads in the United States are on track to meet the 2020 PTC deadline.
The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on making 2021 the European Year of Rail.
Alstom has completed the first phase of the Lusail light rail project in Qatar. It will run 28 low-floor Citadis X05 trams.
Although hydrogen and fuel cell technology can play its part in the rail sector, it will not decarbonise transport. It is a fringe component.
Midlands Voices report by the High Speed Rail Group says the eastern leg of HS2 up to Leeds is crucial for levelling up the country.
9 new VLocity trains have entered service on Victoria's regional rail network. In total Victoria has ordered 18 new three-car VLocity trains.
Alstom gives an update on its acquisition on Bombardier Transportation in its H2 2020 financial results, including a timetable of events.
The second section of the Dawlish sea wall is being built using the 'Wavewalker', a floating barge that can withstand high tidal ranges.
Siemens Mobility has unveiled its Mireo Smart EMU. Based on its more bespoke Mireo platform, this is a cost-effective, easy alternative.
Alstom's SriCity factory in India, which opened in September 2012, has reached the milestone of having manufactured 500 metro cars.
The Siemens Mobility Vectron Dual Mode locomotive has received its operating approval from the German Federal Railway Authority (EBA).
Deutsche Bahn updated its vegetation management programme in 2018, investing more money and personnel and cutting storm damage by 25 percent.
The United States has a new president-elect, Joe Biden. But why is he called 'Amtrak Joe'? And what has he said about the importance of rail?
Issue 4 of 2020 of the Railway-News magazine, with features including Hydrogen Is a Distraction and the digital InnoTrans Convention.
Athens has procured 20 four-car Metropolis trains as well as Alstom's CBTC signalling solution for its new metro line, Line 4.
Casa Transport has ordered 66 Alstom Citadis X05 trams for the Casablanca's tramway. The contract includes an option for 22 further units.
Leeds University enters into a 10m GBP agreement with the REAL Alliance to research the electrical power supply on the East Coast Main Line.
The tunnel boring machines that will excavate the HS2 Chiltern tunnel will be equipped with robotic arms to help with the concrete segments.
The European Commission has chosen the FCH2RAIL project to explore hydrogen fuel cells for rail vehicles, using Horizon 2020 funding.
Bombardier has launched a new digital subscription-based predictive maintenance service for railway assets called EBI Sense.
A new UKRRIN research centre specialising in digital railways systems has opened at the University of Birmingham.
Bucharest's metro operator has ordered an initial 13 Alstom Metropolis trains, with an option for a further 17 units, to run on Line 5.
Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.