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.
Polregio has signed framework agreements with FPS H.Cegielski, Pesa Bydgoszcz SA, Newag SA and Stadler Polska for up to 200 electric trains.
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.
Ontario is investing 139.5 million CAD in three Northlander trainsets as part of its plan to bring back northeastern passenger rail services.
Amtrak has unveiled renders of its newest train, the Amtrak Airo. The new trains will begin operating across Amtrak routes in 2026.
Renfe has ordered an additional 49 additional Coradia Stream high-capacity trains from Alstom. These will be manufactured in Barcelona.
Dortmunder Eisenbahn (DE) has taken delivery of a new Siemens Vectron Dual Mode locomotive, leased from Alpha Trains.
A 22-metre-long mock-up model has been unveiled of the VDV TramTrain that will operate in regions across Austria and Germany.
Bane NOR has opened the Follobanen double-track high-speed line, which will half travel times between Oslo and Ski from 22 to 11 minutes.
A bridge that will carry direct rail services between Oxford and Cambridge has been positioned over the HS2 route near Calvert, Bucks.
KTZ and Stadler have signed 3 long-term contracts for the supply of 537 coaches, maintenance and purchase of a local production facility.
DB Engineering & Consulting (ECO) is providing technical modelling support for the Link21 rail infrastructure project in San Francisco Bay.
High voltage power systems have been installed and commissioned at Victoria Cross Station for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest service.
Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.