UK: Vivarail and Eversholt Rail to Develop Battery Power for Class 321 Fleet

Eversholt Rail and Vivarail have signed an agreement to develop a battery power and range extension system for Class 321 ‘Renatus’ trains.

The ‘Renatus’ fleet is comprised of 30 units, which currently operate on the Greater Anglia network in the UK.

Battery Power Class 321
A Class 321 train at Stratford

Eversholt Rail and Vivarail will collaborate on integrating battery technology into the Class 321 fleet to create battery electric multiple units (BEMU) with 20 to 30 miles of self-propulsion.

This project will enable the fleet to operate on non-electrified or partly electrified routes to support the UK government’s mission to decarbonise the rail sector by 2050.

Paul Sutherland, Client Services Director at Eversholt Rail said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Vivarail on this exciting project to develop our C321 fleet which will support the UK’s decarbonisation targets. We have a proud history of innovation and investing in our fleets to meet changing requirements, exploring the viability of integrating battery technology to the Renatus fleet is the natural next step. Battery trains offer an ideal solution for routes with partly and un-electrified lines, enabling the replacement of diesel trains and bringing the air quality and decarbonisation benefits.”

Kiepe Electric GmbH will also support Vivarail in developing the design, which will undergo technical and safety case development throughout 2022.

Meanwhile, Eversholt Rail and Vivarail will engage with the market to assess the viability of potential routes for its application. This analysis will inform the decision on further investment in the fleet.

Steve McBride, MD of Vivarail, said:

“Vivarail are delighted to be collaborating with Eversholt Rail Group on this exciting project. Working towards installing our latest generation battery technology into existing Class 321 Renatus units enables these trains to operate beyond the overhead wires, reducing reliance on diesel trains and reducing carbon emissions. Great British Railways is set to deliver the most ambitious changes in our railways seen in a generation. I am proud to say that Vivarail are ready for the challenge and look forward to contributing to the industry’s commitments for decarbonisation.”

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