UK Premieres Next-Gen 80-Mile Range Battery Train That Can Be Charged in Ten Minutes

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In the past few years, we’ve witnessed a push for bringing train transportation to the forefront, and efforts continue in this direction. Considered one of the greenest forms of public transport at the moment, rail transport can be even greener, by becoming entirely electric.

Vivarail, a company that specializes in battery technology for rail applications, says that electric trains aren’t new, but today’s technology has advanced so much that batteries are much more powerful and cost-effective. After two types of trains built since 2018, Vivarail is now launching a second-generation battery train, at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

This innovative train will demonstrate the company’s revolutionary “fast charge system,” able to recharge a battery train in only ten minutes. The goal was to develop a zero-emissions train that could provide a maximum range and charge as fast as possible. The new battery train boasts an 80-mile (128.7 km) range on a single charge and, since it can be recharged in only ten minutes, it’s one of the most effective electric trains out there.

Another Vivarail innovation is that its groundbreaking technology can be used to build new battery trains and convert diesel trains (thanks to the modular design), build hybrid trains, and add batteries to electric trains as range extenders. So, instead of getting rid of the old rolling stock, it could be converted with the help of this advanced electronic system. According to Vivarail, the system is able to “control the ‘brains’ of any train.” 

The next-generation battery train will be launched at COP26 in partnership with Network Rail, a railway organization that has adopted radical targets for decarbonization based on alternative fuels, hydrogen trains, and battery trains. At the conference, the new battery train will not only be showcased but also run daily services for the purpose of demonstrating the technology.

The Vivarail Fast Charge system has been developed with support from the British agency for innovation, Innovate UK, and is set to become “the UK’s standard system for all types of battery trains”.