The Anonymous Widower

The IPEMU And The Windsor Link Railway

The IPEMU or to use its full name, an Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit, is a form of Electric Multiple Unit, which has on-board electricity storage, so that it has a limited range on lines without electrification.

Bombardier have shown it is a serious concept, by allowing the general public to ride their prototype in passenger service between Manningtree and Harwich during six weeks in early 2015.

An Outwardly Normal Class 379 Train

An Outwardly Normal Class 379 Train

Note the following about IPEMU trains.

  • IPEMUs look and ride like the standard train to passengers, with everything passengers expect.
  • On electrified lines, IPEMUs run and accelerate like the standard train.
  • IPEMUs  can run for up to fifty miles using electricity stored in the on-board energy storage.
  • The on-board energy storage is charged when the train is running on electrified lines.
  • The train can run on any line without electrification, where a modern diesel multiple unit of the same length or longer can run.
  • IPEMUs use regenerative braking, so all energy generated from braking is stored and used to restart the train.
  • IPEMUs can be 25 kVAC overhead, 750 VDC third-rail or dual-voltage.
  • The on-board energy storage can be batteries, super-capacitors or Formula One-style KERS.

There were rumours in the September 2015 Edition of Modern Railways, that Great Western Railway was going to convert some of their Class 387 trains to IPEMU operation.

How would IPEMUs help in the creation of the Windsor Link Railway?

Click here for a map of the Windsor Link Railway!

I think it is sensible to assume that all trains running on the Windsor Link Railway could have an IPEMU capability and the ability to take power from both third-rail and overhead electrification.

In Phase 1, using IPEMUs would mean.

  • Trains from London would run using the existing third-rail electrification and would fully charge the energy storage before Windsor.
  • The linking tunnel would not have any electrification and would thus be safer.
  • The linking tunnel would only need to be wide and high enough for safe operation of the trains.
  • The linking tunnel could be single-track with a passing loop/island platform station, as the proposed maximum frequency is four trains per hour in each direction.
  • The Slough to Windsor Line would not be electrified, so would be visually unchanged, with no ugly overhead wires.
  • Trains would run through Windsor and on to Slough using the on-board energy storage.

Less than ten miles of a trip from London to Slough via Windsor and back, would be run on batteries.

In Phase 2, using IPEMUs would mean.

  • No new lines would need to be electrified.
  • The tunnels would not be electrified and just large enough for safe operation.
  • Bridges would not need to support overhead electrification gantries.
  • Trains would run betwen the main lines and Heathrow Airport using the on-board energy storage.

Only a few miles of each trip would be run on batteries.



February 23, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] The IPEMU And The Windsor Link Railway, I wrote how IPEMU trains could make the design and building of the Windsor Link Railway easier and […]

    Pingback by Is This One Of The Most Valuable Sites For New Development In The UK? « The Anonymous Widower | February 24, 2016 | Reply

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