The Anonymous Widower

The Electrical System Of A Class 319 Flex Train

This press release from Porterbrook, which is entitled Porterbrook and Northern to introduce bi-mode Class 319 Flex trains, says this about the electrical system of the the Class 319 Flex train.

The Class 319 Flex concept is designed to create a bi-mode train by fitting two diesel powered alternators, one under each of the driving trailer cars. The diesel alternators provide power to the existing traction and auxiliary equipment to allow the EMU to operate without an overhead or 3rd rail supply. The systems will provide power through the train’s DC bus, avoiding any significant changes to the existing equipment and creating a unit capable of operating from a number of different power sources whilst maintaining its full capabilities on electrified routes.

As an electrical engineer, it looks to me, that British Rail’s original design of the dual-voltage Class 319 train with a DC bus has actually helped in creating an easy-to-design and build interface between the new diesel powered alternators and the train’s current systems.

I have seen an early copy of the brochure for the Class 319 Flex train and can add the following statements.

  • The train is powered by two MAN D2876 LUE631 diesel engines, which each generate 390kW of power. This page on the MAN web site shows MAN’s range of engines for rail applications. This page shows the data sheet for the engine.
  • The engines are Stage IIIB compliant with respect to emissions and use Selective Catalytic Reduction technology to achieve this.
  • The proposed alternator is from ABB. This page on the ABB web site, shows their wide range of alternators.
  • A new negative return bus line will be added throughout the unit to prevent return current flowing through the vehicles or rails.
  • The design uses a power-pack raft. This should ease maintenance and replacement.
  • Obviously various modules and controls are added to enhance the uses of the system and allow the driver to control the new systems.
  • Great care seems to have been taken that the Class 319 Flex train will perform well on third rail lines.

I do have a feeling that the direction of technology over the last few years has certainly helped to enable a better design.

  • The major components have probably got smaller and more reliable.
  • Control system technology has moved on substantially.
  • Adding batteries to the train should be relatively easy, given the DC bus and the large amounts of experience from hybrid road vehicles.
  • 3D CAD  systems must help in a space-critical installation.

Combined with all the statements about design and testing in the brochure, I have no reason to suspect that the train designers are doing anything other than a comprehensive and professional job. Their choice of engines and alternators is certainly picking some of the best available and the brochure states that long-lead components have already been ordered.

 

March 5, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] only problem, I can envisage is that as I wrote in The Electrical System Of A Class 319 Flex, the DC electrical bus of the Class 319 train makes the design of the Class 319 Flex train easy. If […]

    Pingback by Could There Be A Class 321 Flex? « The Anonymous Widower | March 5, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] writing The Electrical System Of A Class 319 Flex, I came to the conclusion, that the designers of the Class 319 Flex had taken great care that the […]

    Pingback by The Class 319 Flex Train And Third Rail Routes « The Anonymous Widower | March 5, 2017 | Reply


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