Hitachi Class 385 Trains, Batteries And Charging Stations
This article in the International Railway Journal is entitled JR Kyushu battery EMU to enter service in October.
This is said.
JAPAN’s Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) announced on August 24 that its pre-series Dual Energy Charge Train (Dencha) battery-assisted EMU will enter revenue service on the 11km Orio – Wakamatsu section of the Chikuho Line on October 19.
The two-car 819 series set draws power from the 20 kV ac 60Hz electrification system to feed a bank of onboard batteries, which give the train a wire-free range of up to 90km.
At least it can do 11 km. This is said about the train’s manufacture.
The 819 series is based on the existing 817 series EMU and was built by Hitachi at its plant in Kudamatsu in Yamaguchi prefecture.
Note the word Hitachi!
On the Hitachi Rail Europe web site, three new trains are mentioned.
All are A-trains and on all pages, the word battery is mentioned under power supply.
So will Scotrail’s new Class 385 trains have a battery capability?
Probably not initially!
But Hitachi have obviously been doing a lot of research into battery trains and the JR Kyushu is the first practical application.
Scotland’s rail system outside Edinburgh and Glasgow is not electrified, but it is well-known that Scotland’s Government would like more electrified services and also links to places like Leven and St. Andrews.
Both of these places, and there are probably others as well, are a few miles from a main line, that is very likely to be electrified.
So could we see a battery train charged as the JR Kyushu train on a main line, serving these branch lines on battery power?
I feel that the chance of this happening is very high.
Put a charging station, like a Railbaar at the terminal station and it could be done as soon as the train is built.