The Anonymous Widower

Network Rail’s Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU) Trial Report

The report of the BEMU trial using a Class 379 train is freely available on the Internet, after a simple registration and download.

It is a very professional document, that goes a lot further than describe how the trial was carried out.

Other information includes.

  • Battery power can aid the introduction of power sources such as hydrogen.
  • Objectives included a target range of 50 km and speed of 60-100 mph.
  • The list of those contributing to the project were impressive.
  • Three different types of battery were comprehensively tested.
  • The batteries were able to handle the regenerative braking.
  • Testing included runs at up to 100 mph and an extreme range test.
  • It is suggested that battery power could enhance safety.
  • It is suggested that electrification could be simplified, if trains had batteries.

In addition, Bombardier have developed software to analyse routes to see if they are suitable for battery operation.

As someone, who has spent most of my working life looking at the mathematics of systems, I suspect that lots of useful ideas have been indicated by Bombardier’s modelling.

I suspect that the bi-mode Aventra I discussed in Bombardier Bi-Mode Aventra To Feature Battery Power, is one train that has been designed extensively by computer simulation.

Aircraft have been designed that way for decades.


June 26, 2018 - Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , , ,


  1. where is this report? I can’t find it on NR’s site.

    Bombardier are also part of a 4-yr trial in Germany ( is from the government department funding this)

    Comment by Peter Robins | August 6, 2018 | Reply

    • Perhaps they’ve canelled it.

      Comment by AnonW | August 6, 2018 | Reply

    • also found on the site of the university that is also part of this trial. So, a Talent 3 train will be fitted with a Primove battery, undergo extensive lab tests and simulations at the TU, then be run on a commercial line for 12 months. I seem to be remember reading somewhere that this line was in the Saarland, though I can’t remember where I read that. A much more comprehensive test than the British one, though an obvious problem with such lengthy trials is that the technology is moving fast and the results may well be out of date before they’re published 😦

      Comment by Peter Robins | August 7, 2018 | Reply

      • If you read the Network Rail report report, I think one of the problems with lengthy trials is the train is needed elsewhere. But the Manningtree ecperiment proved that you can run battery trains with a liw risk of failure. So Bombardier now feel that there is a low enough risk to try a twelve month trial. If the risk is slightly higher, that means you need a rescue locomotive and a standby driver all the time. The train at Manningtree had a self-rescue mode on that it could just put the pantograph up and use the existing electrification. So it was in effect a dual-powered train. As it was, there were no aerious failures. I suspect that both the Talent 3 and the Class 321 Hydrogen will be sual powered, so if one mode fails, they have the orher.

        There’s nothing worse than new technology that fails!

        Posted from a nice cafe in Forres!

        Comment by AnonW | August 7, 2018

      • > I seem to be remember reading somewhere that this line was in the Saarland

        I had this wrong. SWEG is also part of the trial, and they’re based in the SW, around the Black Forest.

        A map of SWEG’s routes is at

        Comment by Peter Robins | August 8, 2018

      • That fits. Remember that Baden Baden and Karlsruhe, which are not far away, is where tram-trains started. Stadler are also going to supply battery/electric hybrid tram-trains to Cardiff

        Comment by AnonW | August 8, 2018

      • and a bit more just appeared on Railway Gazette (should read Oberelbe not Oberlebe).
        Also found which states that the first trials will run on Bombardier’s test track outside Berlin next month, and the test results should be ready by next Feb.

        Comment by Peter Robins | August 21, 2018

  2. I dent you a copy in an e-mail

    Comment by AnonW | August 7, 2018 | Reply

    • yes, indeed. Thanks for this. I spent a lot of time trying to find out the results of the tests, and failed to find any. They seem to have had quite a few issues with testing all the battery configurations they wanted to, but as you say the live trial seems to have worked without major issues.

      They seem to favour lithium-titanate batteries, and these are now in use on some buses, such as ABB’s in Geneva. The more battery power is used on live services, the more confidence operators will gain that they can dispense with diesel.

      Comment by Peter Robins | August 8, 2018 | Reply

      • Did you see my article in Rail Magazine? I believe all Aventras have batteries to handle regenerative braking and that the Barking Riverside Extension could be built without wires. All TfL’s document ignore mentioning electrification, but emphasise electric trains.

        Comment by AnonW | August 8, 2018

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