The Anonymous Widower

Charging A Battery-Powered Class 230 Train

In Issue 864 of Rail Magazine there is an article about the Class 230 train demonstration in Scotland, that I wrote about in Battery Class 230 Train Demonstration At Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway.

This was said about charging a battery-powered Class 230 train.

A prototype rapid charging facility at its Long Marston base would use short sections of third-rail to quickly recharge a Class 230’s batteries. He said that the third-rail shoegear fitted t the trains in their London Underground service could handle higher currents than simply plugging a cable into the train.

The rapid charging concept consists of a shipping container of batteries that are trickle charged from a mains supply. When a Class 230 sits over the short sections of third-rail, electricity can be quickly transferred to the train’s batteries. When the train is away, the power rails are earthed to ensure they pose no risk The concept provides for charging a Class 230 as it pauses at a terminus before making its return journey.

What surprises me, is the claim, that third-rail is a very effective way of charging the batteries.

But Vivarail’s charging method using third-rail must open up affordable charging in stations and depots with poor-quality or low-capacity electricity supply.

Further Development

The design is very much capable of further development.

  • The charging system could be used with any train, which has a third-rail capability.
  • It could be made to work in both terminal and through platforms.
  • The operation could be totally automatic .
  • The system would switch on when the train stops over top and it completes the electrical circuit to allow charging.
  • When the train moves away and breaks the circuit, the system would switch off and earth the third-rail.
  • The batteries in the charging system could be charged by solar- or wind-power, instead of mains power.

I believe we’ll see some very ingenious charging systems for battery/electric trains.

October 24, 2018 - Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport | ,


  1. there’s quite a lot of info on the batteries in

    Comment by Peter Robins | October 24, 2018 | Reply

  2. […] would think, that using the fast charging system described in Charging A Battery-Powered Class 230 Train at Thurso and Wick stations, that a single train could shuttle all day between the two stations […]

    Pingback by Is This The Most Unusual Idea For A New Railway Service in The UK? « The Anonymous Widower | October 24, 2018 | Reply

  3. […] A Battery-Powered Class 230 Train… […]

    Pingback by Could A Class 450 Battery/FLEX Train Be Used Between Waterloo And Exeter? « The Anonymous Widower | October 26, 2018 | Reply

  4. […] This thirty-second dwell time may have repercussions for rapid charging of battery/electric trains, that I wrote about in Charging A Battery-Powered Class 230 Train. […]

    Pingback by Station Dwell Times On The London Overground « The Anonymous Widower | October 28, 2018 | Reply

  5. […] One of Vivarail’s charging systems could be installed at Ventnor if required. See Charging A Battery-Powered Class 230 Train. […]

    Pingback by Reinstatement Of Branch Lines On The Isle Of Wight « The Anonymous Widower | May 27, 2020 | Reply

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