The Anonymous Widower

Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Engineer.

This is the first paragraph.

Hitachi are in discussions with the Scottish Government to run a Class 385 variant with underfloor batteries that could either be charged whilst under the wires or whilst stationary at the end of the route.

The article makes these points, about adding batteries to Class 385 trains.

  • It would be straightforward to add batteries to give a range of twenty miles on batteries.
  • Sixty miles would be possible but more difficult.
  • Experience gained with the DENCHA trains in Japan would be used.

The article concludes with this paragraph.

Hitachi’s proposal to operate battery trains in Scotland is at an early stage. However, with their use being recommended by the rail decarbonisation task force and the Scottish Government about to pass new climate change legislation, it may not be long before battery trains are operating in Scotland.

I think it should be noted that Hitachi’s order book is rather thin these days and it appears that innovative technology will sell new trains.

Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Siemens, Stadler and Vivarail have all designed, demonstrated or sold trains, where batteries are used improve efficiency or extend range.

As Scotland has several routes, where battery trains could provide a service, perhaps Hitachi thought it was time to do some marketing, to make sure that they got any orders for battery trains.

Scotrail would probably prefer to have a battery train similar to their largest fleet of electric trains.

Electric Trains On The West Highland Line Between Glasgow And Mallaig/Oban

This might be considered as difficult as putting a London bus on the Moon.

But consider.

  • The West Highland Line is electrified as far as Helenburgh Central station.
  • Electrification to Helensburgh Upper station would probably not be a difficult project for Network Rail in Scotland.
  • Heleburgh Upper to Mallaig is just under 140 miles.
  • Hellensuburgh Upper to Oban is around 80 miles.
  • Crianlarich station, where the two routes divide is forty miles from Helesburgh Upper.
  • Fort William station is around halfway between Mallaig and Crianlarich.
  • Trains take several minutes to reverse at Fort William.

Vivarail have developed fast charging for battery trains, that I wrote about in Vivarail Unveils Fast Charging System For Class 230 Battery Trains.

If Hitachi can develop a Class 385 train with batteries, that has a range of perhaps sixty miles on a full battery, then I believe it would be possible to run an electric train service between Glasgow and Oban and Mallaig.

  • Charging stations would need to be able to fully charge the batteries in perhaps six minutes.
  • Trains would leave Hellensburgh Upper with a full battery and charging stations at Crianlarich and Fort William would top up the batteries.
  • The longest stretch is between Crianlarich and Fort William and it would probably need an additional charging station at perhaps Tulluch.

What would battery-electric trains to Oban and Mallaig do for tourism in the area?

Hitachi would have one of the most scenic and iconic test tracks in the world!

 

 

April 2, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. […] that in Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I write that Hitachi are claiming a battery range of sixty miles or a hundred kilometres with a […]

    Pingback by Thoughts On Eurostar To North Netherlands And North West Germany « The Anonymous Widower | April 3, 2019 | Reply

  2. […] Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I wrote about how batteries could be added to Class 385 trains, so they could run services without […]

    Pingback by Bedwyn, Didcot Parkway And Oxford Services After Crossrail Opens To Reading « The Anonymous Widower | April 21, 2019 | Reply

  3. […] already have a train with this specification in the Class 800 train. In Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I detail, Hitachi’s plans for Class 385 trains. Could these be stretched to perhaps do 100 […]

    Pingback by Manchester Victoria To Chester « The Anonymous Widower | June 3, 2019 | Reply

  4. […] Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I talked about Class 385 trains with batteries, that #Hitachi are […]

    Pingback by Scottish Government Is Considering Plans To Electrify The Borders Railway « The Anonymous Widower | June 19, 2019 | Reply

  5. there’s an article by Hitachi’s head of engineering at https://www.globalrailnews.com/2018/06/07/what-next-for-bi-mode-trains/ – not specifically about 385s, but gives an idea where the company is going ‘beyond the wires’. I was interested to see they ran a test of adding batteries to HSTs way back in 2007 – I wasn’t aware of that (or, if I was, had forgotten 🙂 ).

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 19, 2019 | Reply

  6. […] in Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I wrote about the company’s plans to use batteries as range extenders on their Class 385 […]

    Pingback by Tender Set To Be Issued For East West Rail Rolling Stock « The Anonymous Widower | July 13, 2019 | Reply

  7. […] Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I discussed how Hitachi were proposing to add battery power to Class 385 trains, which are in the […]

    Pingback by The High Speed Local Train « The Anonymous Widower | July 16, 2019 | Reply

  8. […] I covered this in more detail in Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires. […]

    Pingback by Scottish Government Approve £75m Levenmouth Rail Link « The Anonymous Widower | August 9, 2019 | Reply


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