The Anonymous Widower

What Would Be The Range Of A Tri-Mode Class 802 Train?

In Could Cirencester Be Reconnected To The Rail Network?, I speculated about the routes of a battery-electric version of a Class 800 train.

I said this.

As Hitachi have stated they will be using battery power to extend ranges of their trains, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the current trains modified to have batteries instead of some of their current diesel engines.

Such a train would would be ideal for the following routes.

  • Paddington and Bedwyn – 13 miles
  • Paddington and Cheltenham – 43 miles
  • Paddington and Oxford – 10 miles
  • Paddington and Weston-Super-Mare – 19 miles

The distance is the length that is not electrified.

I don’t think it improbable, that London Paddington and Swansea will be achieved by a battery-electric train based on the current Hitachi train designs.

So was it a serious idea or mad speculation?

Under Powertrain in the Wikipedia entry for theClass 800 train, this is said.

Despite being underfloor, the generator units (GU) have diesel engines of V12 formation. The Class 801 has one GU for a 5-9 car set. These provide emergency power for limited traction and auxiliaries if the power supply from the overhead line fails. The class 800/802 electro-diesel or Bi-Mode has 3 GU per five car set and 5 GU per nine car set. A 5 car set has a GU situated under vehicles 2/3/4 respectively and a 9 car set has a GU situated under vehicles 2/3/5/7/8 respectively.

This means that a five-car Class 800 or Class 802 train has three engines and an all -electric Class 801 train has a single engine.

If you were building a tri-mode Class 802 train, could two of the diesel engines be replaced by batteries.

  • Hitachi have stated that trains can be changed from one class to another by adding or removing engines.
  • Trains would always have at least one diesel engine for emergencies, just as the Class 801 trains do.
  • Each MTU 1600 R80L diesel engine weighs just under seven tonnes.

Fourteen tonnes of batteries would probably store about 840 kWh of energy, if the most efficient batteries are used. That would not be a problem if Hitachi came calling.

In How Much Power Is Needed To Run A Train At 125 mph?, I calculated that a five-car Class 801 train needs 3.42 kWh per vehicle mile to cruise on electricity at 125 mph.

Dividing 840 by 5 cars and 3.42 kWh per vehicle file gives a range of forty-nine miles.

  • The trains would need regenerative braking to the batteries.
  • Battery energy density is increasing.
  • Train aerodynamics could be improved, to reduce the power needed.
  • Secondary routes like the Golden Valley Line are unlikely to have an operating speed higher than 110 mph, which would reduce the power needed.

I am coming round to the opinion, that Hitachi could design a battery-electric train based on the current Class 80X trains, that could reach Swansea from Paddington, without touching a drop of diesel.

  • The batteries would need to be recharged before returning to London.
  • I am assuming that the electrification is up and working between Paddington and Cardiff.
  • Could the wires in the Severn Tunnel be removed or replaced with engineering plastic,  as they corrode so much?
  • Two five-car trains with batteries could work together as they do now.

Hitachi would need to get the software absolutely right.

Could The Diesel Engine Be Used To Increase Battery Range?

Lets assume that a tri-mode Class 802 train is running on a 125 mph main line.

It enters a section without electrification.

  • It is cruising at 125 mph
  • The batteries have a capacity of 840 kWh and have been charged on previous electrification.
  • The train needs 3.42 kWh per vehicle mile to maintain speed.
  • It’s a five-car train  so it will need 17.1 kWh per mile.
  • The train will take approximately thirty seconds to cover a mile and in that time the diesel engine will produce 5.83 kWh.
  • So the net energy use of the train will be 11.27 kWh per mile.

This would give the train a range of 74.5 miles at 125 mph.

Obviously, a good driver, aided by a powerful Driver Assistance System could optimise the use of power to make sure the train arrived on time and possibly minimised carbon emissions.

What Would Be The Ultimate Range?

I think it would be possible to reduce the electricity consumption by means of the following.

  • Slower operating speed.
  • Better aerodynamics.
  • More efficient train systems.
  • Improved Driver Assistance Systems.

I think an energy consumption of 2.5 kWh per vehicle-mile could be possible, at perhaps a cruise of 100 mph

I can do the calculation without diesel assistance.

  • It’s a five-car train  so it will need 12.5 kWh per mile.

This would give the train a range of 67.2 miles at 100 mph on batteries alone.

I can also do the calculation again with diesel assistance.

  • It’s a five-car train  so it will need 12.5 kWh per mile.
  • The train will take thirty-six seconds to cover a mile and in that time the diesel engine will produce 7 kWh.
  • So the net energy use of the train will be 5.5 kWh per mile.

This would give the train a range of 153 miles at 100 mph on batteries with diesel assistance.

How Many Places Could Be Reached With A Fifty-Mile Range?

Setting a limit of fitly miles would allow running these routes on partial battery power, split down by companies who run the Hitachi trains.

Great Western Railway

These routes could certainly be run using a tri-mode Class 802 train.

  • Paddington and Bedwyn – 13 miles
  • Paddington and Cheltenham – 43 miles
  • Paddington and Oxford – 10 miles
  • Paddington and Swansea – 46 miles
  • Paddington and Weston-Super-Mare – 19 miles
  • Swindon and Bristol via Bath – 39 miles

Note.

  1. The distance gives the length of the longest section of the route without electrification.
  2. Certain routes like Bedwyn, Oxford and Weston-super-Mare probably wouldn’t need a charging station at the final destination.
  3. GWR could probably run a few other routes, without adding substantial new infrastructure.
  4. Tri-mode Class 802 trains, might be able to avoid electrification through Bath.

But surely the the biggest gain is that they would reduce GWR’s carbon footprint.

Hull Trains

I very much feel that with a charging station at Hull station, a tri-mode Class 802 train could bridge the forty-four mile gap between Beverley and the electrified East Coast Main Line at Temple Hirst Junction.

  • The train could top up the battery every time it stops in Hull station.
  • The 700 kW diesel engine could add 700 kWh in the hour long trip with no wires.

If a tri-mode Class 802 train could bridge this gap, then Hull Trains could go zero carbon.

LNER

These routes could certainly be run using a tri-mode Class 802 train.

  • Kings Cross and Bradford – 14 miles
  • Kings Cross and Harrogate – 18 miles
  • Kings Cross and Huddersfield – 17 miles
  • Kings Cross and Hull – 36 miles
  • Kings Cross and Lincoln – 16 miles
  • Kings Cross and Middlesbrough – 21 miles

Note.

  1. The distance gives the length of the longest section of the route without electrification.
  2. Certain routes like Bradford, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Lincoln and Middlesbrough probably wouldn’t need a charging station at the final destination.
  3. LNER could probably run a few other routes, without adding substantial new infrastructure.
  4. Using both battery and diesel power, the train would be able to make Cleethorpes and Grimsby after Lincoln.

But surely the the biggest gain is that they would reduce LNER’s carbon footprint.

TransPennine Express

These routes could certainly be run using a tri-mode Class 802 train.

  • Leeds and Huddersfield – 17 miles
  • Liverpool and Edinburgh – 34 miles
  • Liverpool and Hull – 34 miles
  • Liverpool and Scarborough – 34 miles
  • Manchester Airport and Middlesbrough – 34 miles
  • Manchester Airport and Newcastle- 34 miles

Note.

  1. The distance gives the length of the longest section of the route without electrification.
  2. TransPennine Express services all suffer because of the long gap across the Pennines.
  3. Network Rail are planning to partly electrify Dewsbury and Huddersfield, which would reduce the major gap to just eighteen miles.

As with GWR, Hull Trains and LNER, the carbon footprint would be reduced.

Conclusion

A tri-mode Class 802 train would be a good idea.

It should be noted that GWR, Hull Trains and TransPennine Express are all First Group companies.

 

 

 

November 17, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. It should also be noted that GWR and SWR are both First Group companies serving the London-Exeter routes. What happened to competition?

    Comment by JohnC | November 17, 2019 | Reply

    • Could that be deliberate? You also have Norwich which is served by two TOCs owned by Abellio.
      South Western Railway will also have to replace the Class 159 trains soon and I think that Class 802 trains would do a good job on the Exeter route.

      They could also be serviced at Plymouth with GWR’s 802s!

      There is a lot of cooperation on services and training.

      Comment by AnonW | November 17, 2019 | Reply

  2. What this exercise demonstrates is how a targeted rolling program of electrifying railways as opposed to the Big Bang projects could allow many services to become fully electric.

    While if one compares GWR to TPE fully electrifying through to Bedwyn and Oxford whiich are basically commuter routes could use normal EMUs with class 80* trains which are more typically main line trains could switch to TPE where distance not electrified is longer and longer term solution really requires new trans penine tunnels built to HS2 gauge which is a long term project. While the geography of the routes makes electrifying them more difficult.

    Introducing class 80* trains on routes from Waterloo will require a DC capability together with diesel , batteries and provision for future AC a quad capable train !

    Hopefully come the new year sense will return to rail electrification?

    Comment by Melvyn | November 17, 2019 | Reply

    • I am getting more and more against electrification on practical grounds.
      If you take the basically very simple Gospel Oak to Barking, a lot managed to go wrong.
      1. The surveyors did a bad job and a lot of overhead pantries were built the wrong size.
      2. When putting in the pantries, they hit a sewer that no-one knew was there.
      3. The train software didn’t work.
      4. There were complaints over noise putting up gantries.
      5. The project ran late.
      The only thing that stopped complete chaos, was the conversion of London Overground’s three spare trains into four-car trains to hold the fort. Faith, Hope and Charity did a superb job.
      Bedwyn and Oxford may be commuter routes, but their trains run on the main line at 125 mph from Reading and Didcot respectively. They have to do that speed, so they don’t get shafted by the expresses. I can see GWR going to 140 mph under ERTMS in places. So all trains must be able to handle this to increase capacity.

      As to Waterloo and Exeter, SWR will be keen to be as zero carbon as possible. It improves the lot of station staff for a start and good staff relations is important to SWR.

      Running five car Class 802 trains on the route would give the following benefits over pairs of three-car Call 159 trains.

      1. Faster services
      2. A capacity increase
      3. Less pollution in Waterloo.
      4. Less noise on the trains.

      I’ve felt for some time, that a battery version of a Class 802 train could do this job, if someone c eould work out an automatic fast-charging system.

      Comment by AnonW | November 17, 2019 | Reply

  3. […] writing my post called What Would Be The Range Of A Tri-Mode Class 802 Train?, I realised that an efficient tri-mode train with electric, battery and diesel power could have an […]

    Pingback by Thoughts On Tri-Mode AT-300 Between Waterloo And Exeter « The Anonymous Widower | November 18, 2019 | Reply

  4. What would also help the range is if the terminal station in each case had overhead electrics in the station and for a short distance outside, to allow recharging, customer amenities while the train was waiting in the station, and for initial departure acceleration. Electrifying a short distance has some expense (especially cost to bring high voltage power into the station–which would be a bit underutilised for the short distance). Ditto any remote stabling sidings

    An alternative would be to amend the trains to have a “recharge and amenities” only electric connection that would operate in the station with reduced amperage (and maybe different voltage/connectors–battery DC voltage charging, maybe), but not have enough amperage to power the traction motors.

    Comment by MilesT | November 28, 2019 | Reply

    • There are a range of solutions from companies with a lot of experience being developed and when the first systems arrive, I’m sure they will work well! But as to their design, they could be a range of pantograph or third rail based systems.
      In line to be one of the first to be developed are the battery trains for the Uckfield Line, as their diesel fleet is going to East Midlannds Railway in 2021. But half of this route is electrified, so it may be that no charging station is needed at the terminus at Uckfield.

      I’m also looking at the battery trains being developed for Schleswig- Holstein as the trains are by Stadler, who specialise in innovative engineering.

      The Schleswig-Holstein answer might be for all! The trains should be running on 2022.

      Comment by AnonW | November 28, 2019 | Reply


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