The Anonymous Widower

The Big Metro Fleet Upgrade That Could Make It ‘Easy’ To Finally Extend Train Services To New Areas

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Newcastle Chronicle.

This is the first paragraph.

Every train in Metro’s new fleet will be capable of running via an on-board battery, reducing the chance of major shutdowns and making it much cheaper to extend the network.

The fact that it is technically possible, is not a surprise as Stadler’s Class 777 trains for Merseyrail will be using battery power to extend routes. I would be very surprised if the new Tyne and Wear Metro trains and those for Merseyrail, didn’t have a lot of design in common.

But what is surprising, is that the Tyne and Wear Metro’s whole fleet will be fitted with batteries. This must be the first time in the UK, that a whole fleet of trains has been said to have batteries.

The Merseyrail trains will also have a dual voltage capability and will be able to be modified for running on 25 KVAC overhead electrification, as well as 750 VDC third-rail electrification.

Will the Tyne and Wear trains be able to use 25 KVAC electrification? It could be useful in some places on the network and I’m sure, if there was a financial case for a service using existing 25 KVAC electrification, then some trains would be modified accordingly.

A Quick Comparison

This is a quick comparison between Merseyrail’s Class 777 trains and the Tyne and Wear Metro’s new trains.

  • Cars – 777 – 4 – T&W – 5
  • Operating Speed – 777 – 75 mph – T&W – 50 mph
  • Capacity – 484 – T&W – 600
  • Capacity Per Car – 121 – T&W – 125
  • In Service – 2022 (?) – T&W – 2024

They are not that different and it looks like the Tyne and Wear trains will be built after the Merseyrail trains.

Battery Running

The article says this about running on battery power.

He said the 16km off-wire running would allow for a new loop extending out from South Hylton, through Washington, connecting back to Pelaw.

He added that it would be “easy” to create new connections between existing Metro lines – potentially allowing for a new route through Silverlink and the Cobalt business park in North Tyneside, or a link-up from South Shields towards Sunderland.

Battery power would also solve the problem of running Metro trains on Network Rail lines, which is currently impossible because they operate at different voltages.

Mr Blagburn said: “You could remove the electrification from the complex parts of the route, say over historic structures or through tunnels.

Note.

  1. The range of sixteen kilometres or ten miles could be very useful.
  2. The trains appear to be designed to run on Network Rail tracks, as the current trains already do.
  3. The current trains use the Karlsruhe model to effectively work as tram-trains on shared tracks.

I actually believe that the new Tyne and Wear trains could be modified to run on both 25 KVAC and 750 VDC overhead electrification, as Stadler’s Class 399 tram-trains do in Sheffield.

Conclusion

These trains are using all Stadler’s experience of trains and tram-trains from all over the world.

  • They will normally operate using 750 VDC overhead electrification.
  • But Stadler have the technology to enable the trains for 25 KVAC overhead electrification, if required.
  • They have a range of ten miles on batteries.
  • Are the batteries charged by using the energy created by the regenerative braking?

These are not bog-standard trains!

But then neither are the trains built for Greater Anglia by Stadler!

 

 

June 25, 2020 - Posted by | Design, Transport | , , , , ,

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