The Anonymous Widower

The Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train Between Paddington And Bedwyn

This is probably one of the easiest services for GWR to run using a Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train.

This Hitachi infographic shows the specification.


  • The route is fully electrified between London Paddington and Newbury.
  • It is 13.3 miles between Bedwyn and Newbury, with two intermediate stations.
  • There is under thirty miles without electrification in a round trip between Paddington and Bedwyn.
  • There is a turnback siding at Bedwyn, that could be fitted with a charger if required.
  • Current trains take 17 minutes for between Bedwyn and Newbury, which is an average speed of 47 mph.
  • The trains would run at up to 125 mph between Paddington and Reading.
  • If the Great Western Main Line gets full in-cab digital ERTMS digital signalling, they will be able to take advantage and run at up to 140 mph between Reading and Paddington.

If it could be shown to be able to run the route reliably, I feel that a Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train with a mix of diesel engines and battery packs might be the ideal train.

  • Large amounts of power would not be needed to maintain an average speed of 47 mph between Newbury and Bedwyn, which from my helicopter appears to be a fairly level railway by the side of the Kennett and Avon Canal.
  • Except in emergencies, I doubt that diesel running would be needed.

On my list of possible services for these trains, they would also be able to work GWR services between Paddington and Oxford or any other station with a less than thirty mile round trip away from the electrification

December 20, 2020 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. Typo Bullet point 7 – full in-can digital ERTMS digital signalling,

    Interesting to see how in cab signalling would raise GWR speeds to 140 mph although given the way Brunel built the GWR an even greater speed might be possible which raises questions as to what is actually the top speed of these trains?

    Comment by Melvyn | December 20, 2020 | Reply

  2. They certainly ride well.

    In the mid-1970s, I did a job for for Frederick Snow and Partners, who were proposing a massive tidal-power station in the Severn Estuary with an Airport on top. They briefed ,me on the project and part of the project was to develop, the Great Western Main Line to get people to the Airport.

    I seem to remember something about 140 mph running between Paddington and the Airport.

    But given the heritage of the Hitachi trains, I suspect they are capable of being developed for more. Is Hitachi proposing a high speed example for the Class Compatible trains for HS2?

    Comment by AnonW | December 20, 2020 | Reply

  3. would they even need the diesel engines, which must add quiet a bit of weight to the trains?

    Comment by cjkeene | December 20, 2020 | Reply

    • I think on a single battery, the range might be tight. But I think a train with two batteries and no diesels might handle it.

      There is also the point that GWR probably want as many of the trains as possible to have a standard configuration. as it will be easier to manage.

      At the moment Hitachi and GWR are only doing a test, so I suspect that it will prove what is possible and what isn’t!

      Comment by AnonW | December 20, 2020 | Reply

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