The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Batteries On A Hitachi Regional Battery Train

This article is a repeat of Thoughts On Batteries On A Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train, but for their other train with batteries; the Hitachi Regional Battery Train.

This Hitachi infographic describes a Hitachi Regional Battery Train.

Hitachi are creating the first of these battery trains, by replacing one of the diesel power-packs in a Class 802 train with a battery-pack from Hyperdrive Innovation of Sunderland.

The Class 802 train has the following characteristics.

  • Five cars.
  • Three diesel power-packs, each with a power output of 700 kW.
  • 125 mph top speed on electricity.
  • I believe all intermediate cars are wired for diesel power-packs, so can all intermediate cars have a battery?

In How Much Power Is Needed To Run A Train At 125 Or 100 mph?, I estimated that the trains need the following amounts of energy to keep them at a constant speed.

  • Class 801 train – 125 mph 3.42 kWh per vehicle mile
  • Class 801 train – 100 mph 2.19 kWh per vehicle mile

The figures are my best estimates.

We also know that according to Hitachi, the battery train has a range of 90 kilometres or 56 miles at a speed of 100 mph.

So applying the formula for energy needed gives that the battery size to cover 56 miles at a constant 100 mph will be.

56 * 2.19 * 5 = 613.2 kWh.

In the calculation for the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mofr Battery Train, I had assumed that a 600 kWh battery was feasible, as it would lay less than the diesel engine it replaced.

I can also apply the formula for a four-car train.

56 * 2.19 * 4 = 490.6 kWh.

That too, would be very feasible.


I can’t wait to ride in one of Hitachi’s two proposed battery-electric trains.


June 1, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

What Does Novak Djorkovic Tell Us About The Covids?

If you search the Internet for “coeliac disease and Novac Djokovic, you get a lot of posts linking to gluten-free diet and some to coeliac disease.

Some say he is coeliac and others say he is just gluten-free.

There are also reports on the Internet of Novac Djokovic having Covid-19.

So does that tell us anything about gluten-free diets, coeliac disease and Covid-19?

As there are no reports of him spending a long time in hospital, it doesn’t disprove my theory, that coeliacs on a gluten-free diet don’t get serious doses of the Covids!

I’d love to hear more stories of coeliacs on a gluten-free diet, who have caught Covid-19.


June 1, 2021 Posted by | Food, Health, Sport | , , | 1 Comment

Nestlé’s Glass Train Shifts More Cargo From Road To Rail

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

This is the first paragraph.

In France, Nestlé Water is bringing more trains to the rails for the transport of reusable water bottles to and from the production site. The Glass Train project, as it is called, is also getting two more destinations; Arles in Southern France and Merrey in the country’s East. The 25 new trains will help the company remove up to 1,000 trucks off the road and save approximately 500 tons in CO2 emissions.

Nestlé is expanding the project to Vittel and Pellegrino.


We need more projects like this!

June 1, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment

Are Kraft Heinz Up To Something?

This article on The Times, is entitled Ketchup On Its Way Back To Britain As Kraft Heinz Invests In UK Site.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Heinz tomato ketchup will be made in Britain again after its owner announced plans for a £140 million upgrade of a site on the outskirts of Wigan.

Europe’s largest food manufacturing facility is set to start making the sauces of Kraft Heinz, which also include mayonnaise and salad cream, in a move designed to meet demand in the UK.

I wrote about Kraft recently in Kraft Heinz And Freight Innovation, where they were experimenting with Network Rail to get goods to their Wigan site faster and with less carbon emissions.

I think the two stories might fit together.

have just looked at my 435 gram bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup. It states on the bottle that every 100 grams of the sauce is made from 174 grams of tomatoes. I suspect leaving in the pips and the skins would make a rather lumpy sauce!

But this means that for every tonne of sauce, there is a need for 1.74 tonnes of tomatoes.

Could this be a reason why Kraft Heinz ran an experiment a couple of months ago with bringing in goods to the site at Wigan by rail?

There could be TomatoLiner trains all the way from Spain or Italy.

Or perhaps, they could link Wigan to Lincolnshire or South Yorkshire, where tomatoes could be grown in large automated greenhouses, heated by the waste heat from all the power stations. Carbon dioxide from gas-fired power stations could also be used to make the tomatoes grow big and strong.

Why shouldn’t we eat the carbon dioxide we produce?

The more I look at Google Maps of Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, the more I think that cost-competitive UK-produced tomatoes could be one of the reasons for this move.

I have found companies like Yorkshire Grown Produce, who grow the speciality varieties of tomatoes for supermarkets. and CambridgeHOK, who design and build the automated greenhouses.

But the problem, all growers of fruit and vegetables face, is the lack of people to do the harvesting, at an affordable price.

  • As a Control Engineer, who has worked on automation, it is my view that robot or automatic harvesting is needed.
  • After all robots don’t get drunk at the weekend and not turn up on Mondays.

I haven’t found a robot that would pick tomatoes yet, but I suspect there’s a company out there working on it.

Yorkshire Grown Produce are in Brough, a few files to the South-West of Hull. and say they can provide quality tomatoes from March to November.

So could a company provide affordable tomatoes to Kraft Heinz’s specification for 9-10 months of the year?

  • Looking at bottles of Ketchup, it appears they have a shelf life of at least a year, so the month’s without tomatoes could be bridged by a warehouse.
  • I also suspect that automated greenhouses could turn out guaranteed Organic tomatoes.
  • The tomatoes would arrive in Wigan the day they are picked.
  • It probably wouldn’t be a large train every day and the line at Wigan is not electrified, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a zero-carbon trip across the Pennines.

I can see an efficient system for the production of tomato ketchup, which could be labelled organic and 100 % British.

How many tonnes of carbon emissions would be saved? Probably not many! But it’s the thought that counts.

If this isn’t technology-aided marketing, I don’t know what is?


How many other production and delivery processes can be simplified by the use of rail?

June 1, 2021 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , | 5 Comments