The Anonymous Widower

Stadler FLIRT Akku Battery Train Demonstrates 185km Range

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway-News.

This is the first paragraph.

Stadler’s offering in the battery-powered rolling stock market, the FLIRT Akku has demonstrated a guaranteed range of 185km, even in energy-intensive conditions, it has been found following a three-year research period.

The range is very good and is over twice what Hitachi are claiming with the Hitachi Regional Battery Train.

I can’t find out many details of the size of a Flirt Akku train, but this article on the International Railway Journal has these details.

  • A picture shows a three-car train.
  • The trains have a 100 mph operating speed.
  • Fifty-five two-car trains are on order for Schleswig-Holstein.

Stadler can also fit batteries into trains like Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains.

 

There have been reports of these trains being fitted with batteries in a couple of years to reduce carbon emissions.

September 2, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,

14 Comments »

  1. Stadler’s press release is at https://www.stadlerrail.com/media/pdf/2021_03_30_media_release_stadler%20concludes%20flirt%20akku%20battery%20research%20projetc%20with%20proven%20range%20of%20185%20km.pdf

    Expect this to increase substantially over the next few years, as new types of battery move into mass production (largely driven by needs of EVs, of course).

    Comment by Peter Robins | September 2, 2021 | Reply

    • also worth stating that this is with the German loading gauge. On British trains, there may not be so much space available for batteries, making the batteries smaller. There should be some testing in GB somewhere.

      Comment by Peter Robins | September 3, 2021 | Reply

      • Did you see the picture of the Akku? It’s not the largest train.

        We should see the results from the Stadler trains in South Wales next year.

        Comment by AnonW | September 3, 2021

      • but the S Wales Flirts are tri-modes, right? https://tfw.wales/projects/metro/trains-and-stations – I’m assuming the batteries on those will only be small.

        Even, say, 150km range would open up a large number of routes that could be charged from the wires, and even more with recharging at terminus.

        However, we’re still waiting for some sort of plan to emerge from the DfT.

        Comment by Peter Robins | September 3, 2021

  2. I think that Alstom late delivery of trains to Greater Anglia and West Midlands Railway is meaning that the Class 379 and Class 350 trains are still being used by the operators.

    Porterbrook said a couple of years ago, that they would convert their Class 350 trains to battery-electric and these would be excellent battery-electric trains with four-cars, good interiors, 110 mph running and only fifteen years old. Nothing seems to have happened unless they’ve done a deal with the guys at Birmingham University, who seemed to have produced the Class 799 train in double-quick time. Porterbrook would probably like to see them earning money and once proven that they worked, there could be lots of takers, with the 110 mph operating speed.

    I suppose Siemens might have a cunning plan to convert them to battery-electric operation.

    The fate of the Class 379 trains is anybody’s guess. But as with the Class 350 trains, the leasing company must want to make money out of the asset.

    I suspect too, that Porterbrook might get some of their speculative batch of Class 379 trains, that they ordered a few years ago and which went to Southern.

    It does appear that Porterbrook has spare trains, that it doesn’t want stored in sidings. And none of them are scrapyard ready.

    Eversholt have also said, that they want a last mile battery system for their Swift parcel carrier.

    It all seems to be coming together.

    Comment by AnonW | September 3, 2021 | Reply

    • I’m sure the leasing companies want to make use of whatever stock they have lying around unused in sidings. But I don’t think they will make any substantial changes, like adding batteries, without firm orders. Similarly, all the main manufacturers are able to produce trains with batteries, but they need firm orders too before they’ll start doing anything. AIUI under the new arrangements, this has to come from Great British Railways, and I think a lot of how that will work is still undecided. Bombardier demonstrated years ago they could add batteries to a 379 (and battery tech has moved on quite a bit since then), but absolutely nothing came of that. The technology is available, it just needs to be organised, and I’m afraid this is all waiting for the DfT to tell everybody what the priorities are and who will do what when.

      Comment by Peter Robins | September 3, 2021 | Reply

      • I’ll agree with what you say and as I showed in my piece on the Bolton and Wigan electrification, that could be the first step.

        1. CAF certainly have the technology and building a fourth battery car for the three-car Class 331 trains is certainly a good idea. Note that CAF also plan to put batteries in the pantograph car, so could they be going for a TransPennine battery train? All it needs is a range of 100 miles and common sense says that a four-car train with two sizeable batteries could get that distance. They would also be out ranging Hitachi.

        2. The Bolton-Wigan electrification with the right battery-electric train, effectively electrifies 24 stations. That £3.25 million per station, which seems good value to me, as that must be quite a lot of passengers (i.e. voters) who get electric trains.

        3. I also suspect that similar short lengths of electrification could unlock similar schemes around other cities.

        I think the DfT might have a creditable plan and could we see a large order for battery-electric trains to complete it before COP26.

        CAF’s trains would be one newly-built carriage to a proven design and adding batteries.

        Class 350, Class 379 and Class 387 trains would just be adding batteries to trains, where all the systems are well known, which could be financed by the leasing companies, as they have form in repurposing trains, where they can make money.

        Comment by AnonW | September 3, 2021

  3. I see the Akku has now set a new record of 224km https://www.focustransport.org/2021/12/224-kilometre-battery-range-for-flirt.html I thought I might be optimistic forecasting 250km range by 2025, but seems technology advances faster than ever.

    Comment by Peter Robins | December 24, 2021 | Reply

  4. I’ve never seen a schematic of an Akku, Is it a design similar to the Class 755 train, but with four batteries in the slots in the power-pack?

    If it is, then it would seem possible that if Stadler fitted batteries to Class 755 trains, range should be sufficient to cover the 86 km between Ely and Norwich and the 78.8 km between Ipswich and Lowestoft.

    Comment by AnonW | December 24, 2021 | Reply

    • I can’t find any data on Stadler’s website, but https://www.railvolution.net/news/flirt-akku-research-project-completed has some more technical details. The Akku is basically a standard Flirt EMU with batteries on the roof and in the end car. This makes me think that the GB Flirts might not have the range of the German ones. Even so, it should be ample for most English lines. Vivarail also uses Hoppecke batteries.

      I think manufacturers will always be conservative on the stated range, as they want operators to have confidence in that number. But we’ve seen with EVs that the range has increased dramatically in recent years, as battery tech improves.

      Comment by Peter Robins | December 24, 2021 | Reply

      • I sent my drone across to Germany and it sent me a photograph, which shows that Akkus have three normal cars and no PowerCar.

        Comment by AnonW | December 24, 2021

      • The Wink (basically the Flirt’s smaller brother) https://www.stadlerrail.com/media/pdf/warr0420e.pdf also has a powercar. These are being rolled out in Friesland/Groningen in NL, and are tri-modes like the 756s, so can run on batteries in stations. To start with, these will be powered by diesel engines run on HVO. When part of the network is electrified in 2025, the plan is to take out the diesels and replace with batteries, which can be recharged from the OLE. It’s not hard to imagine the same happening with the 755/6s, though I can’t find any mention of the battery range on Stadler’s spec.

        Comment by Peter Robins | December 24, 2021

      • it seems the diesel won’t be replaced by OLE after all. See https://www.railvolution.net/news/winks-in-regular-service-and-a-couple-of-questions-over-the-future-operation for quite an interesting discussion, inc that hydrogen trains cost roughly twice EMUs.

        Comment by Peter Robins | December 24, 2021

  5. Greater Anglia and/or Stadler has said, that they aim to replace the one or more of the diesels in the Class 755 trains with batteries.

    I think that Stadler would prefer to do this sooner rather than later, as there must be qudos in running the first battery train in the UK.

    Their main rival may be the 777 in Liverpool, but I still suspect the competition is keen.

    Comment by AnonW | December 24, 2021 | Reply


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