The Anonymous Widower

Battery-Electric Trains And The TransPennine Upgrade

In Is There Going To Be Full Electrification Between Leeds And Huddersfield?, I showed this map of the TransPennine Upgrade between Huddersfield and Westtown near Dewsbury.

Note.

  1. There will be electrification between Dewsbury and Huddersfield.
  2. Tracks will be doubled from two to four.
  3. Ravensthorpe, Mirfield, Deighton and Huddersfield stations will be electrified and probably upgraded.
  4. Dewsbury and Huddersfield stations are eight miles apart.

This page on the Network Rail website gives more information.

Click on Huddersfield and Westtown (Dewsbury) and you get this information.

On 31 March 2021, we submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to the Secretary of State for Transport for the Huddersfield to Westtown (Dewsbury) scheme.

Throughout this eight-mile section of the route, we’re proposing to double the number of tracks from two-to-four, electrify from Huddersfield to Dewsbury and make big improvements to the four stations in this section – Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe; where we also need to separate the lines going to/from Leeds from the lines going to/from Wakefield, with either a bridge or a tunnel.

It is a much larger scheme than the one between Bolton and Wigan, which I wrote about in Bolton-Wigan £78m Rail Electrification Project Announced.

  • Huddersfield-Westtown is eight miles, whereas Bolton-Wigan is 6.5 miles.
  • Both involve upgrading four stations.
  • Both involve full electrification.
  • Huddersfield-Westtown involves doubling the number of tracks, whereas Bolton-Wigan needs little work to the track.
  • Huddersfield-Westtown will need a bridge or a tunnel, whereas Bolton-Wigan might need minor work to a couple of flat junctions.
  • Huddersfield station is Grade 1 Listed, whereas Wigan Wallgate station has some good features.
  • The Huddersfield-Westtown scheme is costed at £2.9 billion, whereas Bolton-Wigan is just £78 million.

The Huddersfield-Westtown scheme is thirty-seven times larger in terms of money.

What Passenger Services Use The Route Between Huddersfield And Dewsbury?

These services use the route, all or in part.

  • Northern Trains – Wigan Wallgate and Leeds via Manchester Victoria, Hebden Bridge, Brighouse, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury – 1 tph
  • Northern Trains – Huddersfield and Castleford via Deighton, Mirfield and Wakefield Kirkgate – 1 tph
  • TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Scarborough via Manchester Victoria, Stalybridge, Huddersfield and Leeds – 1 tph
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Redcar Central via Manchester Victoria, Stalybridge,  Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Leeds – 1 tph
  • TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh via Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield and Leeds – 1 tph
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Newcastle via Manchester Victoria,  Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Leeds – 1 tph
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Piccadilly and Hull via Stalybridge,  Huddersfield and Leeds – 1 tph
  • TransPennine Express – Huddersfield and Leeds via Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury – 1 tph

Note.

  1. All trains are one train per hour (tph)
  2. Three tph run non-stop between Huddersfield and Leeds.
  3. Two tph stop at Deighton station, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe.

After completion of the Huddersfield and Westtown upgrade, there will be electrification at the following places.

  • West of Manchester Victoria station
  • Between Huddersfield and Westtown
  • Between Leeds and York – Currently being electrified between York and Church Fenton.

And these routes will not be electrified.

  • Dewsbury and Leeds – 9.2 miles
  • Leeds and Hull – 51.5 miles
  • Mirfield and Castleford – 16 miles
  • Manchester Piccadilly and Stalybridge – Could be electrified – 7.5 miles
  • Manchester Victoria and Heaton Lodge Junction via Hebden Bridge – 47.4 miles
  • Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge – Could be electrified – 7.7 miles
  • Redcar Central and Northallerton – 28.1 miles
  • Stalybridge and Huddersfield – 18 miles
  • York and Scarborough – 42.1 miles

Note that all routes except Mirfield and Castleford and Leeds and Hull have electrification at both ends.

Which Routes Between Huddersfield And Westtown Could Be Handled By Battery-Electric Trains?

I will assume that operators will have a battery-electric train capable of running 56 miles on batter ypower. This distance comes from Hitachi’s specification for the Hitachi Regional Battery Train, which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

These are the routes and my answers.

Northern Trains – Wigan Wallgate and Leeds

The longest section without electrification is Manchester Victoria and Heaton Lodge Junction via Hebden Bridge, which is 47.4 miles.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

Northern Trains – Huddersfield and Castleford

The longest section without electrification is Mirfield and Castleford, which is 16 miles.

But it must be handled on both an out and back basis. So the train will cover 32 miles on battery power.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Scarborough

The longest section without electrification to the West of Leeds, is Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, which is 25.7 miles.

At the Eastern end, as York and Scarborough is 42.1 miles without electrification, there would need to be some electrification or a charging system at Scarborough station.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Redcar Central

The longest section without electrification to the West of Leeds,is Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, which is 25.7 miles.

At the Eastern end, as Northallerton and Redcar Central is 28.1 miles without electrification, there may need to be some electrification or a charging system at Redcar Central station.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh

The longest section without electrification is Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, which is 25.7 miles.

Leeds and Edinburgh is fully electrified.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Newcastle

The longest section without electrification is Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, which is 25.7 miles.

Leeds and Newcastle is fully electrified.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

TransPennine Express – Manchester Piccadilly and Hull

The longest section without electrification to the West of Leeds, is Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, which is 25.5 miles.

At the Eastern end, as Leeds and Hull is 51.5 miles, there would need to be some electrification or a charging system at Hull station.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

TransPennine Express – Huddersfield and Leeds

The longest section without electrification is Dewsbury and Leeds, which is 9.2 miles.

I am sure this route is possible with battery-electric trains.

Handling The Eastern Ends

At Hull, Redcar Central and Scarborough stations, there will need to be some means to recharge the trains, so they can get back to the electrification on the East Coast Main Line.

There could either be a short length of 25 KVAC overhead electrification or a special-purpose charging station.

There would need to be an allowance in the turnback, of perhaps 10-15 minutes to make sure trains started back with full batteries.

Will Huddersfield And Westtown Be Long Enough To Charge A Battery-Electric Train?

I have looked at train times between Huddersfield And Westtown and typically trains take around 11-12 minutes to go between Huddersfield and Dewsbury stations.

That should probably be enough, especially, as the trains will probably be using regenerative braking to batteries at any station stops.

Conclusion

I am absolutely certain that by completing the TransPennine Upgrade with full electrification between Huddersfield and Westtown, that all passenger services through the section could be run by battery-electric trains with a range of ninety kilometres or fifty-six miles.

There would probably need to be some electrification or a charging system at Hull, Redcar Central and Scarborough stations.

A Thought On Short Sections Of Electrification

As with the Bolton-Wigan scheme to the West of the Pennines, a length of electrified track that is less than ten miles, allows several services to be run by battery-electric trains and decarbonised.

How many other sections of less than ten miles of electrification can transform train services and reduce the use of diesel around the UK, by the introduction of fleets of battery-electric trains?

 

September 4, 2021 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. So you are absolutely certain that by completing the TransPennine Upgrade with full electrification between Huddersfield and Westtown, that all services through the section could be run by battery-electric trains. Now what about the views of Network Rail, the Rolling Stock Leasing Companies, DfT, GBR and the Treasury.
    Still it’s all good fun 🤭

    Comment by fammorris | September 5, 2021 | Reply

    • Network Rail have designed the scheme to be battery-train friendly, just as they have at Bolton and Wigan.

      The Hitachi trains running on the route will be convertible to battery-electric trains.

      CAF are working on converting the 331s to battery-electric trains.

      Train leasing companies will see their assets continue to be used after decarbonisation.

      GBR will see better services to passengers and a battery-electric service across the Pennines.

      The Treasury will not be asked for any more billion pound schemes to creates an interim TransPennine electric service, until they create HGS3.

      Comment by AnonW | September 5, 2021 | Reply

      • Network Rail’s Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy (TDNS) published just over a year ago recommended 11,700
        Standard Track Kilometres (STK) for electrification (76% of the available track), 900 STK for hydrogen (6%), 400 STK for battery (3%) and 2,300 STK for further analysis (15%). It’s worth reading Chapters 3 and 4 of March 2021 Commons Transport Committee report (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmtrans/876/87602.html) to see the way that opportunities for battery and hydrogen powered rolling stock are viewed by the committee and industry contributors.
        At the heart of the debate is the question of battery/hydrogen traction versus electrification covered by the section entitled ‘Enabling flexibility for technological advances’

        Comment by fammorris | September 5, 2021

  2. As an Electrical and Control Engineer, who has spoken to people involved in the development of battery-electric trains in several companies, I believe strongly that fill-in and extension passenger services will go the way of battery-electric. Hydrogen’s problem in the UK is that the hydrogen tanks can be too large for the loading gauge. If Birmingham University have solved the problem with their collaboration with Porterbrook, good luck to them.

    Hydrogen though will take over freight as a Class 66-sized locomotive in terms of dimensions and power is feasible with hydrogen. The maths for battery-electric locomotives are very disadvantageous. I also think, that someone will come up with a hydrogen conversion package for many of the existing locomotives.There’s just so much money to be made by cracking that one.

    Comment by AnonW | September 5, 2021 | Reply

    • As a member of the IET I’m agnostic about whether batteries or fuel cells should prevail, although having said that I’m not particularly impressed with hydrogen and its production owing to the energy involved in transferring it from the equivalent of the well-to-wheel. It becomes more attractive as the mass of the vehicle increases owing to the potential limitations in energy density of battery technology so yes it more than likely will be applicable to locomotive applications. Can we fit hydrogen storage onto a multiple unit, well like UK buses we can store it on the roof as is the case for Alstom’s Coradia iLint

      There may be some wrinkles in this assumption due to UK loading gauge but advances in hydrogen storage using metal hydrides could well solve the problem of space requirements at much lower storage pressure.
      https://ricardo.com/news-and-media/news-and-press/innovative-hydrogen-storage-project-aims-to-improve-commercial-case-for-fuel-cell-buses
      Fraunhofer Institute have also been working on on this subject and have some promising experience.

      Comment by fammorris | September 5, 2021 | Reply

      • It appears Birmingham University have got the hydrogen storage for the Class 799 train under the floor of the train, so I wonder if they’re using some innovative for of hydrogen storage.

        I also wonder if a small gas turbine running on hydrogen is a better bet for some applications like freight locomotives. Rolls-Royce have already announced a 2.5 MW generator based on the engine in a Super Hercules, which is the size of a beer keg.

        Honeywell have also produced a smaller generator based on the APU of an A350 airliner. The Honeywell engine would fit under the floor of an EMU.

        There’s some very advanced cavalry about to come over the hill!

        Comment by AnonW | September 5, 2021


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