The Anonymous Widower

Flirt Akku And Class 755 Train Compared

This article on Focus Transport is entitled 224-kilometre Battery Range For FLIRT Akku – Stadler Sets World Record For Guinness Book Of Records.

These facts about the record run are given.

  • The route was from from Berlin to Warnemünde.
  • It appears to have been independently verified.
  • The distance was 224 kilometres or 139 miles.
  • This distance is more than London to Great Yarmouth via Norwich.
  • It is reported that the temperature was around zero, which is not very battery-friendly.

No mention was made in the article of the number of passengers on board or the average speed.

Various articles have stated that the Flirt Akku is a three-car train, but I was not sure, if it included a PowerPack car like the Class 755 train.

So I flew my virtual drone over the route and got this picture.

Compare the front end with this picture of a Class 755 train at Lowestoft.

And the side view with this diagram of the trains, that I clipped from Wikipedia.

I can come to these conclusions.

  • The two front ends are very different, although the basic layout of doors and windows appears the same.
  • The Akku seems to have a flatter side.
  • The Akku lacks the PowerPack of the British train.

It also looks like the Greater Anglia train has better step-free access between between train and platform. But then you never seem to find good step-free access on German trains.

Some extra information and thoughts .

Testing The Flirt Akku

This article on Railvolution is entitled FLIRT AKKU Research Project Completed.

The article comprehensively described the testing process  and gave more details of the train.

  • The train was running at 140 kph or 87 mph.
  • This speed is available from the catenary or battery.
  • Battery charging takes twenty minutes.
  • The train seats 154 passengers in a 2 + 2 configuration.

The train appears to be roughly the same size and performance as a three-car Class 755 train.

Range On A Battery-Electric Class 755 Train

The battery range needed on various Greater Anglia routes are as follows.

Ipswich and Cambridge – 41.3 miles

  • Ipswich and Felixstowe – 15.6 miles
  • Ipswich and Lowestoft – 48.9 miles
  • Ipswich and Peterborough – 71.2 miles
  • Norwich and Great Yarmouth – 18.3 miles
  • Norwich and Lowestoft – 23.5 miles
  • Norwich and Sheringham – 30 miles
  • Norwich and Stansted Airport – 53.7 miles
  • Marks Tey and Sudbury – 11.8 miles


  1. Cambridge, Ely, Ipswich, Norwich and Peterborough are stations with full electrification.
  2. I suspect some services will need charging at the remote station.

It looks like to handle all routes will need a train with a range of around 80 miles or around 129 kilometres.


I don’t think that it would be impossible for Stadler to create a battery-electric Class 755 train with enough range.

December 24, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Firstly before i go off on one I must thankyou for all the posts you produce across the year they are informative as well as thought provoking and allow us to contribute to the discussion to all enhance our knowledge and sanity.

    Now back to my stuck record its clearly a NO BRAINER BEMU’s have come of age and we just need to crack on with evaluating the biggest battery we can sling under every modern class of EMU and then retrofit sufficient of the fleets where we have diesel working under the wires to gain a quick reduction in emissions not wait for wires to appear over the horizon.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | December 24, 2021 | Reply

  2. Thanks!

    Samuel Johnson once said “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

    Diesel engine companies appear to have seen the demise of their product and are innovating like mad. There will be a whole range of solutions. I agree that BEMUs could be the way to go at one end, but that for heavy haul it will be probably be hydrogen or another fuel working in traditional engines or gas turbines.

    Comment by AnonW | December 24, 2021 | Reply

  3. The Euro version of the Flirt can take advantage of larger European loading gauge and therefore look a little different to UK version.

    I think the US also benefits from this although the US seems to have more double decker KISS (something of a theme, along with WINK and maybe SPATZ?) and the more tram-like GTW.

    Comment by MilesT | December 25, 2021 | Reply

  4. There’s more on the Akku, as presented at Innotrans, at This states that “Stadler is to deliver five pre-series [2-car] trains from November 2022, with the remainder to enter service from May 2023 to mid-2024.” So anyone visiting SH should be able to ride on one before too long. They will have a “range of 150 km under optimal conditions, although the longest non-electrified route they will operate on is around 80 km” (remember these were originally sold as having a 90km range).

    I fully agree with Nicholas that installing BEMUs on the large number of GB lines that are within range should be a no-brainer. But I’m afraid the decision makers don’t seem to have got the message yet.

    Comment by Peter Robins | September 23, 2022 | Reply

  5. I rode on the Class 379 BEMU in February 2015, which was over seven years ago.

    As we have had five transport ministers in that time, I don’t believe it’s the politicians’ fault, as surely one would have said go for it. I suspect there’s someone in something like Health and Safety who has a spurious objection.

    Comment by AnonW | September 23, 2022 | Reply

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