The Anonymous Widower

The Vivarail Fast Charge System At West Ealing – 4th May 2022

This article on Rail Business UK is entitled UK Railway News Round-Up.

This is the first section.

Vivarail has awarded Sella Controls a contract to supply of Tracklink III Readers and beacons for GWR’s Class 230 battery train fast charging trial on the Greenford branch. As the train enters the station one beacon will initiate the deployment of the train collectors for charging, and another beacon will trigger the charging process when the train is in the correct position.

I went to West Ealing station today and took these pictures.


  1. The bay platform is Platform 5.
  2. I couldn’t see any signs of any Tracklink III Readers.
  3. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that two Class 230 trains could fit in Platform 5.

I took these pictures of the station in April 2021.

It does appear by comparing the pictures, that the biggest change is that the area on the far side of the track in Platform 5, which has been cleared.

May 4, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. Vivarail have only just awarded the contract, so there wouldn’t be any change yet, right?

    It will be very interesting to see how this trial gets on.

    Comment by Peter Robins | May 5, 2022 | Reply

    • I understand why they want to run a trial, but I would have thought it simpler to make use of/extend the existing electrification at both ends, even if they are at different voltages. Then you wouldn’t need special chargers.

      Comment by Peter Robins | May 5, 2022 | Reply

  2. The costs for 25kV electrification of the 4 km branch line from West Ealing to Greenford would be prohibitive and the idea of 750V DC 4-rail electrification from Greenford to West Ealing, as as being unacceptably high (< £5 million) in cost raises the question of where you'd get suitable LUL rolling stock given the line is signalled to Network Rail standards. These reasons explain the use of the current diesel multiple units which are independent of power source. Likewise a battery-electric solution offers a similar independence which like DMUs avoids the cost of electrification.
    In one sense I am a bit surprised that Vivarail's fast charger isn't to be installed at Greenford's platform 2 with the adjacent 750V facilities, at first sight it appears cheaper than the necessity of an additional drop-down transformer at West Ealing. Then again perhaps a Network Rail or LUL electrification engineer may know why the decision was made.

    Comment by fammorris | May 5, 2022 | Reply

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