The Anonymous Widower

The Vivarail Fast Charge System At West Ealing – 7th November 2022

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

At last, it seems something is happening.

Note the concrete pads on the other side of the track for the bay platform. There appear to be eight pads, which could be to support the containers that will hold the Vivarail Fast Charge System.

November 9, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. Thanks for posting these pics. Surprised this hasn’t been picked up by the rail press, who have shown a lack of curiosity about when this will be up and running. Exciting that it is under way!

    Comment by Ealing resident | November 10, 2022 | Reply

    • No Problem! I suspect the trains will start running at the timetable change in December.

      Comment by AnonW | November 11, 2022 | Reply

    • It was a tough ask, especially as there are loads of good electrical multiple units, like 321s, 350s, 456s and 466s that could be converted.

      I have seen Porterbrook’s document about the conversion of the 319 to the 769! The train’s electrical layout is typical of many designs and is easy to enhance with battery power.

      I also think that on a lot of branch lines, Alstom’s three-car hydrogen Aventra could work a shuttle all day with an overnight filling.

      I looked at three-car Aventras on the branch in this post.

      Could Three-Car Aventras Run Services On The Greenford Branch?

      Comment by AnonW | November 25, 2022 | Reply

    • Yes, I have always had questions about Vivarail’s viability in what is a very capital- intensive business, especially once Adrian Shooter retired. I hope someone can be found to at least take on the fast charge tech.

      Comment by Peter Robins | December 1, 2022 | Reply

      • Well the COVID pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for the business (debts went up five-fold), however I think the writing was on the wall when Vivarail’s 50% partner, Henry Posner’s Railroad Development Corporation, ‘agreed’ that the company would support itself starting from the beginning of this year.

        Comment by fammorris | December 1, 2022

      • There must be further question marks about Wrexham-Bidston too.

        Comment by Peter Robins | December 1, 2022

  2. That route could be ideal for a pair of Alstom’s hydrogen Aventras.

    There’s plenty of hydrogen at Runcorn.

    Alstom has a factory at Widnes.

    It looks like they’re three cars, which would be a handy size.

    They could even be fitted with third-rail shoes. But I don’t think with a hydrogen tank, they’d be allowed in the tunnel under Liverpool.

    But then because of the Castner-Kellner works at Runcorn, Merseyside has a very long history of transporting hydrogen about. They even now, export it to London, for London’s hydrogen buses.

    I bet Alstom, Stadler and Eversholt are looking at the demise of Vivarail as an opportunity.

    Comment by AnonW | December 1, 2022 | Reply

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