The Anonymous Widower

Recovering A Broken Down Battery-Electric Train

I was on a bus recently, where the brakes locked on and we had to all get off and wait to be rescued, by the next service.

To aid recovery on trains, it is usual for a broken-down train to be able to be rescued by another train of the same type.

But how do you rescue a battery electric train?

There will be two main groups of failures.

  • Those where even the world’s most powerful locomotive will be unable to move the train.
  • Those where a train with enough power can move the train to safety.

Let’s assume we have a four-car battery electric train.

  • Trains can run for 40 miles, when starting with a full battery.
  • Trains can run as pairs to provide higher capacity services or recover trains.

It is running on a ten-mile single-track branch line with a terminal station at the remote end.

It would be reasonable to assume, that the train could do two round trips before it needed a recharge.

The battery could also be said to have a capacity 160 car-miles.

Suppose a train broke down for some reason at the remote end, with a fault, that still allows the train to be moved, by towing.

  • A second train can be used to remove the first train.
  • It will use up 40 car-miles of energy to reach the first train.
  • This leaves 120 car-miles of energy in the battery.
  • When the two trains are connected, they are an eight-car train.

120 car-miles of energy in the battery, should be able to move the pair of trains fifteen miles.

I suspect that track layouts for battery-electric trains are designed with care, so that one train has enough battery capacity to rescue another.


January 28, 2023 - Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel |

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: