The Anonymous Widower

Could A Battery-Electric High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Train Be Developed?

A Battery-Electric High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Train, would not be needed for High Speed Two, as it is currently envisaged, as all lines will be electrified.

But Hitachi have already said that they are developing the Hitachi Intercity Battery Hybrid Train, which is described in this infographic.

This page on the Hitachi Rail web site gives this description of the Hybrid Battery Train.

A quick and easy application of battery technology is to install it on existing or future Hitachi intercity trains. A retrofit programme would involve removing diesel engines and replace with batteries.

Hitachi Rail’s modular design means this can be done without the need to re-engineer or rebuild the train, this ensures trains can be returned to service as quickly as possible for passengers. Adding a battery reduces fuel costs up to 30% or increase performance.

These trains will be able to enter, alight and leave non–electrified stations in battery mode reducing diesel emissions and minimising noise – helping to improve air quality and make train stations a cleaner environment for passengers.

Our battery solution complements electrification, connecting gaps and minimising potential infrastructure costs and disruption to service.

It looks to me, that Hitachi are playing an old Electrical/Electronic Engineer’s trick.

As a sixteen-year-old, I spent a Summer in a rolling mills, building replacement transistorised control units for the old electronic valve units. They had been designed, so they were plug-compatible and performed identically.

It appears, that Hitachi’s battery supplier; Hyperdrive Innovation of Sunderland has just designed a battery pack, that appears to the train to be a diesel engine.

In the Technical Outline, this is said.

  • Train Configuration: 5 – 12 car
  • Nominal Vehicle Length: 26m
  • Power Supply: Battery

The AT-300 trains generally have twenty-six metre cars.

In How Much Power Is Needed To Run A Train At 125 Or 100 mph?, I calculated that a Class 801 train uses 3.42 kWh per vehicle mile, at 125 mph.

  • This means that a five-car train will use 1710 kWh to do 100 miles at 125 mph.
  • The train has three diesel engines, so three batteries of 570 kWh would be needed.
  • Alternatively, if a battery was put in each car, 342 kWh batteries would be needed.
  • In the Wikipedia entry for battery-electric multiple unit, there are two examples of trains with 360 kWh batteries.

I believe building 570 kWh batteries for fitting under the train is possible.

What would be the maximum range for this train at 100 mph?

  • I will assume that five batteries are fitted.
  • As drag is proportional to the square of the speed, I’ll use a figure of 2.07 kWh per vehicle mile, at 100 mph.

This is a table of ranges with different size batteries in all cars.

  • 50 kWh – 24.1 miles
  • 100 kWh – 48.3 miles
  • 200 kWh – 96.6 miles
  • 300 kWh – 145 miles
  • 400 kWh – 193.2 miles
  • 500 kWh – 241.5 miles

They are certainly useful ranges.

LNER Will Be Ordering Ten New Bi-Mode Trains

In LNER Seeks 10 More Bi-Modes, I discussed LNER’s need for ten new bi-mode trains, which started like this.

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the December 2020 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the opening paragraph.

LNER has launched the procurement of at least 10 new trains to supplement its Azuma fleet on East Coast Main Line services.

Some other points from the article.

  • It appears that LNER would like to eliminate diesel traction if possible.
  • On-board energy storage is mentioned.
  • No form of power appears to be ruled out, including hydrogen.
  • LNER have all 65 of their Azumas in service.

I believe that ten trains would be enough to handle LNER’s services on lines without electrification to the North of Scotland.

  • London and Aberdeen has 130 miles without wires.
  • London and Inverness has 146 miles without wires.
  • Electrification plans are progressing North to Perth and to Thornton Junction.

I suspect both routes could be upgraded to under a hundred miles without wires.

I believe, that if Hyperdrive Innovation pull out every trick in the book to save power in their batteries that a five-car Azuma with a 300 kWh battery in each car, will have sufficient range with reserves to go between Edinburgh and Inverness or Aberdeen at 100 mph.

A Battery-Electric High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Train


  • I am a great believer in regenerative breaking to batteries on the train, as my experience says it the most efficient  and also gives advantages, when the catenary fails.
  • Stadler’s approach with the Class 777 train, where all trains have a small battery for depot movements, is likely to be increasingly copied by other train manufacturers.
  • Hitachi have also designed the Class 803 trains for Lumo with emergency batteries for hotel power.

I could envisage provision for batteries being designed into a High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Train.

Suppose it was wanted to run High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Trains between Crewe and Holyhead.

  • The train has eight cars.
  • The route is 105.5 miles.
  • I will assume an average speed of 100 mph.
  • A Class 801 train uses 3.42 kWh per vehicle mile, at 125 mph.
  • As drag is proportional to the square of the speed, I’ll use a figure of 2.07 kWh per vehicle mile, at 100 mph.
  • This means that an eight-car train will use 1747.08 kWh to do 105.5 miles at 100 mph.
  • I would put a traction battery in each car, to distribute the weight easily.

Each battery would need to be 218.4 kWh, which is totally feasible.

How far would the train travel on 300 kWh batteries at 100 mph?

  • Total battery capacity is 2400 kWh.
  • One mile will use 16.56 kWh.
  • I am assuming the train is using regenerative braking to the battery at each stop.

The train will travel 145 miles before needing a recharge.

On the Crewe and Holyhead route, there would be a reserve of around 40 miles or nearly 500 kWh.


I am convinced that Hitachi and their highly regarded partner; Hyperdrive Innovation, have developed a battery pack, that gives enough power to match the performance of Class 800/802/805/810 trains on diesel and give a range of upwards of a hundred miles on battery power at 100 mph, if you put a 300 kWh battery pack in all cars.

  • But then Stadler have run an Akku for 115 miles and a Class 777 for 84 miles on battery power alone.
  • I think the key is to put a battery in each car and harvest all the electricity you can from braking.
  • Remember too that Hitachi  can raise and lower their pantographs with all the alacrity of a whore’s drawers, so strategic lengths of overhead electrification can also be erected.

Hitachi and Hyperdrive Innovation appear to have invented the High Speed Battery Train.

We’ll know soon, when the order for the LNER bi-modes is announced.

Whatever works on LNER, should work on High Speed Two.


March 16, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Confirms £205 Million Budget To Power More Of Britain From Britain

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Department of Energy Security And NetZero.

This is the sub title.

UK government confirms budget for this year’s Contracts for Difference scheme as it enters its first annual auction, boosting energy security.

These are the three bullet points.

  • Government announces significant financial backing for first annual flagship renewables auction, boosting Britain’s energy security
  • £170 million pledged for established technologies to ensure Britain remains a front runner in renewables and £10 million ring-fenced budget for tidal
  • Scheme will bolster investment into the sector every year, delivering clean, homegrown energy as well as green growth and jobs

These are my thoughts.

First And Annual

The scheme is flagged as both first and annual!

Does this mean, that each Budget will bring forward a pot of money for renewables every year?

My father, who being a letterpress printer and a Cockney poet would say it did and I’ll follow his lead.

Two Pots

In Contracts for Difference Round 4, there were three pots.

  • Pot 1 – Onshore Wind and Solar
  • Pot 2 – Floating Offshore Wind, Remote Island Wind and Tidal Stream
  • Pot 3 – Fixed Foundation Offshore Wind

This document on the government web site lists all the results.

For Contracts for Difference Round 5, there will be two pots, which is described in this paragraph of the press release.

Arranged across 2 ‘pots’, this year’s fifth Allocation Round (AR5) includes an allocation of £170 million to Pot 1 for established technologies, which for the first time includes offshore wind and remote island wind – and confirms an allocation of £35 million for Pot 2 which covers emerging technologies such as geothermal and floating offshore wind, as well as a £10 million ring-fenced budget available for tidal stream technologies.

It could be described as a two-pot structure with a smaller ring-fenced pot for tidal stream technologies.

Contract for Difference

There is a Wikipedia entry for Contract for Difference and I’m putting in an extract, which describes how they work with renewable electricity generation.

To support new low carbon electricity generation in the United Kingdom, both nuclear and renewable, contracts for difference were introduced by the Energy Act 2013, progressively replacing the previous Renewables Obligation scheme. A House of Commons Library report explained the scheme as:

Contracts for Difference (CfD) are a system of reverse auctions intended to give investors the confidence and certainty they need to invest in low carbon electricity generation. CfDs have also been agreed on a bilateral basis, such as the agreement struck for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.

CfDs work by fixing the prices received by low carbon generation, reducing the risks they face, and ensuring that eligible technology receives a price for generated power that supports investment. CfDs also reduce costs by fixing the price consumers pay for low carbon electricity. This requires generators to pay money back when wholesale electricity prices are higher than the strike price, and provides financial support when the wholesale electricity prices are lower.

The costs of the CfD scheme are funded by a statutory levy on all UK-based licensed electricity suppliers (known as the ‘Supplier Obligation’), which is passed on to consumers.

In some countries, such as Turkey, the price may be fixed by the government rather than an auction.


  1. I would trust the House of Commons Library to write up CfDs properly.
  2. As a Control Engineer, I find a CfD an interesting idea.
  3. If a generator has more electricity than expected, they will make more money than they expected. So this should drop the wholesale price, so they would get less. Get the parameters right and the generator and the electricity distributor would probably end up in a stable equilibrium. This should be fairly close to the strike price.

I would expect in Turkey with Erdogan as President, there are also other factors involved.

Renewable Generation With Energy Storage

I do wonder, if wind, solar or tidal energy, is paired with energy storage, this would allow optimisation of the system around the Contract for Difference.

If it did, it would probably mean that the generator settled into a state of equilibrium, where it supplied a constant amount of electricity.

Remote Island Wind

Remote Island Wind was introduced in Round 4 and I wrote about it in The Concept Of Remote Island Wind.

This was my conclusion in that post.

I must admit that I like the concept. Especially, when like some of the schemes, when it is linked to community involvement and improvement.

Only time will tell, if the concept of Remote Island Wind works well.

There are possibilities, although England and Wales compared to Scotland and Ireland, would appear to be short of islands.

This map shows the islands of the Thames Estuary.


  1. In Kent, there is the Isle of Sheppey and the Isle of Grain.
  2. Between the two islands is a large gas terminal , a gas-fired power station and an electricity sub-station connecting to Germany.
  3. In Essex, there is Canvey, Foulness and Potton Islands.
  4. There is also the site at Bradwell, where there used to be a nuclear power station.

If we assume that each island could support 200 MW, there could be a GW of onshore wind for London and perhaps a couple of SMRs to add another GW.

This map shows the islands around Portsmouth.


  1. Hayling Island is to the East of Portsmouth.
  2. Further East is Thorney Island with an airfield.

The Isle of Wight could be the sort of island, that wouldn’t welcome wind farms, although they do make the blades for turbines. Perhaps they should have a wind farm to make the blades even more green.

But going round England and Wales there doesn’t seem to be many suitable places for Remote Island Wind.

I do think though, that Scotland could make up the difference.

Geothermal Energy

This is directly mentioned as going into the emerging technologies pot, which is numbered 2.

I think we could see a surprise here, as how many commentators predicted that geothermal heat from the London Underground could be used to heat buildings in Islington, as I wrote about in ‘World-First’ As Bunhill 2 Launches Using Tube Heat To Warm 1,350 Homes.

Perhaps, Charlotte Adams and her team at Durham University, will capitalise on some of their work with a abandoned coal mine, that I wrote about in Exciting Renewable Energy Project for Spennymoor.


This paragraph gives the timescale.

The publication of these notices mean that AR5 is set to open to applications on 30 March with results to be announced in late summer/early autumn 2023, with the goal of building upon the already paramount success of the scheme.

It does look like the Government intends this round to progress at a fast pace.


If this is going to be an annual auction, this could turn out to be a big spur to the development of renewable energy.

Supposing you have a really off-beat idea to generate electricity and the idea place in the world is off the coast of Anglesey.

You will certainly be able to make a bid and know like Eurovision, one auction will come along each year.




March 16, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment