The Anonymous Widower

Skegness Station To Benefit From A £3.3m Improvement Package

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

I took these pictures of Skegness station, on a visit to the town in July last year, which I wrote about in A Trip To Skegness.

I feel that Skegness station would welcome some improvement.

The Rail Technology Magazine article says this about the project.

Upon completion of the project, customers will be able to utilise a number of enhanced facilities, including an improved accessible toilet with changing spaces, two new start-up offices, a community café and retail provisions. Upgrades will continue through improved access into the station for pedestrians and vehicles, offering integration with the surrounding community.

Work is hoped to start this year.

A Modern Zero-Carbon Train Service

If £3.3 million is going to be spent on Skegness station, would it not be a good idea to have better trains serving the station.

In A Trip To Skegness, I talked about updating the hourly Nottingham and Skegness service using Class 170 trains with Rolls-Royce MTU Hybrid PowerPacks.

I wonder if this route could be improved by fitting the Class 170 trains with Rolls-Royce MTU Hybrid PowerPacks?

  • The hybrid technology would have a lower fuel consumption and allow electric operation in stations.
  • The prototype hybrid is already working on Chiltern Railways in a Class 168 train.
  • The Class 168 train is an earlier version of the Class 170 train and they are members of the Turbostar family.
  • Rolls-Royce are developing versions of these hybrid transmissions, that will work with sustainable fuels.
  • As we have a total of 207 Turbostar trainsets, these could be a convenient way of cutting carbon emissions on long rural lines.
  • As Rolls-Royce MTU are also developing the technology, so their diesel engines can run on hydrogen, it is not outrageous to believe that they could be on a route to complete decarbonisation of this type of train.

I believe that we could see hydrogen-hybrid Class 170 trains, with a Rolls-Royce badge on the side.

But would it be possible to go the whole way using one of Stadler’s battery-electric trains?

Consider the service between Nottingham and Skegness.

  • It is hourly.
  • The route is run by 100 mph Class 170 trains.
  • Nottingham and Grantham are 22.7 miles apart.
  • Grantham and Skegness are 58.2 miles apart.
  • Trains take four minutes to reverse at Grantham.
  • Trains wait 20 minutes before returning at the two end stations.
  • Trains reverse at Nottingham in a bay platform, which is numbered 2.
  • Grantham is electrified.
  • Nottingham station will be electrified in the next few years.
  • Skegness station is next to the bus station in the middle of the town, so hopefully the electricity supply is robust enough to charge buses and trains.

Stadler make a train called an Akku.

This leads me to the conclusion that with charging systems at Nottingham and Skegness and taking a four-minute top-up at Grantham if needed, a FLIRT Akku could handle this route with ease.


Skegness is a town that needs leveling-up. A refurbished station and 100 mph electric trains to Grantham and London would be a good start.





February 8, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Battery Train Pilot Project On Challenging’ Westerwald Routes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

It is only a small order for three Mireo Plus B battery-electric multiple-units from Siemens Mobility, but I feel, it is significant that  engineers and managers are confident that a battery-electric multiple unit can handle a challenging route.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Riding In A Train Designed To Run On Battery Power

Today, I had my first ride in a train, that has been designed to be able to run on battery power.

  • Merseyrail’s Class 777 trains run normally using third-rail electrification.
  • But they are also designed to run on battery power.
  • I took these pictures of the train as it went from Liverpool Central station to Kirkby station and back to Moorfields station, from where I took a train back to Liverpool Lime Street station.

I took these pictures on the route.


  1. Every seat has access to a power and USB socket.
  2. Every head-rest has leather facings.
  3. The end lights change from white for front, to red for back, when the train changes direction.
  4. Door lights are green when it is safe to enter.
  5. There is a lot of attention to detail in the design.

If there is a better suburban train in Europe, I’ve yet to see or ride in it.

Noise And Vibration


  • I have ridden in two trains converted to battery-electric operation and both were very quiet.
  • This train was also very quiet, but it has been designed for battery operation.
  • I suspect that the train is very frugal with electricity.
  • I wonder, if the small battery, that is carried on the train for depot movements, is also used for regenerative braking.
  • It might not be a traditional battery, but a supercapacitor, some of which are made from curved graphene.

This train certainly sets new standards in noise and vibration.

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 | | Leave a comment

The Stadler Data Sheet For A Class 777 IPEMU

This data sheet is now available on the Stadler web site.

These are my observations.

Battery Charging

The datasheet says this about battery charging.

While an IPEMU is running on the electrified network, the batteries can be charged from the third rail, as well as through regenerative braking.

I’m glad to see the trains have regenerative braking, which in a train with frequent stops saves electricity.

Battery Charging Time

The datasheet says this about battery charging time.

IPEMUs can be recharged in less than 15 minutes.

That time compares favourably with Hitachi’s time.

Expected Battery Life

The datasheet says this about expected battery life.

The IPEMU battery can undergo more than 10,000 charge/discharge cycles, which is about four times the lifetime of a battery used in EVs.

Stadler also give the battery a minimum expected life of eight years.

Transition Between Electrification And Battery

The datasheet says this about this important transition.

Transition between electrified and non-electrified networks without interruption, reducing travel times.

Stadler certainly do the changeover from electric to diesel smoothly on a Class 755 train.

A Comparison To Tesla

This is a paragraph in the introduction of the data sheet.

The battery/vehicle weight-ratio of a Tesla is about 25 per cent, while the ratio of the IPEMU is only about 6 per cent.

I suspect the rolling resistance, is also a lot less, than the rolling resistance of a Tesla, due to the superior properties of steel wheels on rail, as opposed to rubber tyres on road.

Battery Range

The data sheet gives the following.

  • Installed battery capacity – 320 KWh
  • Maximum speed (IPEMU mode) – 62 mph
  • Range in battery operation – 34 miles
  • Maximum demonstrated range – 84 miles


  1. I would assume the 55 km given for range on the datasheet is a guaranteed range.
  2. The maximum demonstrated range is from New Merseyrail Train Runs 135km On Battery.
  3. All other figures are from the datasheet.

In an article in the October 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Celling England By The Pound, Ian Walmsley says this in relation to trains running on the Uckfield Branch, which is not very challenging.

A modern EMU needs between 3 and 5 kWh per vehicle mile for this sort of service.

I don’t think the terrain of Merseyrail’s services are much different from the Uckfield branch, so what are the figures for the Class 777 trains on battery power?

  • 55 km range – 2.353 kWh per vehicle mile
  • 135 km range – 0.952 kWh per vehicle mile

The train appears to be very miserly with electricity.

But if the attention to detail in the electrical system of the train is of the standard of a Swiss watch, I don’t think they are unreasonable.

Operation With 25 kV Overhead Electrification

The datasheet says nothing about this, but the Wikipedia entry for the Class 777 train says this under Design.

Because current regulatory policy makes it unlikely that future extensions of Merseyrail’s unshielded third rail traction power supply will be approved, Class 777 units will be delivered with provision for the future installation of 25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead line traction equipment.

This is probably needed for charging at locations without third-rail electrification.

January 17, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

New Merseyrail Train Runs 135km On Battery

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Liverpool Business News.

This paragraph gives the details.

Posting on social media site Linked In, Joaquim Font Canyelles, project leader at Stadler Rail, said: “Our new Merseytravel class 777 IPEMU (Independent Powered Electrical Multiple Unit) proved its strength after running 135 km fully loaded and without external current supply, which is much longer than we expected.

Note that 135 km is 83.9 miles.

These are possible routes, where the battery-electric trains could be deployed.

  • Bidston and Wrexham Central – 27.5 miles
  • Canada Dock Branch – 4.6 miles
  • Chester and Crewe – 21.2 miles
  • Chester and Runcorn East – 13 miles
  • Ellesmere Port and Runcorn East – 10.8 miles
  • Ormskirk and Preston – 15.3 miles
  • Hunts Cross and Manchester Oxford Road – 27.1 miles
  • Kirkby and Manchester Victoria – 30 miles
  • Kirkby and Wigan Wallgate – 12 miles
  • Liverpool Lime Street and Chester via Runcorn  – 27 miles
  • Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Oxford Road – 31.5 miles
  • Southport and Manchester Oxford Road – 37.8 miles
  • Southport and Stalybridge – 45.5 miles
  • Southport and Wigan Wallgate – 17.4 miles


  1. All routes could be done both ways with the exception of Southport and Stalybridge and possibly Southport and Manchester Oxford Road.
  2. Southport trains to Wigan and Manchester would charge their batteries at Southport.
  3. Central Liverpool and Wrexham Central would not need the change at Bidston.
  4. Hunts Cross and Preston via Central Liverpool would not need the change at Ormskirk.
  5. A Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Oxford Road service would be possible.

Batteries can add a lot of range to a city’s railway system.


If Merseyrail can get hold of the routes to Crewe, Manchester, Preston and Wrexham, the Liverpool City Region will have one of the best metros for a city of its size.





January 16, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

25kV Battery Train Charging Station Demonstration

This project was one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition run by Innovate UK.

In this document, this is said about the project.

Project No: 10037158

Project title: 25kV Battery Train Charging Station Demonstration
Project grant: £59,910

Public description: The UK rail industry is committed to decarbonisation, including the removal of diesel trains by 2040.

Replacing diesel trains with electric, hydrogen or battery bi-mode rolling stock provides faster, smoother and more reliable journeys, as well as eliminating local pollution and greatly reducing carbon dioxide. To enable clean, green electric bi-mode operation without continuous electrification requires enhancement of the power supply to existing electrification and novel charging facilities to support bi-mode trains. No small, low-cost solution is currently available for charging facilities that are compatible with standard UK trains and locally available power supplies and space.

Siemens Mobility, working with ROSCO, TOCs and Network Rail, will deliver a novel AC charging solution enabling simple installation of small, low-cost rapid charging facilities fed from existing standard local power supply cables. Compatible with all OLE-powered trains, the novel design enables the removal of diesel passenger train operation on non-electrified routes across the UK, while minimising land requirements and modifications required to existing station structures.

My Thoughts And Conclusion


  • The solution works with all 25 KVAC trains.
  • It looks like it is a compact overhead electrification system, which might have originally been designed for a European tram or German S-Bahn system.
  • It is claimed to be low-cost.
  • Siemens were not asking for a lot of money.
  • ROSCO, TOCs and Network Rail are all involved, which must be good.

It looks to me, that someone at Siemens has raided the parts bin and found some small, low-cost overhead electrification, that can be installed in the UK gauge and powered by a fairly standard mains supply.

It strikes me, that this system would be ideal to install in a station like Marylebone, if services to the station were to be run by battery-electric trains.

November 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cambridgeshire Company’s Self-Charging Trains Project Wins Government Funds

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These four paragraphs outline what the company is developing and how they received government funding.

Echion Technologies, based in Sawston near Cambridge, is creating train batteries that can charge from overheard wires, the Department for Transport said.

The trains would be able to use the batteries on unelectrified track.

The project was among the winners of the government’s First of a Kind competition.

The competition aims to award funding to projects that could transform the future of transport.

I have a few thoughts.

The Description In The First Of A Kind 2022 Winners Document

In this document, this is said.

Project No: 10039100

Project title: UBER – Ultra-high power Battery for low Emission Rail
Project grant: £59,917

Public description: Project UBER (Ultra-high power Battery for low Emission Rail), aims to demonstrate for the first time, Echion’s XNO(tm) battery chemistry as the preferred battery technology for certain classes of battery electric trains. It targets Theme 1 of this competition.

Specifically, UBER aims to demonstrate the suitability of XNO(tm) for passenger trains that can be powered by the AC overhead electrification and charge a battery from the overhead wire (or another form of ‘standard’ trackside power — e.g. 3rd rail), to then run in battery-only mode on unelectrified section of a route. An example of such a train is the Revolution Very Light Rail (Revolution VLR) developed by Transport Design International (TDI), who is a partner in UBER.

Applying The Echion Technologies Batteries To Electric Trains


  • The BBC article is accompanied by a picture of a Class 717 train, which like the Class 700 train is dual voltage.
  • Southeastern have thirty similar Class 707 trains, which are third-rail, although according to Wikipedia, were tested as dual-voltage trains.
  • Most modern trains, like these Desiro City units made by Siemens, have a mix of motored and trailer cars, with one or more pantograph cars  between the two driver cars.
  • Because power is needed in all cars, there will be an electrical bus from one end of the train to distribute power.
  • All trains in the family appear to have at least one trailer car, which will also be connected to the electrical bus.

With a family of trains like the Desiro City, Alstom’s Aventra, CAF’s Civity, Hitachi’s AT-200 or AT-300 or Stadler’s FLIRTs, train manufacturers assemble various cars, interiors and electrical gubbins together, to get the train performance and capability.

I would expect that the battery would be placed, where there is space and the most likely place is under the trailer car.

In some ways, it would work like the battery in a laptop computer, where operation is as follows.

  • If there is external power, the computer runs on that power and the battery is also charged, if it is not fully-charged.
  • If there is no external power, the computer runs on battery power, until the battery goes flat.

With a battery-electric train, operation is similar, with an important addition.

  • If there is external power, the train runs on that power and the battery is also charged, if it is not fully-charged.
  • If there is no external power, the train runs on battery power, until the battery goes flat.
  • Desiro City and many other electric trains have regenerative braking and under braking, the electricity generated is is stored in the battery, if it is not fully-charged.

It could be considered by some, that regenerative braking is self-charging. But unfortunately, regenerative braking doesn’t recover all energy during braking. But it can be up to 70-80 % efficient.

Connecting The Echion Technologies Battery To The Train

The battery will have to be connected to the electrical bus, that runs the full length of the train.

As a Control Engineer, I suspect there will be a sophisticated control system, that will switch the battery between various modes and control the pantograph and third-rail shoes.

Perhaps, Echion Technologies have developed an all-purpose controller that could fit all trains?


November 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Battery EMUs Envisaged In Southeastern Fleet Procurement

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

Southeastern has invited expressions of interest for the supply of new electric multiple-units with an optional battery capability for operation away from the 750 V DC third-rail network.

This article on bidstats is entitled Supply Of And Maintenance Support For New Rolling Stock For Southeastern, and gives more details.

These are my thoughts.

Southeastern HighSpeed Services

There would appear to be no changes in this contract to the Class 395 trains, that work on High Speed One, as this is said in the bidstats article.

Full compatibility with Southeastern infrastructure (excluding High Speed 1 infrastructure)

which appears to rule out running on High Speed One.

In addition, this article on Rail Magazine is entitled Southeastern’s Class 395 Javelin Train Sets Are To Receive A £27 million Facelift.

Southeastern Have Both 75 and 100 mph Trains

In addition to their Class 395 trains, Southeastern have the following trains in their fleet.


  1. Running a mixed fleet of 75 and 100 mph trains can’t be very efficient.
  2. The Class 465 and 466 trains are the oldest trains and date from 1991-1994.
  3. They are often to be seen in ten-car formations of 2 x 465 trains and a Class 466 train.
  4. Another twelve Class 707 trains are planned to join Southeastern.

I would expect the Class 465 and Class 466 trains to be replaced first.

What Length Will The New Trains Be?

If you look at the new suburban electric trains, they have the following lengths.


  1. Southeastern already run five-car trains as pairs.
  2. A significant proportion of existing suburban trains are five-car trains.
  3. Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Lumo and TransPennine Express run five-car Hitachi trains, with more companies  to follow.
  4. A pair of five-car trains make a pair of a convenient length for most platforms.

I would be fairly confident, that the new trains will be five-car trains, with the ability to run as pairs.

What Will Be The Operating Speed Of The New Trains?

To match the speed of the Class 375 and Class 707 trains, I would expect them to be 100 mph trains.

The Quietness Of Battery-Electric Trains

All of the battery-electric trains I have ridden, have been mouse-quiet, with none of the clunking you get for a lot of electric trains.

This is said in the bidstats article says this about the interiors

Interiors suitable for metro & mainline operation.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of these trains on commuter routes to attract passengers.

Battery Power

This is said in the bidstats article about battery power.

Inclusion of options for traction batteries with capability for operation in depots and sidings without the need for external power supply, and with the capability to operate on the main line where power supply is not available due to isolations or incidents, or for non-electrified line sections of up to 20 miles.

Although Merseyrail’s new Class 777 trains are not in service yet, I find it interesting that the proposed Southeastern trains will be similarly-fitted with a small battery for depot and siding operation.

The twenty mile battery range is specific and I wonder if it will be used innovatively. I suspect it could be a bit longer in the future, as battery technology improves.

Possible Electrified Routes Using Battery Power

These are a few possibilities.

The Hoo Branch

In Effort To Contain Costs For Hoo Reopening, I discussed running electric trains to a proposed Hoo station.

I made these two points.

  • Hoo junction to Hoo station is no more than five or six miles.
  • There are also half-a-dozen level crossings on the route, which I doubt the anti-third rail brigade would not want to be electrified.

It would appear that a battery-electric train with a range of twenty miles would handle this route easily.

  • Charging would be on the nearly thirty miles between Hoo junction and Charing Cross station.
  • No charging would be needed at Hoo station.

There may be other possibilities for new routes locally to open up new housing developments.

The Sheerness Line

The Sheerness Line has the following characteristics.

  • It is double-track
  • It is electrified
  • It is less than eight miles long.
  • For most of the day, the service is one train per hour (tph)
  • There are two tph in the Peak.
  • Would two tph attract more passengers to the line?
  • Does the power supply on the Sheerness Line limit the size and power of trains that can be run on the line?
  • Is there a need for one train per day to London in the morning and a return in the evening?
  • Could the Sheerness Line be run more economically with battery trains. providing a two tph service all day?

The Isle of Sheppey needs levelling up, perhaps 100 mph trains to London using battery power on the Sheerness Line, might just make a difference.

The Medway Valley Line

The Medway Valley Line has the following characteristics.

  • It is double-track
  • It is electrified
  • It is less than twenty-six and a half miles long.
  • For most of the day, the service is two tph.
  • In the Peak there are HighSpeed services between Maidstone West and St.Pancras International stations.

If electrification was removed between Paddock Wood and Maidstone West stations, the HighSpeed services could still be run and battery-electric trains with a twenty mile range could still run the Tonbridge and Strood service.

The Marshlink Line

The Marshlink Line has the following characteristics.

  • It is mainly single-track with a passing loop at Rye station.
  • It is not electrified
  • It is 25.4 miles between the electrified Ashford International and Ore stations.
  • Services are irregular and less than one tph.

If the proposed battery-electric train had a range of thirty miles, it should be able to handle the Marshlink Line.

The service between Eastbourne and Ashford International stations would need to be moved between the Southern and Southeastern operations.

The Uckfield Branch

The Uckfield Branch has the following characteristics.

  • It is a mixture of single- and double-track.
  • It is not electrified South of Hurst Green Junction.
  • It is 24.7 miles between the electrified Hurst Green Junction and Uckfield station
  • Services are one tph.

If the proposed battery-electric train had a range of thirty-miles, it should be able to handle the Uckfield Branch, with a charging system at Uckfield station.

Will Battery-Electric Trains Allow Some Lines To Have Their Electrification Removed?

There are several reasons, why electrification might be removed.

  1. It is on a line, where the electrification needs upgrading.
  2. It is on a line, where there are lots of trespassers.
  3. Possibly at a level-crossing or a stretch of track with several.
  4. Possibly in a tunnel, with a large inflow if water.
  5. It is a depot or siding, where safety is important to protect the workforce.

Obviously, the electrification would not be removed unless  battery-electric trains can handle all possible services.

These are surely some possibilities for electrification removal.

The Hayes Line

The Hayes Line has the following characteristics.

  • It is double-track
  • It is electrified
  • It is less than eight miles to Ladywell Junction, where the branch joins the main line at Lewisham.
  • It is currently run by Class 465 and Class 466 trains, which will likely be changed for the new trains with a battery capability.
  • Services are four tph.

If the proposed battery-electric train had a range of twenty-miles, it would be able to handle the route between Ladywell junction and Hayes station.

Erith Loop, Crayford Spur and Slade Green Depot

This map from shows the Erith Loop, the Crayford Spur and the Slade Green Depot.



Not many trains take the Erith Loop or the Crayford Spur.

  • The distance between Slade Green and Barnehurst is less than a mile-and-a-half.
  • Dartford station is off the South-East corner of the map.
  • The distance between Barnehurst and Dartford is less than three miles.
  • The distance between Slade Green and Crayford is less than two miles-and-a-half.
  • The distance between Crayford and Dartford is less than two miles.
  • The main line through Slade Green would need to remain electrified, as electric freight trains use the line.

I suspect, that quite a lot of electrification could be removed here, much to the disgust of the copper thieves.

It might even be possible to build on top of the depot.



November 14, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Battery Use In Class 777 Trains

In the November 2022 Edition of Today’s Railways, there is an article about Merseyrail’s new Class 777 trains.

This extract describes the use of batteries on the trains.

All units have small batteries for moving independently around depots. Seven units are now being fitted with larger 160 kWh Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) batteries and associated traction converter in the leading coaches in space that could also be taken up by a transformer and AC equipment if some units were converted to dual /Battery operation (there would not be the space for tri-mode AC/DC/Battery operation). The cooling system for the battery lies has been roof-mounted. The battery boxes have been supplied by ABB and the batteries themselves by Toshiba. 777002 has been converted as a trial to prove the concept in 2021 but has now been converted back to an EMU.

Stadler explained that the battery life would normally be 8-10years but if the units are only used in battery mode for the 2 km between Kirkby and Headbolt Lane then that is expected to be more like 15 years. However the batteries have the potential to do around 40 miles, so Bidston-Wrexham is possible, with a 15 minute recharge time required at Wrexham before returning. Maximum speed in battery mode is 60 mph compared to 75mph as a DC EMU.

This is a map of how the network might look.

These are the lengths of routes, where the Class 777 trains might run on batteries.

  • Bidston and Wrexham Central – 27.5 miles – Possible with a charge at Wrexham Central.
  • Canada Dock Branch – 4.7 miles – Dual-voltage trains.
  • Chester and Crewe – 21.2 miles – Possible with a charge at Crewe
  • Chester and Runcorn East  – 13.1 miles – Possible without recharging
  • Ellesmere Port and Runcorn East  – 10.8 miles – Possible without recharging
  • Hunts Cross and Manchester Oxford Road – 27.1 miles – Possible with a charge at Manchester Oxford Road
  • Kirkby and Wigan Wallgate – 12.1 miles – Possible without recharging
  • Ormskirk and Preston – 15.4 miles – Possible without recharging


  1. There are a lot of possibilities to use Class 777 trains with batteries.
  2. Charging might be needed at only three stations; Crewe, Manchester Oxford Road and Wrexham Central.
  3. Four route extensions are possible without charging.

Merseyrail are going to have plenty of uses for the sixty trains, that they have on option.

Train Efficiency On Battery Power

In an article in the October 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Celling England By The Pound, Ian Walmsley says this in relation to trains running on the Uckfield Branch, which is not very challenging.

A modern EMU needs between 3 and 5 kWh per vehicle mile for this sort of service.


  • The Class 777 train is a four-car train, but is only five metres longer than a three-car train.
  • So applying Ian’s formula, it seems that to do forty miles, the battery will be between 480 and 800 kWh.
  • If it is mathematically like a three car train, it seems that to do forty miles, the battery will be between 360 and 450 kWh.

A 160 kWh battery is obviously too small.

But the extract says that the batteries are fitted in the leading coaches, so can we assume that each battery train has two leading coaches and two batteries.

Does the battery train have a battery capacity of 320 kWh?

  • Assuming it does, it would appear that after using Ian’s formula for a four-car train gives a figure of 2 kWh per vehicle mile.
  • A three-car train gives a figure of 2.67 kWh per vehicle mile.

I suspect that these low figures are down to good engineering and a very efficient electrical system on the train.

But then I did write Stadler FLIRT Akku Battery Train Demonstrates 185km Range.


These trains are going to set new standards for a city metro.

October 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 5 Comments