The Anonymous Widower

Arcola Showcases Scottish Hydrogen Conversion

The title of this post is the same as an article in the December 2021 Edition of Modern Railways.

The article has this sib-title.

Class 614 Demonstration Runs at Bo’ness Next Year

This is a key paragraph early in the article.

The aim is to build capability within the Scottish supply chain with a view to future conversion of hydrogen fleets within Scotland. The choice of a ‘314’ to provide the donor vehicles was based solely on availability, following the withdrawal of the EMU fleet by ScotRail at the end of 2019.

I don’t think they would have been my choice of donor train, as the Class 314 trains were built over forty years ago.

But, as Merseyrail have shown, British Rail trains of that era scrub up well.

The article is worth a full read and worth the cover price of the magazine, as it has details on the conversion and tips on how you might design a hydrogen train.

  • All the hydrogen tanks , fuel cells and batteries are designed to be fitted in the vehicle underframes and don’t take up space in the passenger compartment.
  • There is a fuel cell raft under both driving motor vehicles.
  • Each raft contains a 70 kW fuel cell from Ballard and hydrogen cylinders.
  • 40 kg. of hydrogen at a pressure of 350 bar can be carried in each raft.
  • Waste heat from the fuel cell is used to heat the train.
  • The DC traction motors have been replaced by modern three-phase AC motors.
  • The hydrogen fillers come from the automotive industry, which is surely an obvious move.
  • The interior looks good in the picture and has uses seats reclaimed from Pendolino refurbishment.

The article also reveals that Arcola are working with Arup on a study to convert a Class 158 DMU to hydrogen power.

Conclusion

I wish all the engineers and suppliers well, but I feel that these two projects are both driven by Scottish politics, rather than sound engineering principles.

November 26, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Battery Class 230 Train Demonstration At Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway

I went to Vivarail‘s demonstration of battery version of the Class 230 train, which was given at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.

For some pictures of the original D78 Stock see Raw Material For A New Train.

So what did I think of the train?

Build Quality

From what I saw, the build quality was certainly better than that of a Pacer, which these trains could replace on some routes.

Doors

The single-leaf doors are unusual, as most London Underground stock, only has these at the ends of the cars.

But they worked successfully for nearly forty years of heavy service on the District Line, so they are probably up to the lesser rigours of service outside the Capital.

London Underground Legacy

I talked with one of the Vivarail engineers and he said, that the trains had been retired with a lot of new parts and he pointed out the quality f the floors, some of which go back decades.

It certainly seemed, that the trains could be described as having One Careful Owner.

Noise Levels

Noise levels were low, but then they were in the Class 379 BEMU, that I rode in January 2015.

Intriguingly, both trains have the same batteries, but that has nothing to do with it.

Ride

The quality of the ride was good and very much up to the standard of the S Stock that replaced the D78 Stock on the District Line.

Seats

As the pictures show, the seats of the Class 230 train are based on those of those in the D78 Stock.

The seats in the new train weren’t hard and seemed to my memory to be about the same standard as those in the older train.

So perhaps they were!

Vivarail are offering the train with different interiors, so I suspect those that pay, will get what they want.

Toilets

This train was not fitted with a toilet, but Vivarail will be fitting them to some trains.

USB Ports

There is a USB port between the seats and I was able to charge my phone, as one picture shows.

Conclusion

I think it is true to say, that this battery Class 230 train was a good start.

With more new components like seats, tables and toilets they could be impressive.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 15 Comments

Battery Train To Make Debut In Scotland

The title of this post is the same as this article in The Scotsman.

Vivarail are taking their demonstration battery-powered Class 230 train to the Bo’Ness and Kinneil Railway, from the 10th to the 12th of October, when members of the public have been invited to view the train.

It is an interesting marketing concept for a train.

The train will also be tested on gradients and under leaf fall conditions.

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment