Porterbrook has completed an engineering assessment that makes a positive case for the conversion of one of the UK’s most reliable trains into a battery/electric bi-mode.
The class 350 Electric Multiple Unit is Britain’s most reliable train, with Porterbrook’s 350/2 version recording 100,420 Miles per Technical Incident (Moving Annual Average).
With the addition of the latest battery technology, Porterbrook is confident that the 350/2 BatteryFLEX would be able to match, or outperform, diesel trains on existing non-electrified routes, particularly in key corridors across the North of England.
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: "Porterbrook has an unrivalled reputation for innovation. The addition of the BatteryFLEX to our rolling stock portfolio will help train operators further reduce their carbon footprint and emissions, whilst maintaining performance and delivery.
“We believe this green technology could have a huge impact across the country, delivering cleaner travel on our rail network, including on picturesque routes like the Lakes Line.”
Porterbrook has modelled energy and power demands for routes such as the Windermere branch, where a BatteryFLEX version of the Class 350/2 fleet would eliminate diesel use on non-electrified lines, whilst maintaining the ability of these highly reliable trains to operate using overhead electrical wires.
Modelling of Class 350/2 performance over high speed routes such as the West Coast Main Line also shows that these trains can match or outperform existing rolling stock, particularly on local services, thanks to the train’s excellent acceleration and performance.
Porterbrook is currently in discussions with specialists in battery chemistry to create a demonstrator unit that can showcase this new technology to interested train operators, their passengers and the communities they serve.
To mark Green Great Britain Week the Transport Secretary welcomed the announcement from rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook that their latest battery technology would enable class 350 electric multiple unit trains to match the performance of diesel trains on existing non-electrified routes on key corridors across the North of England.
A full copy of the Department for Transport announcement on the Secretary of State’s speech can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transport-secretary-gives-seal-of-approval-to-multi-million-pound-liverpool-lime-street-upgrade