Passengers in Scotland will next week be the first to ride in a new battery-powered train to showcase its potential without the high cost of electrifying railway lines. Vivarail is bringing a converted London Underground train to the heritage Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway for three days of free public trials. It is among the first such trains north of the Border since the short-lived Sputnik railcar on the Deeside line near Aberdeen 60 years ago. The two-carriage train will be put through its paces over steep – and potentially leaf-slippy parts of the five-mile line from 10-12 October. It can run for 40 miles at up to 60mph. The batteries take four minutes to recharge. Such trains could replace diesel over gaps in the electric network, such as around Glasgow. Glasgow University rail expert Professor Iain Docherty said: “Battery train technologies offer the potential to move to electric operation of some routes where traditional overhead line electrification will never make economic sense under standard appraisal assumptions.
Scotsman 3rd Oct 2018 read more »