UK’s First Intercity Battery Train Trial Promises Greener Rail Travel

UK’s First Intercity Battery Train Trial Promises Greener Rail Travel

In the latest move towards a more sustainable future, the UK has launched its first intercity battery train trial. This project, led by Hitachi Rail, aims to reduce emissions and fuel costs while paving the way for a greener, more energy-efficient railway system.

The trial is collaborative between rolling stock company Angel Trains, TransPennine Express (TPE), US-based tech company Turntide Technologies, and Hitachi Rail. They have retrofitted a TransPennine Express ‘Nova 1’ Class 802 train with a state-of-the-art battery system.


The battery unit, developed by Turntide Technologies in Sunderland, boasts a peak power of over 700 kilowatts and has been designed to replace one of the train’s three diesel engines. Remarkably, the battery delivers the same levels of acceleration and performance as the diesel engine it replaces without adding additional weight to the train.

Hitachi Rail estimates that the battery technology could reduce emissions and fuel costs by up to 30%. This significant reduction in environmental impact and operational expenses is a major step forward in the rail industry’s efforts to combat climate change and improve sustainability.

The trial will test the battery train’s ability to enter and leave non-electrified stations in zero-emission battery mode. By doing so, the train is expected to improve air quality and reduce noise pollution in and around stations, benefiting passengers and local communities.

The successful implementation of battery technology in intercity trains could lead to the development of 100% battery-electric intercity trains. These trains would run up to 100 kilometres in battery mode, allowing them to cover the final non-electrified sections of intercity routes in the coming years.

Battery technology can potentially reduce infrastructure costs by minimizing the need for overhead wires in tunnel sections and across complex junctions. This cost-saving aspect is crucial for rolling stock companies and Network Rail, as it would allow for a more efficient allocation of resources.

The UK’s first intercity battery train trial marks the start of the rail industry’s journey towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. As the trial progresses and the technology evolves, we can expect to see a greener, more energy-efficient railway network that benefits passengers and the planet.


– UK launches its first intercity battery train trial to reduce emissions and fuel costs

– Hitachi Rail collaborates with Angel Trains, TransPennine Express, and Turntide Technologies

– Battery unit replaces one diesel engine, delivering the same performance without extra weight

– Estimated 30% reduction in emissions and fuel costs

– Trial to test zero-emission battery mode in non-electrified stations

– Success could lead to 100% battery-electric intercity trains and reduced infrastructure costs

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