Hybrid diesel-battery train to be tested next year

Tests of the Coradia Polyvalent regional diesel-powered train, equipped with a battery-powered hybrid traction system, are due to begin early next year. Alstom announces that the passenger service is scheduled for 2022, reports Railway Supply magazine citing Railway Gazette.

diesel-battery train

Two of the train’s four diesel engines are to be replaced with lithium-ion batteries, which will be used to recover and store braking energy for reuse. It is hoped that this will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, as well as lower operating and maintenance costs.

The batteries will allow diesel engines to shut down during extended stops at stations and can also allow trains to continue running in the case of an electrification problem.

The € 16.6 million hybrid train project was launched by Alstom in 2018 in partnership with SNCF. To date, bench tests of a prototype energy storage system have been completed at the Alstom Traction Systems Center in Tarbes, simulating travel in zero emissions mode using only batteries, and in hybrid mode using motors and batteries.

“Zero emissions transport is a powerful mover of innovation,” said Carol Desnost, director of research and innovation of the national operator. “Rail transport is already a low CO2 mode and will soon get even better with hybrid TER.”

“The tests demonstrate that train hybridization is a technically and economically feasible solution to reduce emissions and economic costs,” said Jean-Baptiste Aimeud, President of Alstom France, on December 1.

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