The Škoda Group has almost completed the development of the first electric train (BEMU) that can operate off the catenary without the help of diesel fuel. It is reported by Railway Supply with reference to Zdopravy.

Skoda BEMU
Picture: Škoda Transportation

Škoda presented the development of a battery train at the Innotrans exhibition in Berlin. So far only on video. In addition to the battery drive, the company said it is also working on a hydrogen engine. And if the development of the Panther battery is 90% complete, then the development of the hydrogen engine is just beginning.

The new low-floor trains will be able to offer the speed standard of electric trains even on non-electrified lines in ecological mode thanks to the use of a battery drive.

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Battery trains are an environmentally friendly solution for rail transport not only in the Czech Republic, but also abroad. These will be two-car units that receive energy from the overhead line, and in areas without it – from battery systems. They will use lithium-ion batteries with a long service life.

In real conditions, the train will have a range of about 80 kilometers when running on batteries at speeds up to 120 km/h. A longer range battery system could be used, but 80 km seems to be cost-optimal and covers most operational deployments on non-electrified lines.

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