Network Rail and Vivarail have announced that they will be running the next-generation of battery train at the COP26 conference, running daily services throughout the event
The innovative zero-emission train utilises new batteries which have been developed by Vivarail, which provide a mix of maximum range and the capability of recharging at a very fast rate.
The ingenious train can travel for around 80 miles on battery power, which can be recharged in just 10 minutes using Vivarail’s patented Fast Charge System. Fast Charge’s creation has been supported by an Innovate UK grant and is about to start its final stage of Network Rail approvals.
Supporting the UK Governments and also the wider rail industry’s aim to hit Net Zero and carbon reduction targets during the conference, Vivarail’s incredible innovation can demonstrate the emission-free technology to a wide audience that includes both graduates and global partners. The impact of inspiring leaders and innovators of the future is vital in getting to Net Zero and attaining the UK’s targets.
With collaboration being a major theme for the rail industry at International Climate Change conference COP26 which will take place from Monday the 1st of November in Glasgow. The work between Vivarail has been supported by SLC Operations, Alstom and VTG with the use of drivers, electrical charging and transport.
In 2020, Network Rail became the first rail company in the world to make a commitment to stretching science-based targets in a bid to reduce carbon. Decarbonising traction energy through the use of more overhead line electrification is a crucial part of their strategy to achieve the targets set along with the use of alternative fuels which include both battery and hydrogen trains.
Network Rail and Porterbook also announced earlier this year that COP26 will also feature a hydrogen-powered train at a fringe event, giving guests a first-hand experience of British technological innovation and expertise and how alternative fuels for trains will play an important role in building back better and greener following the pandemic.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “We are ambitious to make our railways even greener and I am delighted that Vivarail will launch their flagship battery train at COP26, thanks to investment from our Accelerating Innovation programme.
“Decarbonising the rail network is crucial to reaching net-zero by 2050 and this technology is another example of how we are building back greener.”
Martin Frobisher OBE, Network Rail’s safety and engineering director, said: “I’m delighted that we’re partnering with two thriving British companies in Vivarail and Porterbrook to showcase the future of rail in this country to the world at COP26.
“Rail is already the greenest form of public transport, and battery-powered trains will play an important role in our commitment to providing an even cleaner, greener railway for the future.”
Steve McBride, Managing Director of Vivarail, said: “It is a great honour to be asked to support such an important event. The achievement of an innovative British company like Vivarail to build a first in class train is a great example of our country’s ingenuity and ability to find new technologies and ways to do things.
“Our R&D team has spent 3 years developing these new batteries, working with specialists Hoppecke. The result is a new traction and charging system able to convert diesel stock or act as range extenders on other types of electric train. We are now ready to play our part in delivering an electrified network in the shortest possible time.
“We have already sold our first train to the United States – with a second on order. As part of the RDC family we have benefitted from insights and help from the US and Europe, so we know our products have ready export potential – helping decarbonise across the world.”
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