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Author Topic: Tenders for a trial of a battery powered train, from West Ealing to Greenford  (Read 865 times)
RichT54
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« on: June 14, 2021, 03:59:47 pm »

https://procurement.gwr.com/tenders/12-tenders/gwr-notice/55-great-western-railway-fast-charging-battery-train-trial

Quote
Opportunity Overview

Great Western Railway (GWR (Great Western Railway)) is seeking is seeking expressions of interest from suppliers for a trial to prove the capability of a battery powered train, supported by fast charging equipment, to safely and reliably operate passenger services on a non-electrified branch line (West Ealing-Greenford), for a period of at least one year. This trial will support the objectives of the Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy and will be delivered with the support of Network Rail and the Department for Transport.

The route from West Ealing to Greenford is 2¾ miles of mostly double track railway and is served by a two car Turbo stopping at all stations. Trains are Driver Only Operated using a combination of CCTV (Closed Circuit Tele Vision), mirrors and look back during train despatch. The shortest platforms on the route that the train will need to serve, are at Castle Bar Park, and are 47.5m and 47.6m long. GWR does not operate trains without toilets on board.

The maximum line speed is 40 mph and the timetabled journey is 12 minutes.  The normal service is half hourly necessitating minimum dwells at intermediate stations and quick turnarounds at each terminus. A half-hourly service between current first and last trains on the Greenford branch is 33 round trips, a total distance of 165 miles (264km) per day.

We wish to procure the lease of a single train and associated charging equipment, for a trial operating period from April 2022 to March 2023, with the possibility of extension subject to performance. The charging equipment will be required to be installed by the supplier to the bay platform at West Ealing station under Network Rail supervision (noting Greenford station is operated by LUL (London Underground Ltd) and space-constrained).

We anticipate that servicing and light maintenance of the train will be undertaken by GWR at West Ealing EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) sidings, while heavy maintenance will remain the responsibility of the supplier. Maintenance of the charging equipment will be the responsibility of the supplier under the supervision of Network Rail.

We intend to operate the battery powered train in passenger service from 1/4/22 to 31/3/23 as a minimum. Subject to performance criteria being met we expect to extend the trial for up to a further [two years to March 2025].

Description of the procurement

In addition to the description above, we will require the train and charging equipment to be delivered to the GWR network at West Ealing by the supplier.

Duration of Contract ie Start and End

December 2021 – March 2023 with possibility of extension subject to performance.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2021, 05:28:25 pm »

Sounds interesting, and should be entirely doable with available technology.
A few questions,
How is the charging supply to be connected ? Conductor rail is the obvious choice. centrally placed and interlocked so as to reduce the risk of accident.
For how many hours a day is the service to run ? and therefore what opportunity to charge overnight.

Is the stock to be air conditioned ?

I see a future for battery powered trains, for branch lines and secondary services and that that this trial goes ahead.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
RichT54
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2021, 05:38:09 pm »

Given the short time-frame before the proposed start of the trial, what existing units could be used or quickly adapted for this?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2021, 05:45:35 pm »

Vivarail is the only obvious possibility that I can think of given the maximum length of train allowed.
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2021, 07:34:49 pm »

I wonder how far you'd get using supercapacitors. I mean that literally - how may km on one charge.

If Alstom in Nice (and others elsewhere) can charge a tram in 20 s to get to the next stop, something a bit beefier should get a couple of light heavy rail vehicles along one of those short hops. The requirement as written would not allow that, which is a shame. OK, it may be possible to do rather further on one charge, but I doubt if a full round trip is yet possible. And using actual trams is presumably ruled out by the platform heights.

It's a particular pity because "fast charging" is the key factor in this trial.
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broadgage
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2021, 07:50:00 pm »

Super capacitors do not store enough energy to move a train or other vehicle any significant distance.
The merit of supercapacitors is that the limited energy store can be released very quickly. Useful for cranking internal combustion engines and for similar applications.

A supercapacitor module able to store one kwh has recently become available, it is the size of a large cupboard and costs as much as  a small house.

A lead acid battery to store one KWH costs under £100 and is just about portable.

A lithium battery to store one kwh costs few hundred pounds and is readily portable.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
broadgage
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2021, 08:03:20 pm »

Fleabay link to large supercapacitor module.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113231410897?hash=item1a5d1e36d1:g:2CsAAOSw2kVbjOCY

£700 each and store 70 watt hours. 150 of these would store about one KWH.
150 would cost about £100,000.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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