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Author Topic: [otd] 21 April (1958) - First battery powered electric train in public service  (Read 700 times)
grahame
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« on: April 21, 2023, 08:15:40 »

65 YEARS since the first battery powered electric train in the UK (United Kingdom) entered public service on the Dee Valley (Aberdeen to Ballater) line

Long report at https://railcar.co.uk/type/battery-multiple-unit/operations

Quote
A formal initial run on the line was made on Wednesday 26th March 1958, with many of the population of the town of Ballater turning up, despite the wintry conditions.

[snip]

Regular workings by the vehicles began several weeks later, to allow for drivers and maintenance staff to be trained. The first day, Monday 21st April, was a Spring holiday and when it left at 9.40am every seat was occupied.
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2023, 10:22:17 »

A range of 300 miles a day is mentioned, with some charging during layovers. So why are battery trains so problematic today ?
Batteries have improved a lot since the 1950s, So a greater range, or the same range from a smaller and lighter battery should be achievable today.
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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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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2023, 12:47:29 »

A range of 300 miles a day is mentioned, with some charging during layovers. So why are battery trains so problematic today ?
Batteries have improved a lot since the 1950s, So a greater range, or the same range from a smaller and lighter battery should be achievable today.

It also mentioned partial recharging during the day, it mentions a top speed of 60 mph but not how long it took to get there!

The weight of the batteries must have been quite high even if the used NiCads.

There must have been good reasons why the use of batteries was not pursued
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