The answer is a whopping 80,000!
In a fantastic advancement of technology, Britain has been testing it’s new battery run train prototype with a set of track trials. The train is quieter and more efficient than the regular diesel powered models, which is fantastic news for train users and the environment too! This really could be one of the cleanest and greenest forms of travel available.
The train is propelled by an electric motor powered by rechargeable battery packs. The train would not emit the pollutants common to the diesel models, but it is important to consider that the power plant producing the electricity to power the battery may emit them.
The quiet, smooth ride is a great benefit, reducing noise pollution while being more comfortable for the passengers. Strong acceleration is often attributed to electric vehicles when compared with diesel, so we would guess that this is also the case with the battery powered train.
Network Rail decided to re-fit one of it’s electric trains with 6 battery rafts, using a mixture of lithium iron magnesium and hot sodium nickel salt in the units. High-speed tests are now being conducted to assess it’s potential. This is just one step in Network Rail’s drive towards the sustainable future of train travel.
“Although we’ve retrofitted the Abellio Greater Anglia Class 379 unit with lithium iron magnesium batteries, we continue to test other possible solutions so we can gather as much information and comparison data as possible for future development”. ~ James Ambrose, senior engineer, Network Rail said.
This is an exciting development for train travel, as battery power can work alongside electrified sections of the network. The vision is that they will initially cover ‘branch lines’ where it is not cost effective to install the full electrification set up. However, it is vital to note that the battery packs are notoriously expensive, and would need to be replaced from time to time. There are many areas of the UK that would benefit from non-electrified branch lines. It can be assumed that the electrification of large areas would be more costly than the battery packs.
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