Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail names preferred supplier for battery system development for UK Trial

Hitachi Rail UK is continuing its commitment to electrification and sustainability as it has teamed with a UK based Technology firm to design and supply its traction and battery systems for its intercity battery train trial which it hopes to run in the future.

Working with the North East England Partnership and Turntide Technologies, Hitachi UK Rail are working towards a UK trial for its battery technology which is engineered to reduce emissions and fuel costs. It is hoped, that if successful, it’ll advance the UK’s position as a global leader in battery train technology.

The agreement and potential for high volume production of the batteries would lead to to high-quality production line jobs at Turntide’s design and production facilities in Gateshead, Sunderland and Cramlington in the North East.

It also represents a significant development in building a supply chain cluster in the region to support the electrification of transport outside of passenger cars, which can support UK and international decarbonisation ambitions.

Installing battery technology on a Hitachi intercity train will help cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions by at least 20%. Battery and hybrid trains provide a much faster, more affordable alternative to electrifying tens of thousands of kilometres of track across the UK or millions of kilometres globally.

The technology within the batteries means that trains can switch seamlessly between diesel power, overhead electric power or battery power.

Jim Brewin, chief director for UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail said: “The electric car industry has already proved battery solutions.

“The real challenge has been to scale this technology designed to power a two-tonne vehicle for a 200 to 400-tonne train. It’s not as simple as just making the battery bigger. Hitachi Rail’s engineers, in collaboration with Turntide, have been working for more than a year on creating the necessary algorithms and software to achieve this upscaling.”

Mark Cox, general manager of Turntide’s transport business unit, said: “Recognition for the development of this battery system speaks to the level of collaboration and expertise the Turntide team brings to complex electrification projects.

“We possess the advanced skills necessary to assist clients such as Hitachi Rail in overcoming the technical challenges associated with electrifying passenger rail cars and decreasing carbon emissions in the railway sector.”

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