New Mobile Rail Charging Facility for Long Marston

New Mobile Rail Charging Facility for Long Marston

Porterbrook has signed a £1.7 million deal with Siemens Mobility to purchase an innovative Rail Charging Converter (RCC) for its Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre. The cutting-edge technology will make battery charging and 25kV power supply possible in areas of the UK railway where overhead line equipment is not currently available.

“This is a great opportunity for the UK rail network,” said Rob Morris, Joint CEO at Siemens Mobility. “Our Rail Charging Converter, delivered here in the UK, can help transform journeys for passengers by supporting trains to use clean power in the form of battery or electric.”

The RCC is a modular and containerised system that uses power electronics to provide a fully compliant, standard connection between the modern three-wire electricity grid and the single-wire railway. It essentially reduces the electrification infrastructure needed by being able to plug into existing power cables and deliver the ideal power supply for trains.

Quote from Rob Morris

“This innovative technology will provide a permanent traction power solution to Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre,” said Ben Ackroyd, chief operating officer at Porterbrook. “It is the perfect site to use the RCC, which can help the UK railway to extend cleaner battery EMU operation across the network.”

The original development of the RCC was supported by the Department for Transport through Innovate UK’s First of a Kind programme. The team will install the novel charging solution at Long Marston, enabling the charging of trains with batteries, fed from existing standard local power supply cables.

Compatible with all overhead line equipment powered trains, the small, low-cost design of the RCC enables the removal of diesel passenger train operation on routes without continuous electrification.

This investment in the RCC is a key part of the comprehensive track and power upgrades being undertaken at Long Marston to enhance its long-term testing capabilities. The centre comprises 20km of track for railway testing, engineering and storage.

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