Hitachi tests UK’s first battery converted intercity train

Hitachi Rail, Transpennine Express and Angel Trains have begun a UK first trial testing a battery powered intercity train converted from diesel power.

The Nova 1/Class 802 train will be used to demonstrate the real-world viability of running a 100% battery-electric intercity train up to distances of 100km in battery mode, allowing it to bridge the gap between non-electrified sections on intercity routes.

Jim Brewin, chief director for the UK and Ireland at Hitachi Rail, said: “Hitachi has invested more than £15 million in research and development to deliver a ‘UK first’ in battery train technology. Collaborating closely with our partners, Angel Trains and TransPennine Express, we are committed to showcasing how the rail industry can significantly lower costs and emissions.”

Hitachi’s predicts that the installation of the single battery unit will reduce emissions and fuel costs by around 30% on their intercity trains and could allow operators to enter and depart non-electrified stations in battery mode to improve air quality and reduce noise.