Austrian railway operator ÖBB together with the German company Siemens Mobility developed a prototype of a battery train capable of moving around electrified and non-electrified sections of railways. As reported by Railway Technology, the use of new trains on the Austrian railways will begin in the second half of 2019.
Currently, on non-electrified road sections, trains with locomotives on diesel traction are used. Such trains pollute the environment with soot emissions, as well as lead and sulfur compounds. In addition, fuel combustion also leads to carbon dioxide emissions.
According to the developers, a new train with batteries will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 50 percent compared to diesel trains (the estimation took into account the emissions of thermal power plants supplying electrified sections of railways).
The new train was named Desiro ML Cityjet Eco. As specified by the Railway Gazette, its locomotive is equipped with lithium-titanate accumulator batteries with a total capacity of 528 kilowatt-hours, two controllers of DC circuits and a battery cooling system.
The design of the train provides for the recharging of batteries from the power grid with the help of a pantograph when moving along electrified sections of railways. The battery recharging system is designed to operate with a single-phase 15-kilovolt low-frequency network of 16.7 hertz (the power supply standard for railways in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway).
If the train leaves the electrified area, the automation immediately switches the power of the traction motors to battery power. On the batteries, the Desiro ML Cityjet Eco is able to reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour and up to 140 kilometers per hour with power from the grid. Tests of trains on the Austrian railways are scheduled to begin at the end of this year.
In the beginning of last year the Netherlands completely transferred its electrified railways to wind energy. According to the source of the publication, all electric trains in the country began to move exclusively due to electricity generated by wind stations, from January 1, 2017, although initially such a transition was planned to be completed from January 1, 2018.