British train operating company Great Western Railway (GWR) has concluded the acquisition of multiple assets from battery and hybrid trains manufacturer Vivarail.

GWR reached contracts to purchase intellectual property, rolling stock and equipment, which support the development of battery and FastCharge technology.

These components are expected to help the launch of battery-driven trains on the rail network in the UK.

Furthermore, the deal will enable planned trials of the technology in a real-world environment.

Supported by GWR, the trials are being conducted between West Ealing and Greenford.

To support the trials and project development, the company has also recruited nine former Vivarail employees.

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By GlobalData

Vivarail went into administration in December last year after failing to secure new investors.  

GWR engineering director Simon Green said: “We’ve been working closely with the Vivarail team on this exciting project for some time, and we are delighted we have been able to step in and make sure its important work can continue.

“There have clearly been some setbacks that mean we will need to review the existing plans and timescales, but we will continue to work with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to get the project back on track.

“This work is a key part of our commitment to reduce the carbon emissions of our train fleet with a view to removing all diesel-only traction from the network by 2040, in line with the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.”

Meanwhile, last week, South Western Railway (SWR) started testing artificial intelligence (AI)-powered digital screens at London Waterloo station that display journey information through sign language.