Stadler has reached a contract with the Utah State University (USU) and the ASPIRE Engineering Research Centre for the development of a battery-driven passenger train based on the FLIRT Akku concept.

The scope of the project will include the development, construction and trial of a FLIRT Akku battery-powered two-car multiple unit.

The trio will focus on generating insights for American passenger transport decarbonisation through the use of battery-powered trains during subsequent trial runs.

Designed for regional transport, the FLIRT Akku model is a single-decker and lightweight multiple-unit train.

The battery drive of the FLIRT Akku facilitates CO₂ emission-free rail transport on non-electrified lines.

Stadler will work with ASPIRE for the development of a FLIRT Akku model to meet the requirements of the American market.

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By GlobalData

The rolling stock manufacturer will focus on the design and production of the train while ASPIRE will be in charge of the development of trackside charging infrastructure for the vehicle.

Trials will be carried out at Stadler’s Salt Lake City facility.

Legislative funding has been provided to ASPIRE to attain three objectives with this technology, economic impact, air quality enhancement, and workforce development.

Stadler US CEO Martin Ritter said: “With little to no electrified routes in the North American public rail transit system, a battery train is a great zero-emission alternative to diesel-powered vehicles.

“After a contract for a hydrogen-powered FLIRT for California, we are now excited to bring our battery solution to the US.”

A battery-run version of Stadler’s FLIRT model, FLIRT Akku offers an operating range of nearly 100km.