UK-based rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail has completed a demonstration of its fast charging system for Class 230 battery trains.

The demonstration concludes a 12-month project involving the development of new technology to enable fast charging of rail vehicle.

The project was supported by a grant under the Accelerating Innovation in Rail 4 competition, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by InnovateUK.

Vivarail’s Class 230 battery trains have a range of 60 miles between charges and the accompanying charging system.

“It is expected to support the strategy to replace diesel trains in the UK with zero-emission trains.”

The system is capable of charging the vehicle in seven minutes to undertake a 60-mile journey. It comprises short sections of 3rd and 4th rail connected to the train through a shoegear.

Once the train stops at the respective terminus, the shoegear procures current at an extremely high rate to charge the train.

The automatic technique utilises a carbon ceramic shoe, which is capable of withstanding the significant amount of heat generated during the process.

Additionally, the fast charging system is equipped with a battery bank to address the issue of accessing a suitable power source. This bank, comprising packaged second-use batteries, is connected to the main grid to trickle charge itself consistently.

The development of the fast charging system will expand the application of the Class 230 battery trains across the country.  Furthermore, it is expected to support the strategy to replace diesel trains in the UK with zero-emission trains.

Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter said: “I know how important it is to the public and the industry as a whole to phase out diesel units and our battery train is paving the way for that to take place today not tomorrow.

“This train can be easily brought into service, saving huge amounts of spend on electrification and infrastructure.”