New train pow­ered by bat­ter­ies

Pro­to­type can switch en­ergy sources be­tween grid and backup

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHONG NAN and REN XIAOJIN in Bei­jing and LIU MINGTAI in Changchun Con­tact the writ­ers at zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A new en­ergy train pow­ered by both a bat­tery pack and power grid is hav­ing its trial run in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, its man­u­fac­turer CRRC Changchun Rail­way Ve­hi­cles Co an­nounced on Tues­day.

The train is the first pro­to­type that can switch its power source freely be­tween the power grid and bat­ter­ies and has a max­i­mum speed of 160 km/h. It can run for 200 kilo­me­ters when the power grid is cut off, and it is able to op­er­ate un­der ex­treme weather and ge­o­graph­i­cal con­di­tions, in­clud­ing sandy and frozen en­vi­ron­ments.

Wang Cheng­tao, deputy chief engi­neer of CRRC Changchun, a sub­sidiary of China Rail­way Rolling Stock Corp, said the core tech­nolo­gies are in the train’s bat­tery sys­tem and it can be used on both high-speed train tracks and light rail­way tracks in fu­ture in­te­grated rail­roads.

Ea­ger to com­pete with its ri­vals in Ja­pan, the com­pany has gained the knowhow for mod­u­lar sys­tem in­te­gra­tion, power bat­tery packs and sim­u­la­tion anal­y­sis sys­tems.

“As the train can run solely pow­ered by its bat­tery packs, it will elim­i­nate dam­age to the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment caused by the con­struc­tion of a power grid, leav­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and land­scape largely in­tact,” said Wang.

The new train, de­signed both for in­ter-city and in­nercity use, can also travel through eco­log­i­cally frag­ile ar­eas, tourist spots and farm­land, as well as de­vel­op­ing coun­tries that lack power in­fra­struc­ture, in par­tic­u­lar de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and re­gions re­lated to the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

“De­vel­op­ing coun­tries such as In­done­sia, Thai­land and Saudi Ara­bia, as well as de­vel­oped coun­tries such as the United States and those in Europe all have sim­i­lar de­mand to ei­ther en­hance re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity or fur­ther re­duce car­bon emis­sions,” said Feng Hao, a rail­way de­vel­op­ment re­searcher at the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

The trial runs of the train will give China more cred­i­bil­ity in set­ting the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard for new en­ergy high­speed trains, Feng said.

The train will also pro­duce less noise than reg­u­lar trains as new sound­proof ma­te­ri­als are used in the car­riages. To pro­vide a bet­ter travel ex­pe­ri­ence, the train is also fully cov­ered by Wi-Fi, ac­cord­ing to CRRC Changchun.

“As China is pro­fi­cient in man­u­fac­tur­ing high-speed trains and pro­vid­ing main­te­nance ser­vices in a rel­a­tively low-price way in global mar­kets, CRRC has been keen to make break­throughs in its en­tire pro­duc­tion line from 400 km/h bul­let trains, magnetic trains and pig­gy­back wag­ons to semi­con­duc­tors, deep-sea equip­ment and re­new­able en­ergy buses,” said Feng.

CRRC signed a to­tal of 25.79 bil­lion yuan ($3.79 bil­lion) in con­tracts be­tween April and June this year, in­clud­ing high­speed train or­ders from China Rail­way Corp and pas­sen­ger trains deals with the South­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Tran­sit Au­thor­ity. It also launched a sleep­ing berth bul­let train ser­vice from Bei­jing to Shang­hai on July 1.

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