New train to expand rail trip electrification
AN INNOVATIVE new type of train is being developed by an operator which runs services on routes in Halton.
Northern and Porterbrook are working together to deliver a variant of the Class 319 electric train which is able to operate seamlessly over electrified and non-electrified routes.
The concept will help spread the benefits of electrification to more rail users.
Northern runs services to stations in both Runcorn and Widnes.
The project is supported by the Rail North Partnership which represents local authorities in Northern England.
A Northern spokesman said that the concept is designed to create a bi-mode train by fitting two diesel powered alternators, one under each of the driving trailer cars.
The diesel alternators provide power to the existing traction and auxiliary equipment to allow the train to operate without an overhead or third rail supply.
Rail North director David Hoggarth said: “We are very pleased to work together with rail industry partners to support the development of this innovative rolling stock solution that will contribute to the transformation of rail services currently under way in the north of England, helping to support economic growth.”
Concept design work is now complete and work has started with Wabtec/Brush on the project’s detailed design phase.
The first units will be in passenger service with Northern by spring 2018 and from then on will be available to a wide range of operators who will be able to make full use of electrically powered rolling stock on partially electrified routes.
Porterbrook’s projects and technical director Zena Dent said: “The highly innovative Class 319 Flex will be a flexible and highly efficient unit that will provide operators with a ‘go anywhere’ train, something which is not currently available with any other rolling stock solution.”
The variant of a Class 319 electric train which is able to operate seamlessly over electrified and non-electrified routes