New train to ex­pand rail trip elec­tri­fi­ca­tion

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - In Business - BY JOHN MCDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ @JMacD1988

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

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