Zero-emission trains arrive on time

Hitachi Rail and Hyperdrive Innovation have signed an exclusive agreement to develop battery packs to power zero-emission trains and create a battery hub in the North East.

The UK has a low level of electrified lines, with over half (58 per cent) of the 20,000 mile rail network needing internal motive power, with the potential – according to Hitachi Rail – for a fleet of 400 battery-powered trains.

Hitachi has identified its fleets of 275 trains as potential early recipients of the batteries for use in the UK, as well as installing them on new metro and intercity trains that will be needed in the coming years to replace ageing diesel fleets.

Hyperdrive’s HYVE facility in Sunderland will supply batteries to Hitachi Rail’s train-building factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham under the terms of the agreement, creating a ‘hub’ of expertise as the country attempts to meet its decarbonisation targets.

Andrew Barr, group CEO, Hitachi Rail said: “The partnership with Hyperdrive creates shovel-ready opportunity for new battery trains to be ordered now. As well as new trains, this is also a window of opportunity to cut carbon and supercharge a green recovery in the North East and across the UK.”

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