Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Oct 16

Diesel-Electric Hybrid Train

Posted in Battery Technology | Energy Industry | Energy Inventions | Future Technology | Public Transit | Transportation

Hybrid TrainTrials will start next year on what is being billed as Europe’s first hybrid high-speed train, which can cut emission levels by up to 50%. The system, which has been developed by Hitachi in Japan, consists of a battery-assisted diesel-electric traction engine. The traction unit uses the battery when the train is at rest and in the early stages of acceleration up to around 30 kilometres an hour (19mph), at which point the conventional diesel engine kicks in.

The first unit will be fitted to Network Rail’s New Measurement Train which, in addition to its role monitoring the condition of tracks, acts as a technology test bed. According to Hitachi, tests in Japan have shown that the hybrid system can cut harmful emissions by up to 50% and fuel bills by a fifth. Emission levels and fuel costs are increasingly important factors in the rail industry. “Long-term sustainability is a key component for future transportationsystems,” said Alistair Dormer, Hitachi Rail Group’s general manager.

UK trials will start in April and are expected to last six months. Hitachi said the system has been developed and tested since 2003 and is now in production for a Japanese customer.

  • Jules

    As an international traveler I try to ride every kind of transit possible. I am also a rider of Public Transit in the USA for over 13 years, so I am happy about any development like this; and proud of the extent to which Brazil has moved forward as a global leader to reduce diesel emissions.

    Here is another NEW design for inter-city Rapid Transit – that uses 100% renewable energy – built into the system:

    http://www.thehighwayintheSky.us

    The Overhead Tram design uses proven suspension-bridge technology and improved overhead cable and rail materials. It seems to be an option that could ease the 50′ Rights of Way stalemate for the proposed surface route between Sacramento and San Diego; and also meet voters goals in the Seattle area, when they demanded a mono-rail type system for the Puget Sound region years ago.

    The Mass Tram is a flexible system in that you can keep adding carriers, and it appears much less expensive than widening freeways, can handle both freight and passengers without diesel emissions, it could eliminate numerous surface street hazards and help ease bottlenecks, and seems an excellent solution for winter weather airport closures.

    Looks like a great solution, among current alternatives. Let’s help the designer find partners to develop working prototypes, routes and funding.

  • Cabdriver

    If they are as efficient as CSX claims, I’m wondering why the US isn’t replacing the jets (I read somewhere, a gallon a minute in the air I believe) with high-speed coast to coast rails. All we need is the will, put the national effort into it that we put into going to the moon. Heck if we put three in, NY-Washington, Baltimore or DC to Northern California & Southern Florida round the Gulf towards Phoenix & San Diego, I think we could put off upgrading the Ground control system for planes 20+years for the cost of that upgrade! (currently these are just guesses, I’m doin’ the research now). Now build-in the electric grid & Broadband upgrades at the same time, I suspect the results would multiply with the efficiencies.

  • Owen Birr

    Fine. Now we need to broaden that concept to the method of transit the other 90% of Americans use.

  • Microhousehold

    Nothing new really, is it?
    Diesel-electric trains have been around for nearly 100 years.

    Maybe they should look at a steam-electric hybrid,
    or pressurized air as energy storage.


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