As part of its testing before it goes into service 230006 has been accumulating miles on the Cotswold Line.

Today was the first day Adrian Shooter rode on the train – the UK’s first battery hybrid being built for Transport for Wales to operate the Borderlands (Wrexham-Bidston) line. The train is powered by 2 batteries on each driving car with 4 gensets on the middle car to charge the batteries and as a secondary source of traction.

The train is geo-fenced so the gensets are never used in stations or sensitive areas, and the batteries are extremely quiet anyway. All in all it is a perfect train for this type of route – able to replace diesel units across the whole of the UK.

As a full battery train with a range of 60+ miles and its accompanying Fast Charge system that replenishes the batteries in 10 minutes the train can easily replicate the service patterns of diesel trains. And due to its superior acceleration – battery trains accelerate at the same rate of other electric trains – could in fact improve on them.

The battery trains are a huge step forward in the rail industry’s decarbonisation programme and their introduction, even in this hybrid configuration, will show they are truly feasible today!