CZ/SK verze

Alstom unveils its battery-powered compound train in Saxony

Alstom unveils its battery-powered compound train in Saxony
photo: Alstom/Alstom unveils its battery-powered compound train in Saxony
07 / 09 / 2021

According to official information from Alstom Today, 7 September the Alstom battery-powered train made a technical demonstration ride that started in Chemnitz, Germany. Developed as a prototype at Alstom's Hennigsdorf plant in Germany, the battery-powered electric train traveled to Flöch and Zshopau and then back to Chemnitz. During the trip, the train's drive was switched from catenary to battery power, highlighting Alstom's technological leadership in green alternative drive systems for the rail industry.

The innovative project began in 2016 as a research partnership with the Technical University of Berlin and covers the development, approval and operation of battery-powered passenger trains, and also proves the overall economic viability of battery operation for mainline railways. It also includes the preparation of recommendations for policymakers, operators and government agencies on the use of battery trains on non-electrified or partially electrified lines. A key aspect of propulsion technology is the drive system, which includes an innovative traction battery that was developed and tested in Mannheim, where Alstom's dedicated battery and high voltage laboratory is located.

The battery-powered train was developed in collaboration with various project partners. These include DB Regio, the Baden-Württemberg Regional Transport Network, the German National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, and the Technical University of Berlin. The German Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is funding the project with a contribution of around four million €.

Since the start of the project, the accompanying research studies at the Technical University of Berlin have been carried out by the Department of Railway Operations and Infrastructure in conjunction with the Department of Product Development Methods and Mechatronics. Research has shown, for example, that most of the lines currently operated with diesel vehicles include non-electrified sections of less than 60 miles. Leveraging existing catenary infrastructure allows battery-powered electric vehicles to operate on these lines without major upgrades to existing infrastructure. The project also carried out extensive simulations of driving dynamics and energy consumption.

The train will enter service in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria when the new timetable takes effect in December 2021. It will be the first battery train approved for regular passenger service in Germany since the 1960s. It will operate briefly on 9 September 2021 under the Digital Rail Convention in Annaberg-Buchholz. Guests on the occasion include Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer.