Network Rail Says Our Trains Should be Batterified

By Gary Cutlack on at

The boss of Network Rail has had a great idea for a way to save the cost of electrifying the chunks of the UK's railway network that haven't been converted -- battery powered trains.

This comes from Network Rail's Mark Carne, who says that developments in batteries are such that it might soon be cost effective to swap diesel engines for battery or hybrid devices, therefore saving the vast cost that is sticking power lines above every bit of track in the regions.

It's probably a play to get out of finishing the trans-Pennine Manchester to York electrification scheme that's been paused and delayed by years, with some Thames Valley electrifications recently set back by up to eight years as well.

Carne told The Times: "The idea that you need to electrify an entire route is no longer necessarily the case. I think that where we have got hybrid trains, that opens up quite a lot of interesting opportunities for partial electrification," also adding that he thinks hydrogen and gas-powered trains might soon be on the horizon to render electrification pointless, in his dreams. [The Times]