New concept could eliminate diesel-powered trains by switching to battery through un-electrified stretches of track
BERLIN—The German government is funding research and development at Bombardier Inc.’s Berlin-based rail division.
The plane and train maker announced Sept. 20 it has received a letter of intent from the country’s Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt, offering 4 million euro (approximately $5.9 million) for development work on a battery-powered version of its Talent 3 concept.
The company says the new train will employ lithium-ion battery technology, which will allow it to operate on non- or partly-electrified routes.
“Diesel trains currently service lines where catenaries are either uneconomical or not yet in place—particularly on secondary lines,” Dobrindt said. “Our investments will help develop a zero-emission, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to diesel trains. Deploying fuel cell and battery technology for rail transportation will usher in a new era for non-electrified routes.”
Like similar electrification technology being piloted for transport trucks, the battery technology would allow trains to bridge areas without electrical infrastructure while relying on power from the grid along much of its route.
Bombardier is working on the project with the Technical University of Berlin.