The consortium is led by Transport Design International (TDI) and with partners from the automotive and rail sectors including Cummins, Prose, RDM Group, the Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), Transcal, and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick.

The project involves developing an 18m-long bidirectional vehicle which will accommodate 56 seated and 60 standing passengers. Revolution VLR will use lightweight materials and a modular structure with the aim of achieving a tare weight of less than one tonne per linear metre.

The consortium says the vehicle will also offer zero-emissions acceleration from stops at stations with regenerative braking and a hybrid propulsion system.

Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) is investing £3m in the project through the RSSB’s Future Railway Enabling Innovation Team. This is funding the development of a unique self-powered bogie with an integral, hybrid propulsion system and kinetic energy recovery system.

TDI says it expects the first Revolution vehicle to be ready for testing towards the end of 2019.