A battery-powered Vivarail D-Train will be launched at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow at the end of October, and will operate daily services throughout the two-week event from November 1.  

The class 230 train, a former London Underground D-Train that has been completely rebuilt, will be able to travel for up to 130km on battery power. The train will be able to recharge in only 10 minutes using Vivarail’s Fast Charge system, which was supported by the British government’s Innovate UK grant and will soon begin its final stage of Network Rail (NR) approvals.  

“Rail is already the greenest form of public transport and battery-powered trains will play an important role in our commitment to providing an even cleaner, greener railway for the future,” says Mr Martin Frobisher, NR safety and engineering director.  

“Our R&D team has spent three years developing these new batteries, working with specialists Hoppecke,” says Mr Steve McBridge, Vivarail managing director. “The result is a new traction and charging system able to convert diesel trains or act as range extenders on other types of electric train. We are now ready to play our part in delivering an electrified network in the shortest possible time.” 

A hydrogen-powered class 799 train supplied by rolling stock leasing company (Rosco) Porterbrook will also operate during COP26.  

An interview with Mr Henry Posner III, chairman of RDC, which is a shareholder in Vivarail, will appear in the October edition of IRJ.