Viva rail, manufacturers of the class 230 units in use on the Bletchley branch, have announced a partnership with Arcola to develop a fuel cell version.
Although electrification is the preferred option for most lines in the UK, there are a large number of small branches and rural lines where OLE is simply not a cost effective solution. The Heart of Wales line is a perfect example – a rural single track line 120 miles long, with 4 through workings per day.
The current range of battery units is about 60 miles, so a fuel cell unit could be the preferred option. Transport for Wales have already placed an order for several Viva rail diesel/battery hybrid units for North Wales services, to be delivered in late 2019
More info from Viva Rail here.
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