The Department for Transport (DfT) commissioned TRL and its partners, Lloyd's Register Rail and the University of Birmingham to conduct a study into the feasibility of battery-powered trains. If feasible, battery-powered trains could be used to provide electric traction where there are no distributed sources of electrical supply along the route, providing an alternative to diesel traction and contributing to Government targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.

The study covered two specific areas:
1.Investigation of the technological means of onboard electrical energy storage to meet the energy and power requirements of selected case study routes.
2.Conceptual design of a mechanical system for rapidly exchanging discharged batteries, with charged units at stations.

The project concluded that battery-powered trains are technically feasible and could be operated without the need for mechanical battery changers at through stations, providing certain operating conditions are met.

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