The eco-friendly machine moved along British tracks for a period of five weeks, showing that train journeys can be greener.
The so-called Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU) is a remarkable piece of technology, powered by 95,000 batteries. It is much quieter and smoother than its diesel alternatives, and needless to say, much greener. The machine still has all the equipment that is needed in order to receive power from the overhead lines, but the difference here is that it does not necessarily have to use it.
The investment in the electric passenger train is one of the steps that Network Rail has taken in order to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact. But being “eco-friendly” is not the only positive aspect of the machine. Actually, it reduces costs, along with reducing emissions.
According to one of the company’s principal engineers, the savings come not only from minimizing the need of manpower, but also cuts in running costs and these associated with infrastructure. He also clarifies that this is especially the case on bridges, tunnels and viaducts, where the access is difficult and consequently the costs associated with any kind of civil work are very high.
Another benefit of the battery powered trains shows up in case of power cuts. These most often happen during bad weather, and if we follow Murphy’s law, the incidents will be right in between two stations, where it will be impossible for commuters to continue. Well, that is unless the train has batteries on board, which will allow a safe transport to the next station, or maybe even the final destination.
The company is now working on shaping up the plans and strategies in order to identify the routes where these battery powered trains will be most beneficial.
This is one clear example that greener is better. Hopefully, the guys will be able to execute their plans sooner than expected.
Image (c) Network Rail