Originally posted on EV Obsession
Hybrid trains are nothing new in the world of locomotives, with large diesel generators motivating powerful electric motors the move hundreds of tons of cargo. Even electric trains with third rails have been around for awhile. But the British have been testing an electric locomotive that uses 95,000 individual batteries that not only reduces emissions, but saves money too.
The Independently Powered Electric Mobile Unit (IPEMU) still retains all the components needed to hook onto the powered overhead wire, but it can operate totally independently of the wire in places where adding a wire might be costly, like a tunnel or underpass. This reduces the costs associated with infrastructure and also minimizes the need for additional manpower, according to its operator National Rail.
Another nifty aspect of this system is that it allows the train to continue to operate should power be interrupted, especially important if the train gets stranded between two stations. After five months of successful testing, National Rail is now working to identify other routes where this battery-operated locomotive would make the most sense.
Cleaner, quieter, and cheaper. Why did it take us this long to make electric buses a thing?