Innovative new lightweight passenger trains that will help decarbonise Britain’s railways are to be trialled after a new deal was announced this week.
The new Revolution Very Light Rail vehicles will run entirely on battery power and could be carrying passengers within three years. A new system of lineside fast charging will mean the whole operation has zero emissions.
Some of Britain’s major rail operators are already showing interest in the RVLR vehicles as they seek to fulfil promises to make rail ‘cleaner’.
Eversholt Rail, one of the country’s leading rolling stock owning companies, has signed contracts with Transport Design International (TDI) to build three new Pre-Series vehicles for passenger trials in the UK.
These new vehicles will be built in the Midlands by TDI, with assembly commencing in 2024 and the first vehicle ready for passenger operation in 2026. RVLR’s modular design enables this rapid programme to be achieved with confidence.
Following on from successful RVLR Demonstrator trials and testing in Ironbridge over the past two years, this represents the next major step towards series production. It will provide further valuable data to inform wider deployment of RVLR.
Eversholt Rail and TDI are working with key stakeholders across the UK rail industry to agree routes and services where operators can run passenger-carrying trials using these new vehicles.
These trials will generate actual passenger demand data to support business cases for long-term deployment of RVLR vehicles as well as providing further passenger and operator feedback on their design and capabilities.
MARY KENNY, CEO EVERSHOLT RAIL SAID,
“This substantial further investment by Eversholt Rail demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative, sustainable and attractive new rail products for the UK market. We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Transport Design International.”
SAM WAUCHOPE, CHAIRMAN OF TRANSPORT DESIGN INTERNATIONAL SAID,
“This joint investment is fantastic news for RVLR, and we are looking forward to working with Eversholt Rail to deliver this groundbreaking product that will modernise lower-density parts of the UK rail network with an environmentally sustainable and economic solution. TDI is investing in a new manufacturing facility for these vehicles, and as part of this programme we are developing our in-service charging technology, an essential for battery-only operations. To ensure we remain at the cutting edge of this emerging technology, TDI is supported by Innovate UK for its ongoing technological developments in this sector. The innovation and light-weighting technology behind RVLR is superb and we are immensely proud of our UK-based engineering team”.