It has been an eventful year for TDI, and we have much to celebrate with the recent signing of a contract with Eversholt Rail to build three new battery Revolution VLR Vehicles for passenger trials in the UK. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Eversholt Rail, and we will be working closely with them on this next phase of development for RVLR.
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.
This order is fantastic news for TDI, and we are currently looking to open a new manufacturing facility based in the Midlands, in 2024. This will be the centre for our UK build programme as we move forward with our next generation of very lightweight vehicles including RVLR, Lync and Orbit.
We have also secured additional funding support from Innovate UK which will be used to scale up our operation in readiness for full series production.
We would like to say well done to everyone who has contributed to our success over the past three years and to wish everyone in our TDI family a very merry Christmas!
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”.
Take a look at some of our 2023 highlights:
THREE NEW BATTERY REVOLUTION VERY LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES
- Eversholt Rail and TDI have signed a contract to build three brand-new Revolution Very Light Rail vehicles for passenger trials in the UK.
- TDI will manufacture the vehicles in the UK with work commencing in 2024.
- These new RVLR vehicles will have battery propulsion, providing zero-emissions operation.
IRONBRIDGE RVLR DEMONSTRATOR EVENTS
RVLR events have continued at Ironbridge throughout 2023 with increasing attention both from UK and international rail groups. Since opening in 2021, we have had over 450 stakeholders visit our purpose-built whole-system demonstration facility in Ironbridge. This year we have hosted a variety of business groups from overseas, including from Mongolia and Turkey.
We have attended several international shows across the globe this year in Asia and North America, where we have met with a variety of key stakeholders and supply chain companies in the transport sector. We were also delighted to be invited to the British Embassy Residence in Miami for an evening of networking with key business leaders from across the world, to discuss improving connectivity though a sustainable supply chain.
It was refreshing to hear that many hold the same drive as TDI for the future of very light rail and the technologies that continue to be developed in this sector.
Our Commercial Manager, Sam Sharp at APTA Expo 2023
INNOVATE UK FUNDING SUPPORT
TDI has been successful in securing funding from Innovate UK for our scale-up program this year. This funding will continue to help us in 2024.
Scott O’Brien, Chief Investment Officer at Innovate UK said:
‘Supporting innovative companies like TDI Group on their journey from concept to commercialisation, scale and growth is central to Innovate UK’s mission and purpose.
Innovation Loans exist to finance later-stage innovation in businesses with a clear route to commercial success. That’s why we are pleased to be offering an Innovation Loan to TDI – and still more pleased that this is alongside a partnership with Eversholt Rail which will help bring the Revolution VLR product to market. TDI Group have received grant support in the past and it is pleasing to see products go from early R&D to later stage and commercialisation.
Together, the Innovation Loan and the partnership with Eversholt Rail will enable Transport Design International to build out their technology and prepare their business for scale and growth.’
WINNER OF THE RIA RISE INNOVATION AWARD 2023
We were delighted to be recognised for our lightweighting technology and ground-breaking vehicle at this year’s RIA RISE Awards. Judges applauded RVLR for its ‘innovation in providing a straightforward solution to a large problem of reducing the cost of rail’.
LIGHT RAIL EVENTS
We have been invited to speak at a number of key Light Rail events in 2023 to discuss the technology developments in the VLR sector. These have included the European Light Rail Congress in Spain and the UK Light Rail Conference, where we presented Revolution VLR and took part in panel discussions at both events.
TDI were also the headline sponsor with Eversholt Rail at Rail Forum’s Light Rail Event in November. We showcased a ‘day in the life of RVLR’, highlighting the ongoing vehicle testing being carried out on the Demonstrator vehicle with a representative duty cycle day in Ironbridge.