Battery-powered train trials are to move to the track as Network Rail announces the end of lab testing.

Network Rail is working alongside manufacturer Bombardier, the Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) at the RSSB and Greater Anglia to conduct a pilot study into the technology.

With the first phase of testing now complete, Bombardier will start fitting a Greater Anglia Class 379 with a Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate battery, after it became the first to meet the requirements of the project.

Network Rail said other battery technologies will continue to be reviewed.

Network Rail’s IPEMU senior engineer James Ambrose said: “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get this far. As well as testing the batteries under simulated journey conditions, we’ve needed to get the donor train gauge cleared for the routes the train has got to run on and gain a certificate of rolling stock/infrastructure compatibility.

“Now it’s over to Bombardier in Derby, who will be converting a Greater Anglia 379 to run on a test track and test the batteries further under live conditions.”

If successful, the trial could offer an alternative to the extensive electrification plans already set out by the UK government.

Testing will be carried out at Old Dalby before moving to an electrified branch line of the Anglia route.

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