Siemens tests mobile train charger at Long Marston

An aerial view of Porterbrook's Long Marston test site. Porterbrook

Siemens Mobility is demonstrating its new Rail Charging Converter, which promises the ability to charge battery-powered trains on non-electrified routes.

Supported by the DfT’s First of a Kind programme, the modular and containerised system provides a compliant and standard connection between the National Grid and the railway. It offers the potential to reduce electrification infrastructure needed by plugging into existing power cables and delivering 25kV AC power supply for trains.

Siemens Mobility Joint Chief Executive Rob Morris said: ‘This is a great opportunity for the UK rail network. We all know rail is the greenest form of transport. Our Rail Charging Converter, delivered here in the UK, can help transform journeys for passengers by supporting trains to use clean power in the form of battery or electric.’ 

Ben Ackroyd, Chief Operating Officer at Porterbrook, added: ‘Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre is the perfect site for Siemens Mobility to pilot and develop this innovative technology, which will provide a permanent traction power solution to the site. We’re delighted to support Siemens Mobility with this project, which can help the UK railway to extend cleaner battery EMU operation across the network.’

The companies will contribute to funding of the demonstrator, which is expected to play an important role in track and power upgrades being undertaken at Long Marston to enhance its testing capabilities.