Author Topic: Hydrogen train  (Read 1777 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Hydrogen train
« on: January 07, 2019, 02:46:00 pm »
Seeing as electrification has been put on hold, let's try hydrogen.:
Quote
Alstom and Eversholt Rail unveil a new hydrogen train design for the UK

7 January 2019 – Alstom and Eversholt Rail have unveiled the design of a new hydrogen train for the UK market. The train, codenamed ‘Breeze’, will be a conversion of existing Class 321 trains, reengineering some of the UK’s most reliable rolling stock, to create a clean train for the modern age. These trains could run across the UK as early as 2022, emitting only water and no harmful emissions at all. 

The rolling stock conversion will be carried out by Alstom, working in partnership with Eversholt Rail and building upon an established business relationship spanning over 15 years and across multiple rolling stock fleets. This proven and reliable Class 321 is an excellent fit in terms of characteristics, fleet size and availability for conversion to a Hydrogen Multiple Unit (HMU).

Alstom and Eversholt Rail are working closely with industry stakeholders to develop the business cases and evaluate detailed introduction plans for fleets of these innovative trains and the associated fuelling infrastructure. Alstom and Eversholt Rail also confirmed that their initial, comprehensive engineering study is now complete, and the train design concept finalised. The innovative technical solution defined is the first to allow a hydrogen train to fit within the standard UK loading gauge, and it will also create more space for passengers than the trains they are intended to replace.

The Alstom facility in Widnes will manage the conversion of the Breeze trains, creating high quality engineering jobs in this new, emerging sector. 

The news follows the introduction in September of Alstom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains in Germany, where they now operate in regular passenger service on a daily basis. There is growing interest in Alstom’s hydrogen technology worldwide, including in France where the President of the Occitanie region, Carole Delga, recently announced a proposal to introduce the technology on trains there.

“Hydrogen train technology is an exciting innovation which has the potential to transform our railway, making journeys cleaner and greener by cutting CO2 emissions even further. We are working with industry to establish how hydrogen trains can play an important part in the future, delivering better services on rural and inter-urban routes,” said Andrew Jones MP, UK Rail Minister.

“Transport in the UK has evolved over centuries from the world’s first steam train to the tens of thousands of electric vehicles on our roads today thanks to our nation of innovators. This new hydrogen powered train, which will only emit water, is further proof of the UK’s continued creativity to transform the way we travel as we continue to move to a greener, cleaner economy. The UK is on track when it comes to growing a world-leading hydrogen economy, and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are providing £23 million to power our ambition to be the ‘go-to’ place for first-class hydrogen transport,” said Claire Perry MP, UK Minister for Energy and Clean Growth.

 “The Breeze will be a clean new train for the UK with a stylish, modern look. The railways need to decarbonise and the Government has rightly set out a goal to eliminate diesel rolling stock by 2040. Hydrogen trains offer an ideal solution for routes which are unlikely to benefit from electrification, and our innovative engineering solution means they can now fit within the UK loading gauge and can quickly be ready to roll on Britain’s railways. In Germany, Alstom’s hydrogen trains are already transporting passengers in the comfort and quiet that is characteristic of these trains. The Breeze offers British rail users the opportunity to share in the pleasure that is a journey on a hydrogen train,” added Nick Crossfield, Alstom UK & Ireland Managing Director.

“Eversholt Rail has an enviable record of innovation across its rolling stock portfolio.  Combining the experience gained from the successful Coradia iLint and Class 321 Renatus programmes will deliver a hydrogen-powered multiple unit product that will meet sponsors’ and train operators’ aspirations for the earliest possible fleet introduction,” added Eversholt Rail Client Relations Director Stephen Timothy.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 03:15:09 pm »
How are they going to produce the hydrogen?

And how does it compare to a battery powered EMU?
There was an experimental battery EMU in Aberdeen, in the 1950s. But they had problems with batteries catching fire.

Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 03:22:45 pm »
“There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.”
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FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 03:53:14 pm »
yeah but they're 30 years old so no doubt the press will have a field day on that one, just like they have with the re-engined, rebuilt HST sets that are coming north.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 03:53:45 pm »
How are they going to produce the hydrogen?

Hydrogen is apparently produced as a by-product of certain chemical processes (AIUI) which are carried out in Teesside and near Widnes amongst others in the UK (I am prepared to be proven wrong here!)
This ties in nicely with Alstom converting the prototype at their Widnes plant, as they can just nip down to the local chemical plant for a bucket of hydrogen** when they need it.
**May contain traces of untruth!

One of the postulated routes for testing is the new Liverpool Lime Street to Chester via Runcorn route, which passes the factory/chemical plants in question, handily!  ;)

And how does it compare to a battery powered EMU?
There was an experimental battery EMU in Aberdeen, in the 1950s. But they had problems with batteries catching fire.

Compared to battery, the range per "charge" is currently a lot better for hydrogen compared with battery. This will obviously change as charge/kg goes up in battery technology, but using hydrogen is a quicker win at the moment!
The main problem for Alstom will be fitting the gubbins into the UK loading gauge, as there is a shed load more room to play with in, under and above German & French trains than there is here.
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 03:58:02 pm »
The Als in Alstom comes from Alsace. Their main factory is about 10k from here.



I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 04:00:04 pm »
yeah but they're 30 years old so no doubt the press will have a field day on that one, just like they have with the re-engined, rebuilt HST sets that are coming north.
That's mainly because they're knackered, leaking, unrefurbished and not actually running most of the time at the moment due to staff not having being trained** to operate them, as well as the actual refurbished ones still being at Doncaster works (bar one now in Scotland) as Wabtec seem to have a production rate of one train per annum at the moment!  :facepalm:
Oh, and the HSTs are over 40 years old!!  :jurek:
** Pun not intended, sorry!
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 04:01:21 pm »
How are they going to produce the hydrogen?

Bucketloads of fossil fuel, no doubt.  Cracking natural gas rings a bell.


Quote
And how does it compare to a battery powered EMU?

I think finding that out is the main reason for building them...

I'm sceptical of the benefits compared to OHLE, but in the absence of political will for that kind of infrastructure, it's likely to be an improvement on diesel.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 05:47:14 pm »
yeah but they're 30 years old so no doubt the press will have a field day on that one, just like they have with the re-engined, rebuilt HST sets that are coming north.
That's mainly because they're knackered, leaking, unrefurbished and not actually running most of the time at the moment due to staff not having being trained** to operate them, as well as the actual refurbished ones still being at Doncaster works (bar one now in Scotland) as Wabtec seem to have a production rate of one train per annum at the moment!  :facepalm:
Oh, and the HSTs are over 40 years old!!  :jurek:
** Pun not intended, sorry!

The press had the field day long before WABTEC's throughput caused extra hell to break loose!v The field day continues because of the staffing issues.
They'd have a heart attach if they read the builders plate on some of the stuff rolling around Scandinavia and Central Europe.

The main problem for Alstom will be fitting the gubbins into the UK loading gauge, as there is a shed load more room to play with in, under and above German & French trains than there is here.

The artist impression compared to photos of the 321s seems to show a fair bit of passenger accommodation lost behind the cab.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 05:55:23 pm »
At least some of those HSTs are ex-GWR, sent up to Scotland because we're getting shiny! new! OHLE! Except we haven't got the OHLE, so our shiny new Hitachis are running on diesel (west of Swindon).
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 05:57:55 pm »
Comparing hydrogen (which presumably is fuel cells, though it doesn't seem to actually say so anywhere) to battery-EMU: no idea, but are there actually any battery-EMUs running in the UK?
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2019, 06:02:54 pm »
Apparently there's a problem with the positioning of the hydrogen tanks in Britain. In Germany, they're on the roof, which means they don't take up passenger space and if there is a leek, it vents safely (relatively) into the atmosphere. There's no room for that here due to our older loading gauge, and it would be too dangerous to put them under the floor (between the bogies) so they're actually inside the train.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2019, 06:14:08 pm »
The artist impression compared to photos of the 321s seems to show a fair bit of passenger accommodation lost behind the cab.
Apparently there's a problem with the positioning of the hydrogen tanks in Britain. In Germany, they're on the roof, which means they don't take up passenger space and if there is a leek, it vents safely (relatively) into the atmosphere. There's no room for that here due to our older loading gauge, and it would be too dangerous to put them under the floor (between the bogies) so they're actually inside the train.

Correct, they will be using the bit between the cab and the next passenger door at both ends of the train for the storage of hydrogen. Presumably with a tunnel for the staff to get through!
The train will also be shortened by the removal of the unmotorised intermediate vehicle, leaving approximately 2.5 x 20m long vehicles for passengers.

At least some of those HSTs are ex-GWR, sent up to Scotland because we're getting shiny! new! OHLE! Except we haven't got the OHLE, so our shiny new Hitachis are running on diesel (west of Swindon).

They're *all* ex-gWr, leaks, corrosion, dodgy lighting and all!  :-D :-D

Comparing hydrogen (which presumably is fuel cells, though it doesn't seem to actually say so anywhere) to battery-EMU: no idea, but are there actually any battery-EMUs running in the UK?

Not at the moment.

There was a short trial with an Anglia class 379 EMU fitted with battery packs on the electrified Manningtree - Harwich Town branch. The train ran one way on battery power and back on overhead electric, to see how long charging and discharging took. The advantage of using the electrified branch line was that it didn't get in the way of other services, and if the battery was flat, the driver could just pop the pantograph back up and continue as normal.
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 06:19:13 pm »
Comparing hydrogen (which presumably is fuel cells, though it doesn't seem to actually say so anywhere) to battery-EMU: no idea, but are there actually any battery-EMUs running in the UK?

Correct

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2019, 06:31:24 pm »
The artist impression compared to photos of the 321s seems to show a fair bit of passenger accommodation lost behind the cab.
Apparently there's a problem with the positioning of the hydrogen tanks in Britain. In Germany, they're on the roof, which means they don't take up passenger space and if there is a leek, it vents safely (relatively) into the atmosphere. There's no room for that here due to our older loading gauge, and it would be too dangerous to put them under the floor (between the bogies) so they're actually inside the train.

Correct, they will be using the bit between the cab and the next passenger door at both ends of the train for the storage of hydrogen. Presumably with a tunnel for the staff to get through!
The train will also be shortened by the removal of the unmotorised intermediate vehicle, leaving approximately 2.5 x 20m long vehicles for passengers.
Yes, the original trains had 4 carriages. Which makes it puzzling when they say the hydrogen conversion will carry more passengers.  ??? Presumably they're intending these to replace some 2- or 1-carriage trains. But why did they take a whole carriage out? There are suggestions it was necessary in order to achieve an acceptable range.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2019, 06:33:00 pm »

At least some of those HSTs are ex-GWR, sent up to Scotland because we're getting shiny! new! OHLE! Except we haven't got the OHLE, so our shiny new Hitachis are running on diesel (west of Swindon).

They're *all* ex-gWr, leaks, corrosion, dodgy lighting and all!  :-D :-D [/quote]
We'd like them back! They're still preferable in some ways, not least cycle carriage, to the bimodes that have replaced them.

Comparing hydrogen (which presumably is fuel cells, though it doesn't seem to actually say so anywhere) to battery-EMU: no idea, but are there actually any battery-EMUs running in the UK?

Not at the moment.

There was a short trial with an Anglia class 379 EMU fitted with battery packs on the electrified Manningtree - Harwich Town branch. The train ran one way on battery power and back on overhead electric, to see how long charging and discharging took. The advantage of using the electrified branch line was that it didn't get in the way of other services, and if the battery was flat, the driver could just pop the pantograph back up and continue as normal.
[/quote]
Do you have any idea how it went?
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2019, 06:50:44 pm »
Yes, the original trains had 4 carriages. Which makes it puzzling when they say the hydrogen conversion will carry more passengers.  ??? Presumably they're intending these to replace some 2- or 1-carriage trains. But why did they take a whole carriage out? There are suggestions it was necessary in order to achieve an acceptable range.

Yes, more passengers than the current 1 or 2 car trains on those routes. The 4th carriage is removed to aid the achievement of a reasonable range.


Do you have any idea how it went?
Erm!

No one died! The train didn't burst into flames as soon as the batteries were connected!  :D :D

I think from memory that the result of the trial was reasonable, but that the capacity of the batteries and range per kilogramme of battery were not sufficient *at present* - in other words, it's something we'll consider when the next generation of battery technology comes along, but not right now!
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2019, 06:57:35 pm »
IIRC the Vivarail battery trains (converted tube trains), which are yet to be used in anger, are using LiFePO4 batteries.  It seems like an eminently sensible choice for a train, but a little underwhelming in terms of energy density.

The real question seems to be one of battery duty cycle, with a view to working out exactly how much of a given route you can get away with not electrifying.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2019, 07:09:41 pm »
yeah but they're 30 years old so no doubt the press will have a field day on that one, just like they have with the re-engined, rebuilt HST sets that are coming north.
That's mainly because they're knackered, leaking, unrefurbished and not actually running most of the time at the moment due to staff not having being trained** to operate them, as well as the actual refurbished ones still being at Doncaster works (bar one now in Scotland) as Wabtec seem to have a production rate of one train per annum at the moment!  :facepalm:
Oh, and the HSTs are over 40 years old!!  :jurek:
** Pun not intended, sorry!

The press had the field day long before WABTEC's throughput caused extra hell to break loose!v The field day continues because of the staffing issues.
They'd have a heart attach if they read the builders plate on some of the stuff rolling around Scandinavia and Central Europe.

There's stuff rolling around Romania that is very 2nd or 3rd hand, including some of the ex-Danish Railways Ansaldo-Breda built IC2 DMUs that even the Danes couldn't get to work. I'm not sure the Romanians are having much more luck! There's also a large number of ex-SNCF DMUs which have been titivated locally by Romanian coach and loco builders. They're having a lot more luck with those on little branch lines in the outer reaches of Romania.
The Swiss have only recently retired some narrow-gauge stock which was pushing 60 or 70 years old. But they were well built, well maintained electric units, which will go on more or less indefinitely if you look after them. I think some of them have been sold to Eastern Europe as well!  :jurek:
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2019, 08:31:15 pm »
Yes, the original trains had 4 carriages. Which makes it puzzling when they say the hydrogen conversion will carry more passengers.  ??? Presumably they're intending these to replace some 2- or 1-carriage trains. But why did they take a whole carriage out? There are suggestions it was necessary in order to achieve an acceptable range.

Yes, more passengers than the current 1 or 2 car trains on those routes. The 4th carriage is removed to aid the achievement of a reasonable range.


Do you have any idea how it went?
Erm!

No one died! The train didn't burst into flames as soon as the batteries were connected!  :D :D

I think from memory that the result of the trial was reasonable, but that the capacity of the batteries and range per kilogramme of battery were not sufficient *at present* - in other words, it's something we'll consider when the next generation of battery technology comes along, but not right now!
Cheers.  :thumbsup:
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2019, 08:38:09 pm »
News of progress on Vivarail's battery trains:

http://vivarail.co.uk/vivarail-and-hoppecke-announce-long-term-supply-of-batteries-for-class-230s/

They are former District Line trains rebuilt with replaceable power modules which can be diesel, battery, or any future developments such as fuel cell.

Battery versions are due to go into service on the Marston Vale line.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2019, 08:45:26 pm »
News of progress on Vivarail's battery trains:

http://vivarail.co.uk/vivarail-and-hoppecke-announce-long-term-supply-of-batteries-for-class-230s/

They are former District Line trains rebuilt with replaceable power modules which can be diesel, battery, or any future developments such as fuel cell.

Battery versions are due to go into service on the Marston Vale line.

Not quite, the ones on the Marston Vale (Bletchley - Bedford) Line are diesel powered. The ones being built for Wrexham - Bidston (and others in and around Wales) are to have battery packs for some variation of hybrid operation.
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2019, 11:58:17 pm »
There's stuff rolling around Romania that is very 2nd or 3rd hand, including some of the ex-Danish Railways Ansaldo-Breda built IC2 DMUs that even the Danes couldn't get to work. I'm not sure the Romanians are having much more luck! There's also a large number of ex-SNCF DMUs which have been titivated locally by Romanian coach and loco builders. They're having a lot more luck with those on little branch lines in the outer reaches of Romania.
The Swiss have only recently retired some narrow-gauge stock which was pushing 60 or 70 years old. But they were well built, well maintained electric units, which will go on more or less indefinitely if you look after them. I think some of them have been sold to Eastern Europe as well!  :jurek:

The place to look is on the EuroCity routes, plenty of 1960s West German Compartment Stock rolling around on that.
IIRC OBB are replacing the DB/CNL Night Train stock they bought to restart night trains and that's of similar age too.
What was obvious was that it had all been rewired and significant maintenance work done by Siemens in the 90's... because under the builders plate was a Siemens plate telling you about the refurbishment!

THe oldest of the swedish stock appears to be from the late 1950s, depending on what you get it's either been refubished in the last few months, or a few decades ago!

Given that bogies can be swapped out, metal welded and everything else can be renewed (and should be renewed at sensible intervals) there's no excuse for coaches not to be of that sort of age, and with the likes of the HST engine replacements should give them another 20 to 30 years from that point in time provided the chassis and skin are maintained.

Multiple units may be a bit different due to the effort needed to re-engine them?

Talking of the Danish IC2 for hopeless modern Stock, I raise you Fyra...

Actually there's a common theme there... AnsloBreda...

Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2019, 08:23:49 am »
Given that bogies can be swapped out, metal welded and everything else can be renewed (and should be renewed at sensible intervals) there's no excuse for coaches not to be of that sort of age, and with the likes of the HST engine replacements should give them another 20 to 30 years from that point in time provided the chassis and skin are maintained.

Out of interest, are modern trains all body on chassis as well, or do any use semi-monocoque structures? Or is train performance weight-insensitive enough that it's worth overbuilding for long life and ease of maintenance?

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2019, 10:27:19 pm »
There's stuff rolling around Romania that is very 2nd or 3rd hand, including some of the ex-Danish Railways Ansaldo-Breda built IC2 DMUs that even the Danes couldn't get to work. I'm not sure the Romanians are having much more luck! There's also a large number of ex-SNCF DMUs which have been titivated locally by Romanian coach and loco builders. They're having a lot more luck with those on little branch lines in the outer reaches of Romania.
The Swiss have only recently retired some narrow-gauge stock which was pushing 60 or 70 years old. But they were well built, well maintained electric units, which will go on more or less indefinitely if you look after them. I think some of them have been sold to Eastern Europe as well!  :jurek:

The place to look is on the EuroCity routes, plenty of 1960s West German Compartment Stock rolling around on that.
IIRC OBB are replacing the DB/CNL Night Train stock they bought to restart night trains and that's of similar age too.
What was obvious was that it had all been rewired and significant maintenance work done by Siemens in the 90's... because under the builders plate was a Siemens plate telling you about the refurbishment!

Yep, the French are only just starting to retire their wonderful Corail stock, which is again of a similar vintage to the HST - probably the most comfortable stock on any railway network since the 1970's!

THe oldest of the swedish stock appears to be from the late 1950s, depending on what you get it's either been refubished in the last few months, or a few decades ago!

Given that bogies can be swapped out, metal welded and everything else can be renewed (and should be renewed at sensible intervals) there's no excuse for coaches not to be of that sort of age, and with the likes of the HST engine replacements should give them another 20 to 30 years from that point in time provided the chassis and skin are maintained.

Multiple units may be a bit different due to the effort needed to re-engine them?

Bogies are easy to swap, that happens all the time - I once spent a summer from college working as a labourer at Ilford Railway Maintenance Works. Every EMU that came in for planned maintenance was lifted off its bogies - all four vehicles at once with synchronised jacks - the bogies then being rolled out for cleaning, whilst the coaches were lowered back down for maintenance.

To clean the bogies, one of us suited up with full mask, hood, respirator and waterproof suit and then jet washed the "****" off the bogies.

As far as DMUs are concerned, it is slightly more difficult, but they can be re-engined. All the pacers had new engines and gearboxes at some point. There is talk of putting a new "Hybrid" gear train in a class 170 to recover energy through regenerative braking and store it in a battery/super-capacitor and use the motor/generator to accelerate the train back up to speed.

Talking of the Danish IC2 for hopeless modern Stock, I raise you Fyra...

Actually there's a common theme there... AnsloBreda...

Bingo!! Get that man a biscuit!!  ;) ;)
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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