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Battery and hydrogen power are prominent on Siemens radar

Introducing standardisation for rolling stock orders would help drive down costs, Siemens Mobility CEO William Wilson said on October 1.

Speaking during a virtual lunch, he said: “We are still seeing a wide range of designs for rolling stock.” He suggested that much of the higher costs are around the ‘car body and traction’ element of the design.

When it comes to alternative power, Siemens is looking at both battery and hydrogen technology, said Sambit Banerjee, Siemens Mobility Managing Director Rolling Stock and Customer Services.

“Battery trains are in use in Vienna, so we are well away with that,” he said.

“We can offer hydrogen technology and have a memorandum of understanding with Siemens Energy, which means we are the only company that can supply the complete package.”

Siemens is also looking at retrofitting an electric multiple unit, to create a battery bi-mode train capable of running for 40-50 miles away from the overhead wires.

“We would look to retrofit batteries, but any hydrogen trains would be new,” said Graeme Clark, Siemens Mobility Head of Business Development (Rolling Stock).

“It would be more difficult to modify ‘185s’ because you would need to remove some equipment, but there are opportunities for hydro-drive with them.”

  • For more from the Siemens briefing, read RAIL 916, published on October 21, and available digitally from October 17. 
  • An eight-page special on Siemens' solutions for rail's COVID-19 recovery is available in RAIL 915, on sale now.

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