Power electronics for battery powered trains
It all started two years ago with Vivarail’s daring initiative to refurbish D78 London Underground stock into diesel-electric trains.
Strukton Rolling Stock was selected to engineer and supply the traction and auxiliary systems. Cooperation proved to be smooth and powerful. Strukton was more than happy to continue this cooperation in Vivarail’s next challenge: the development of a battery powered vehicle. Work on this new green project started at the beginning of 2017. The first test runs took place less than two months later.
Vivarail's prototype train
Vivarail’s philosophy is to deliver an environmentally-friendly train with different power options, enabling operators to choose the power option that best suits the demand in the particular local situation. Strukton’s solutions satisfy this need of flexibility. While the batteries are delivered by Valence Technology, Strukton Rolling Stock delivers the traction and auxiliary systems and develops the software for the various operating modes of the vehicle. This enables Vivarail to offer not only diesel-electric, but also hybrid or even fully battery powered vehicles in the near future.
Vivarail ordered the first series of six traction systems from Strukton Rolling Stock early 2017, following the great demand for rolling stock and the success of its prototype diesel-electric vehicle. This order was extended with six auxiliary systems. Strukton will base its solution on an existing product to deliver at short notice and keep development cost to a minimum.
Vivarail’s primary objective has been to build a train that works well for operators and passengers alike. Led by Adrian Shooter and drawing upon 200 plus years of industry knowledge and experience the team has made sure that the Class 230 not only meets but exceeds the expectations of both operators and customers. As Chairman of Chiltern Railways, Adrian Shooter commissioned many new trains. During those years he became convinced there had to be a better way to design a train that would work equally well for operators and passengers. The Class 230 is the result.