Innovative new lightweight passenger trains that will help decarbonise Britain’s railways are set to undergo trials.
The Revolution Very Light Rail (RVLR) vehicles will run entirely on battery power, and a new system of lineside fast charging will mean the whole operation has zero emissions.
Eversholt Rail, one of the country’s leading rolling stock owning companies and a Community Rail Network corporate partner, has signed contracts with Transport Design International (TDI) to build three new Pre-Series vehicles for passenger trials in the UK.
The new vehicles will be built in the Midlands by TDI, with assembly commencing in 2024 and the first vehicle ready for passenger operation by 2026.
Eversholt Rail and TDI are working with key stakeholders across the UK rail industry (including community rail) to agree routes and services where operators can run passenger-carrying trials using the new vehicles.
These trials will generate actual passenger demand data to support business cases for long-term deployment of RVLR vehicles, as well as providing further passenger and operator feedback on their design and capabilities.
If you are a community rail partnership interested in learning more about the new rolling stock or building a business case for a passenger trial in your area, please get in touch with Paul Webster.
Mary Kenny, CEO of Eversholt Rail, said: “This substantial further investment by Eversholt Rail demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative, sustainable, and attractive new rail products for the UK market. We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Transport Design International.”
Sam Wauchope, chair of Transport Design International, said: “This joint investment is fantastic news for RVLR, and we are looking forward to working with Eversholt Rail to deliver this groundbreaking product that will modernise lower-density parts of the UK rail network with an environmentally sustainable and economic solution.
“To ensure we remain at the cutting edge of this emerging technology, TDI is supported by Innovate UK for its ongoing technological developments in this sector. The innovation and light-weighting technology behind RVLR is superb and we are immensely proud of our UK-based engineering team.”