Terms like hybrid cars and hybrid buses are not new to us. They have become normal day to day usages these days. And every automobile manufacturer is trying to bring their hybrid vehicles to the market. But what about hybrid powered trains? Since most trains work on both diesel and electric motors depending on the nature of the tracks, it should be easy to develop a hybrid powered train.
But issues like higher capital investment and extreme conditions faced by trains are becoming hurdles for the ushering in of hybrid technology. Reliability is also a major issue. That’s why the hybrid train concept is mostly limited to shunting locomotives that have high energy losses.
Now, in Germany, the world’s first hybrid train is becoming a reality. The first hybrid train will run betweenAschaffenburgand Miltenberg. This 37 km long route has 14 stops, so it is easy to recharge the batteries with power.
To fulfill this project, a train was first converted with batteries and regenerative braking capacity. Earlier, the locomotive which had two 275 kilowatt diesel engines now includes two 315 kilowatt-rated hybrid power packs. The train will also reduce the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and this energy will be stored in batteries for later use.
Right now it is a pilot project but if it succeeds then the authorities will think about converting the existing locomotives to hybrid diesel technology.