UK: Brush Traction is to return the Class 43 HST power car used to test lithium ion battery hybrid traction technology to its original diesel-only specification. Developed with Hitachi and Porterbrook Leasing, the Hayabusa power car has been running as part of Network Rail’s New Measurement Train since 2007 (RG 7.07 p428).
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Conversion entailed installing a lithium ion battery and inverter in a Mk III coach permanently coupled to the power car. Energy regenerated during braking was stored for re-use.
Experience with the inspection train demonstrated fuel savings on the single power car ranging from 12% on long runs to 20% on duties with frequent braking.
The power car is to be used from December by East Midlands Trains, which is understood to have been able to accept the loss of a coach for the battery, but the non-standard power car would have complicated operations.