Positive Traction Class 08e battery shunter (Photo Positive Traction) (2)

UK: A Class 08 diesel shunting locomotive originally built in the 1950s has been rebuilt to use battery power.

Branded 08e, the prototype has been developed by Positive Traction to offer a cost-effective and emission free alternative to diesel power for shunting and industrial applications.

‘Class 08 shunting locomotives have been the workhorses of ports, distribution centres and depots across Britain’s railway for over 60 years’, said director Alistair Gregory. ‘As the UK moves towards net zero, diesel engines are increasingly unacceptable.’

The loco has been fitted with plug-in lithium-ferro-phosphate traction batteries supplied by Lithion Battery Inc. These are housed in a ‘PT Powerpod’, which contains the batteries, battery management system, charger and ancillaries. The prototype is rated at 450 hp, but it is designed to be scalable with two to six of the 88 kWh battery pods which can be exchanged using a forklift truck.

Positive Traction Class 08e battery shunter (Photo Positive Traction) (1)

The cab has been modified to provide all-round visibility, and fitted with double glazing, remote monitoring equipment and a roof-mounted heating, ventilation and air-conditioning unit.

Other features include head and tail light clusters from BMAC Ltd, regenerative braking, internal and external CCTV, and oil-free connecting rod bearings to reduce maintenance and prevent oil loss onto interior floors. Ethernet connections support remote diagnostics, multiple working and remote control.

The existing control desk has been retained to reduce driver and depot staff training time, along with the frames, traction motors and buffer beams.