Vivarail Class 230

UK: Great Western Railway has agreed contracts to buy Vivarail’s battery train related assets, saying this will secure the future of planned trials of the technology in London.

The deal announced on February 16 includes intellectual property, rolling stock and equipment relating to the development of high-performance battery and FastCharge technology by Vivarail, which went into administration in December. GWR has also employed nine former Vivarail staff.

GWR confirmed to Rail Business UK that the deal does not cover assets relating to Vivarail’s London Northwestern, Island Line or Transport for Wales projects.

Plans and timescales to be reviewed

GWR said the acquisition would secure the future of planned trials of battery and fast charging technology on the West Ealing – Greenford branch.

‘We’ve been working closely with the Vivarail team on this exciting project for some time, and we are delighted we have been able to step in and make sure its important work can continue’, said Engineering Director Simon Green.

’There have clearly been some setbacks that mean we will need to review the existing plans and timescales, but we will continue to work with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to get the project back on track.

‘This work is a key part of our commitment to reduce the carbon emissions of our train fleet with a view to removing all diesel-only traction from the network by 2040, in line with the government’s transport decarbonisation plan.’