Three Battery-only Revolution Very Light Rail Vehicles to be built

Three new battery-only Revolution Very Light Rail Vehicles (RVLR) are to be built as part of the continued look at companies across the UK at ways of making rail travel cleaner. Eversholt Rail are providing the funding of the vehicles which will be built by Transport Design International in the UK.

The three Very Light Rail Vehicles will be fitted with batteries only to allow “zero-emissions operation”. After construction they will be used for passenger trials and ongoing operation. No details of who is interested in them have been revealed but the press release states that “some of Britain’s major rail operators are already showing interest in the RVLR vehicles.

Assembly of the vehicles will take place in the Midlands starting in 2024 with the first one available for operation from 2026. The modular design of the vehicle will allow this rapid programme to be achieved with confidence.

There has already been demonstration trials and testing in Ironbridge of the first Revolution vehicle over the past couple of years. The assembly of three production vehicles will represent the next step towards series production and will provide further valuable data to inform wider development of RVLR.

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, Chairman of Transport International Design, added: “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. TDI is investing in a new manufacturing facility for these vehicles, and as part of this programme we are developing our in-service charging technology, an essential for battery-only operations. 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”.

Eversholt Rail and TDI are said to be working with key stakeholders across the UK rail industry to agree routes and services where passenger carrying trials can take place. These will generate actual passenger demand data to support business cases for long-term deployment of RVLR vehicles and provide further passenger and operator feedback on their design and capabilities.

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1 Response to Three Battery-only Revolution Very Light Rail Vehicles to be built

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    Start-up companies making handfuls of vehicles (such as the failed attempts by Briway and Trampower – whatever happened to the Preston line? – we know, don’t we) look like they are trying to emulate the small (sometimes one-man) companies that existed 140 years ago making odd trams and trying to sell them in an era when trams were the up-and-coming thing. Only this time, after 140 years of proper trams worldwide, taxpayers’ money is being spent on a gamble that history shows us will not succeed. All the trams running daily service in the UK now have been built by major manufacturers – and they work. Unfortunately, reinventing the wheel in the hope that “this time” a minitram or similar will sweep the board in British urban transportation and operate everywhere is a fantasy. Calling it by the spin-doctorish name “Revolution” will not fool anyone. There is no minibus-on-rails revolution round the corner, as a minibus without rails is cheaper to build and operate. Things like the present vehicles can only be a theme park “World Of Tomorrow” novelty ride or a short in-aiport or shopping centre link (and the Merry Hill Monorail should be a waning to us all). When will they ever learn?

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