The Polish manufacturer of rolling stock Newag will soon develop a new kind of ‘hybrid’ passenger train. Main goal is to offer Polish rail operators a cheaper alternative to a fully integrated hybrid articulated passenger train.
The new train needs to be ready before April 2018. This is the deadline the Polish National Centre for Research and Develoment (NCBiR) has set. This organ has agreed to financially support the project with a maximum of 15.4 million Zlotys. Newag estimates the total project will cost around 38,5 million Zlotys.
What do we see? The render above show a diesel railcar with one full fledged driver cab pulling a 2 car electric articulated train, with identical cab design (showing some resemblance with Newag Impuls product family). The concept is as follows: Newag will built one such railcar with combustion engine and generators that will be able to propel the articulated train to which it is coupled. It is not simply pushing or pulling the train (it can do both), but powering the traction motors of the whole train set. Both vehicles will be coupled together using Scharfenberg couplers.
So, the diesel railcar runs in push/pull mode with the articulated train. The railcar will also be available with a more simplified driver cab design, compared to the image above.
In revenue service, the concept makes it possible to disconnect the diesel railcar when it is not needed. As long as the trains runs under wire, the diesel railcar can be used elsewhere. This should reduce operational costs for the train (in electric mode) compared to a classic hybrid train: no unused diesel module on board when it is not needed.
In two years we will know the final design, and see if everyday practice supports the idea, and if any operator are interested in the ‘budget’ hybrid train from Newag.