[NL] Northern Netherlands: Arriva announces plan for partial electrification and battery trains

OV Magazine reports: Today, Arriva in the Netherlands published new information about its fleet renewal plan on the northern lines in the Groningen and Friesland provinces. Earlier this year the operator was awarded a new contract for a period of 15 years. New FLIRT trains are on order, and the current fleet of 51 GTW DMUs will be modernised  Arriva wants to move away from diesel trains, towards zero emission services and wants both types to be hybrid (battery+electric) in the future.

Stadler Rail will develop a new version of its ‘diesel module car’ for Arriva. Instead of a diesel engine, it will have a battery pack and a pantograph, making it possible to run emission free. On sections with overhead wiring the battery will be charged to run on non-electrified sections. Also recuperative brake systems will be feeding the batteries during service. Both the new FLIRTs as well as the existing GTWs will eventually get such a new propulsion module.

It however will take some time to develop this new propulsion system, and the lines on which the trains will be running will have to be electrified partially. This means the FLIRTs will initially get normal diesel modules, running on cleaner bio diesel, which then later on will be replaced by battery modules.

Research proves that around 30% of the lines will have to be electrified to make it possible to run all services with the battery trains.

DB Arriva northern lines refurbished GTW. Photo: Deutsche Bahn