WMG Rail Revolutionary Very Light Rail


WMG is developing a hybrid electric train that will be test-run between Castle Hill and Dudley Port in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. The project was started with the main objective of halving the weight and cost of a railcar, in order to facilitate low cost connectivity of suburban and rural areas.

Revolutionising rail transport

The Radical Train will demonstrate unique self-powered bogies (with integral hybrid propulsion and kinetic energy recovery system) combined with a modular, lightweight body-shell utilising advanced materials. WMG will be transferring expertise in lightweighting technology from the automotive sector into this project. Automotive lightweighting solutions are already employing advanced materials including ultra-high strength steels and fibre-reinforced polymer composites.

Project Facts
  • Project Budget: ~£4.2 m with £1.6 m so far committed from Future Railway
  • Phase 1 Deliverables: Powertrain verfied in WMG\’s Energy Innovation Centre- Feb-March 2016, Concept designs for self-powered bogie and lightweight car- August 2016
  • Phase 2 Deliverables: VLR demonstrator comprising 2 self-propelled bogies plus lightweight car body – January 2018
Echandia\’s Deliverables

Echandia supplied a bespoke battery system that was integrated into the train carriage.  The battery size is 61 kWh and the battery system is based on the standard LTO components, but is configured and engineered to meet TDI’s specific requirements.