News & Reviews News Wire Stadler, Utah research facility to bring battery-powered passenger train to North America

Stadler, Utah research facility to bring battery-powered passenger train to North America

By Trains Staff | February 15, 2023

| Last updated on February 6, 2024

Equipment will be based on FLIRT Akku equipment in operation in Europe

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Blue battery-electric multiple-unit trainset uner construction
A FLIRT Akku battery-electric trainset for Germany’s NAH.SH transport authority is under construction at Stadler’s Berlin factory in December. Stadler has entered an agreement to bring a version to North America. Keith Fender

BUSSNANG, Switzerland — Rail equipment manufacturer Stadler, Utah State University, and the ASPIRE Engineering Center have signed a contract to develop and test a battery-powered passenger train, the first such multiple-unit train in North America.

The project will develop a two-car train based on Stadler’s FLIRT Akku train tailored for the American market. Stadler has already sold more than 110 FLIRT Akku vehicles in Europe, with the battery-powered trains replacing diesel fleets in several locations, the company said in a press release.

Stadler, which has a U.S. plant in Salt Lake City, will concentrate on design and production of the trainset, while ASPIRE will work on developing the trackside charging infrastructure. ASPIRE, Utah State, and Stadler say they hope to gain important insights into the decarbonization of American passenger transportation.

“With little to no electrified routes in the North American public rail transit system, a battery train is a great zero-emission alternative to diesel-powered vehicles,” Martin Ritter, CEO of Stadler US, said in a press release. “After a contract for a hydrogen-powered FLIRT for California, we are now excited to bring our battery solution to the United States. In ASPIRE we have found an excellent partner to develop the most efficient and fully integrated system for environmentally friendly mobility. We are proud to be able to work with local talent to design and build this technology here in Utah.”

Stadler’s hydrogen-powered trainset, for the Arrow commuter service in Southern California, was unveiled at last year’s InnoTrans trade show in Berlin [see “Stadler unveils first hydrogen train for US …,Trains News Wire, Sept. 21, 2022].

“We are honored to partner with Stadler on this groundbreaking project,” said Dr. Regan Zane, director of the NSF ASPIRE Engineering Research Center at Utah State. “Success will bring design and manufacturing jobs to Utah. It will also chart the path to electrified commuter and light rail systems along the Wasatch Front. The battery-electric train solution will improve air quality and reduce operating costs while supporting shared charging infrastructure with trucks, buses, and cars. We’re beyond pleased to have such an incredible opportunity to be working with a world class manufacturer here in the state.”

3 thoughts on “Stadler, Utah research facility to bring battery-powered passenger train to North America

  1. Seeing as there is a lot of reports on troubles with cold sapping the battery power on EV’s I wonder how a train will fare in temps in the teens. Next there is also many reports on EV’s having greatly diminished reserve power when loads increase so what happens when you have a fully loaded train?

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