Revolution VLR

The Revolution VLR Consortium has been formed to deliver a fully operational very light rail hybrid DMU demonstrator.

The vehicle will feature diesel-electric hybrid propulsion, with lithium titanate energy storage for regenerative braking and zero-emission launches from stations.

The vehicle will also use a modular, lightweight segment body structure to minimise both weight and manufacturing costs.

Our overall objectives are to achieve an unladen vehicle weight of less than 18 tonnes for a 18m car, and a target selling price of £650k.

The proposed solution is based on well proven technologies already in use in other transport sectors.

Phase 1

The first phase of the development programme was supported by £1.6m funding from Future Railway, to design the radical train demonstrator. Phase 1 completed in August 2016, and delivered a detailed design for a self-propelled, hybrid propulsion system, with a concept design for a modular, lightweight train carriage.

  • Conceptual Bogie Design & Railcar Configuration – completed April 2015
  • Full powertrain assembled and tested on WMG’s dynamometers – February-March 2016
  • Completed CAD drawings for propulsion system and body with 3D printed models and 3D visualisations – issued August 2016

Phase 2

The consortium has now been awarded £2.75m funding from the Department for Transport, to take forward the Phase 1 designs and produce the full demonstrator vehicle.

The project will manufacture a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system, packaged in a modular ‘Power Pack’ cassette, plus the lightweighted, modular carbody.

The vehicle will then be assembled and initial vehicle trials will be held at a test track. The project is due to complete in 2020.