Positive Traction launches Class 08e battery-powered shunting locomotive

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Positive Traction, a UK-based firm working on reengineering locomotives to be more environmentally friendly, has unveiled its new Class 08e shunting locomotive, which has been converted from diesel to battery-power making it free from carbon, NOx, and particulate emissions.

The repurposed, reengineered 1958 08 shunter has been fitted with six Lithium-Ferro-Phosphate (LFP) 88kwh batteries supplied by Lithion Battery. Improvements have also been made to the existing locomotive’s bodywork, cab and controls.  

According to Positive Traction, converting Class 08 locomotives to battery-power could drastically reduce emissions at rail yards where many of the existing diesel-powered vehicles are still in use today after first being introduced in the 1950s.

The new retrofitted Class 08e also offers traction improvements to give a 50% increase in power at the rail; reduced cost of ownership when comparing fuel costs with recharging costs; reduced maintenance requirements; and operational improvements through additional glazing to give a 360-degree vision.

The Class 08e was showcased to the rail sector and UK and local authorities at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse in Derbyshire. It will now undergo testing before moving to a customer site for operational evaluation.