St Davids College

COP26 Vivarail Glasgow Central2

Old Davidean Battery-Powered Train Success

Published: 30.11.2021 ( 2 years ago )

This month as part of the Cop26 Climate Change Conference, Old Davidean James Trebinski was part of the crew that supported the first battery-powered train to go over the iconic Forth Bridge.

James works for Vivarail-one of the world’s leading manufacturers of emission-free trains. The train ran daily trips out of Glasgow Central showcasing the best of British green technology to delegates from across the world. Supported by the Department for Transport, Network Rail, and Transport Scotland, Vivarail is leading the alternative traction event.

“As part of COP26, Network Rail is demonstrating its commitment to decarbonising Britain’s railway, taking the train on the Forth Bridge was quite a moment," said James, 28.

“It was a difficult operation as the actual train is repurposed 1970's London Underground stock so the technology between then and now is obviously very different, and the engineering put into the train to make it what it is now has been a lot of effort.”

James who works as a lead member of the maintenance engineering team for the train said Prince Charles and Camilla have visited the train at Glasgow along with other international dignitaries visiting.

“I’ve always loved trains, as a boy I used to have a railway in our garden,” said James.

“I took my small-scale steam engines to St David’s and Mr. Demery would allow me to work on them in the DT room.

“That’s what I enjoyed about St David's, it’s not a strait-laced school and you’re allowed to just be yourself.”

Since he was 9 James has volunteered for the Ffestiniog Railway and still enjoys doing so.

“I’ve worked on diesel and steam trains which aren’t so green, but the battery-operated one we are testing is very exciting as it shows the technology is already there to have greener trains,” said James.

“The only problem is the train is a little slow being limited by design to 60mph, but this can be overcome by re-engineering faster trains with battery technology.”