Feasibility Study of a Series Hybrid Diesel Multiple Unit Railcar

Spurred on by environmental concerns, soaring gasoline prices and petroleum reserve levels, the auto industry has made significant contributions into hybrid electric propulsion technology and its adaptation to the automotive marketplace while inducing consumer interest resulting in product sales. This recent frenzy over hybrid electric automobiles has not been lost on the bus industry which is continuing to advance into the hybrid electric marketplace. It is safe to say that the bus mass transit industry has embraced the concept of hybrid electric bus propulsion as evidenced by the initiation of many demonstration programs and subfleet replacements at various transportation providers nationwide. In the bus mass transit arena, two approaches to hybrid technology prevail, series and parallel. In the series application, the engine drives a generator which creates electric power that in turn either propels the bus with an electric motor or recharges an on-board energy storage device. In the parallel application, the engine is coupled to the drive wheels in conjunction with an electric motor or motors which propel the vehicle. In both applications one fact is evident which benefits the reception of the technology in a public forum - the engine incorporated in the hybrid design is often smaller in size than the engine that would be required to propel the bus without the hybrid technology. This becomes the basis for the high level of interest in this type of technology. Smaller engines mean less emissions and less fuel used combined with reduced operating costs and quieter buses. All of these benefits combine to provide a very “sellable” product to the end user, the passenger. The hybrid bus is quieter, cleaner and, cheaper to operate. While the final point is still the subject of much debate, long term analysis and conjecture, the principal concept still remains that the hybrid bus is a better advanced fuel technology than compressed natural gas, methanol or trap oxidizers are or ever were. Given the increasing acceptance of hybrid technologies in the bus mass transit market, it would only be a matter of time before the question would be asked; can hybrid technology work on a rail car?


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p
  • Monograph Title: Rail Transit Conference Proceedings, 2005

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01002156
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1931594155
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 14 2005 4:27PM