Long Island Rail Road(LIRR) and Alstom, a French train manufacturer will come together to test the US’s first battery-powered train. They will explore the possibilities of converting the LIRR’s diesel rail cars with rechargeable batteries.
If everything goes according to plan it will be the first commuter railroad in North America to run battery-powered trains.
According to Gothamist, initially, plans will be drafted on paper, followed by trial runs on empty trains on M7 trains on the Oyster Bay and Port Jefferson branches. The study will go on for eight months and will explore the possibilities to run trains on batteries and how quickly they can be recharged and how easily the trains can switch from battery to electrified third rail power. If everything goes well we could see some trains could run on batteries by next year.
Commuters on the success of this project who travel by diesel trains can take a single train without switching in order to complete their trips.