These battery-powered trains are almost as magical as the Hogwarts Express

Originally posted on Grist:

In what is probably a concealment of wizardry, the U.K. has launched a train that doesn’t require steam, gasoline, diesel, or even electric cables to power it — but runs entirely via battery power.

The modified Class 379 Electrostar battery-powered train, or more affectionately known as Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU), is currently in a trial-run phase, carrying passengers until the middle of February. To Hogwarts, we assume.

The train is being tested on a 12-mile stretch between stations in Essex, cruising along at just a touch below the U.K.’s average rail speed of 65 miles per hour. The cars are powered by 80,000 phosphate and hot sodium nickel salt batteries — each approximately the size of a BIC lighter. With the oomph of these bite-size batteries, IPEMU could eventually help bridge gaps between electrified parts of the U.K’s rail network, or in places where installing overhead electric systems would be too expensive.

The largest snag towards wider expansion…

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