Thursday, March 17, 2016

Drumm battery electric trains, Ireland,1936

Named after a team led by Dr. James Drum which developed unique nickel-zinc industrial-sized rechargeable batteries which were installed in four specially purpose built railcar sets serving Dublin and surrounding areas from 1932 to 1951. The Dublin-Bray route was served by one such battery-powered train that could tow an 85 ton load and carry 130 passengers up to 130 km on a single charge. They were the mainstay of this service when coal for steam locomotives was extremely scarce. WW2, however, made it impossible to obtain supplies to keep the batteries operating. Shortly after the war, the units had their batteries removed and were converted to loco hauled stock.

In 1949 work on the Drumm battery trains was suspended and the cars were eventually scrapped in the late 1950s.

former Drumm railcar in 1957

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