De electrification

It has been revealed to us in recent years that the diesel engine is the fount of all evil. Global warming, Brexit, the end of life as we know it - they’re all the fault of compression ignition.

If you have diesel vehicles you’re going to want to improve your green credentials by replacing them by EVs then. Unless of course you plan to do precisely the opposite.

Meet an EV. It’s a Class 319.


It’s powered by four electric motors which drive each of the four axles under one of the cars. These get their electrons either from overhead cables as here or from a third rail. Why two modes? Because 319s were used on the London to Brighton run which was converted from overhead to third rail around 1930 and remains thus converted while the rest of their route is overhead.

Posters were better then.

The Brighton run was at one time operated by the Brighton Belle, an example of which has been restored:


But that was then. Now the 319s have been replaced by new units and as they’re still serviceable their owners have been looking for new customers. That would have been straightforward enough except that electrification has not gone according to plan (it’s really expensive) and so 319s would be more marketable if they were diesel. That’s curable, with money.

Take one 319 and screw two of these in, one at each end into the invitingly empty spaces you can see in the first picture, and call the result a Class 769. It’s now a tri mode vehicle because you still have overhead and third wire capability.


They’re MAN diesels of 390 kW, so 780 kW for the pair, and run alternators which supply power to the original motors. By the time you take account of inefficiency and the need to provide heat, light, compressed air and so on they provide about 550 kW to the motors which is only enough to provide about half the power available when running on mains electricity. It’s enough for a maximum speed of about 87 mph as compared to 100 mph on the mains though and it’s sufficient for many potential users.


This begs the question as to why they didn’t fit bigger engines. They don’t fit, is the simple answer. A diesel engine, alternator, exhaust and emission systems, cooling system and fuel tank take up a lot more space than an electric motor and even when you take up the space under two cars you still only have half the power of a set of motors which fit under one car.

So there we have it. The Anti Tesla, an EV converted to diesel. Who’d have thought such heresy could be permitted?

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