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brianmcs
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  • 3 months later...
10 hours ago, DiveController said:

The hope that we'll be able to pop into town for a few pence instead of a few pounds seems not to have realized. Still the Drumm railcars were ahead of their time but probably limited by the accumulators of the time

My father was quite impressed by the Drumm Railcars and claimed that they were "sabotaged" off the line possibly the 1935 Sandycove derailment or more likely the Free State Governments 1941 decision that it could no longer support the Drumm Battery Company and could not justify further expenditure on new battery research during the Emergency.  https://brakebetter.com/drumm-battery-train/ .

The main problems appears to have been the high capital cost and relatively short life of the batteries compared to steam  and later diesel traction, scarcity of materials during the Emergency would not have helped.

The GSR claimed that a set of batteries (with an un-known service life) for a 2 car train had the same capital cost as a Main Line  Express (steam) Locomotive capable of hauling 10 coaches.

In the 1950s BR tried battery traction for several years on the Ballater Branch in Scotland with not dis-simular results https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_BEMU

The Drumm batteries seem to have had a 7-8 year service life Trains A&B received new batteries in 1938 which kept them running through to the end of Drumm Battery service (1948?), Train C (int. 1939) received new batteries while Train D received rebuilt batteries which appear to have only lasted for four years.

The 7-8 year service life of Drumm Batteries compares reasonably well with many First Generation diesel railcars that required engine-transmission transmission replacement or refurbishment within a similar time frame.

 

 

 

Edited by Mayner
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