USU joins Stadler to bring battery-powered trains to North America

This rendering shows the FLIRT battery train, in development by Stadler US, Inc., and USU's ASPIRE Engineering Research Center. Photo courtesy of Utah State University

LOGAN – Utah State University has joined forces with Stadler Rail of Switzerland to develop and test a battery-powered passenger train that will be the first of its kind in North America.

The ASPIRE Engineering Research Center at USU will play a major role in developing and building a battery-powered two-car-trainset known as FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train).

Stadler officials say that FLIRT, a single-decker, lightweight train, is the solution for routes without end-to-end overhead electric infrastructure, which enables emission-free travel and allowing for longer routes.

ASPIRE will focus on charging infrastructure, workforce development and potential impact in Utah while Stadler will design and build the trainset.

Tests will take place at Stadler’s facility in Salt Lake City.

Regan Zane, director of the APIRE Research Center at USU, said success in this collaboration will bring design and manufacturing jobs to Utah.

“It will also chart the path to electrified commuter and light rail systems along the Wasatch Front,” said Zane.

ASPIRE was launched in September, 2020, with a 10-year $50 million grant from the National Science Foundation, primarily to support widespread adoption of electrified transportation.

Stadler has been building trains for 80 years with a current workforce of 13,000 worldwide.

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1 Comment

  • Charlie February 16, 2023 at 8:29 pm Reply

    Emission free? Maybe not from the train itself but where is the electricity coming from?

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