This project aimed to develop a new option for powering electric vehicle chargers at railway stations, using the power supply from the electrified railway system.

Lead Organisation

Rina Consulting





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About the project

The Rail-Charge project showed the feasibility of using the power supply from the electrified railway network to charge electric vehicles at railway stations. 

Project aims and approach

The project aimed to develop a local energy management system that uses the power supply from electrified railways to charge electric taxis and other vehicles at stations. This has the potential to allow vehicle charging without expensive upgrades to the distribution grid and with no disruption to railway operations.

By taking advantage of both the low price of electricity paid by railway operators and the power generated by trains’ regenerative braking ability, this system could reduce charging costs for electric vehicle users.

The opportunity is to provide a large power capacity from the natural intermittence of the rail services, without the need of expensive upgrades of the power distribution grid.  Powering public charging points when there are no trains at the station helps to fully use the capacity of the railway electrification network

A controlled connection to the rail electrification network would also help to offset the load against the power generated by local renewable energy sources – smoothing peaks and managing periods of higher load due to more trains.

The project team analysed the rail power infrastructure to assess the capacity available for vehicle charging, and studied the demand of vehicles using the railway stations.

The project included designing a new power converter to connect the rail power network with the charging points, together with an energy management system to ensure the sharing of the infrastructure and vehicle charging at minimal cost.

As part of the project, the team examined the potential influence of the new charging stations on electricity grid loading, using a smart micro-grid powered by renewables, to assess the potential for operating as an independent local energy system.

The project presented a paper titled “7 kW Converter Prototyping for EV Charging Network Development Supplied through Rail Traction Power Systems” at the 2022 CPE-PowerEng conference in Birmingham at the end of June 2022.


  • Rina Consulting (lead)
  • EB Charging
  • University of Birmingham


June 2020 to June 2022

Achievements and barriers

The project overcame a number of technical barriers and demonstrated the feasibility of creating electric vehicle charging networks that are connected to the electrified railway system and unlocking benefits in terms of cost, grid flexibility and integrated transport.


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