Rail Charge

A disruptive technology to manage mixed power output public charging points networks, supplied directly from the rail electrification network

Business Period Project Coordinator Funding Scheme
Energy April 2020 - March 2022
RINA Consulting LTD Innovate UK


Nowadays there is an intensifying focus upon air quality in cities and electric vehicles (EV) can play a significant role in accelerating the transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV).

Unfortunately, the uptake of EVs is limited by the availability of public charging points and the higher price of electricity compared to home charging. Moreover, installing public charging points in locations like station parks is challenging because it often requires an expensive upgrade of the power grid.

“Rail-Charge” project aims at demonstrating a disruptive technology to manage mixed power output public charging points networks, supplied directly from the rail electrification network.

In particular, the main scope of this project is to power the public charging points when there are no trains at the station in order to fully use the power capacity of the railway electrification network.


RINA is the project coordinator of “Rail-Charge” and will be responsible for the railway traction power analysis, software coding development, hosting in RINA Cube, performance analysis, dissemination of the project results and reporting.

As coordinator, we are also in charge of the implementation of the project, which include the following activities:

  • Railway traction power analysis. Our project partner University of Birmingham (UOB) will lead the specifications of the power capabilities of AC and DC railway traction systems, with our technical input on suitable ways of connection to the electrification networks according to exiting standards.
  • Power electronics interface  We are going  the design of the charging network generated by the converters, including protections and actions in case of faults.
  • Energy management system: we are going to lead the development of the energy management system, including the hardware architecture and the control strategy with input from UOB and EB, and the software for real-time implementation.
  • Benchtop testing and analysis (IR). UOB will lead with our support rig testing, performance assessment and characterisation of the power converter with a simulated railway line and train loads.
  • Exploitation and IPR


The project will mainly imply the following benefits:

  •  Environmental: the project solutions will deliver zero tailpipe emissions 
  • Economic: there will be a significant reduction of charging fees for business and private drivers of ZEV, through the reduced electricity cost and the possibility of creating integrating rail-road ticketsSocial: reduction of poor air quality diseases and consequently, lower healthcare spend

Project Consortium

1. RINA Consulting LTD 2. University of Birmingham 3. EB Charging