Imagine travelling through eleven miles of scenic Sussex countryside on a steam train, meeting railway staff in period clothing, learning all about the history and science of the industrial age in an interactive museum, seeing original working signal boxes… and charging your EV whilst you do it! Well, now you can do exactly that at Bluebell Railway, one of the first preserved heritage lines in the country, as historic and contemporary travel infrastructure sits side by side.
Heritage Railways, with their vintage steam locomotives, may not be the first organisation that comes to mind when considering the green agenda, but the Bluebell Railway team decided to look to the future as well. They wanted to offer visitors, staff, and the local community the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles on site. To make it happen, they dedicated part of a recently received grant from the Department of Culture, Media & Science and got in touch with us to help them.
We initially surveyed two sites, helping the team navigate the options based on what they wanted the charge points to deliver for the variety of people using them. Another consideration was making sure EV charging would be in place to welcome visitors by the time the railway reopened, following the lifting of Covid restrictions. The install was therefore completed by the beginning of April, 2021.
We selected 7kw Alfen chargers to fit with the electrical capacity available and were able to connect to existing onsite infrastructure, with enough spare capacity to meet the demands of all charge points should they be used simultaneously. This isn’t always the case and if capacity is limited, we also have solutions to allocate available power between charge points.
Here, two dual socket units were installed, allowing four cars to be charged in the upper car park at Sheffield Park station… home to the railway, interactive museum, picnic areas and shop. This included a designated charge point for blue badge holders, and the opportunity was also taken to remark the car park during the work.
The EV charge points are operated by our partners New Motion, with Bluebell Railway selecting this particular network for accessibility, and to service as many EV drivers as possible.
Sheffield Park was built in 1882 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway and it’s exciting to see that electric vehicles are now part of its historic story.
The Railway’s project manager said “JoJu Charging is an easy company to deal with and always makes that extra effort in customer satisfaction, which is good to receive”.
June 14, 2021
Commercial, EV Charging, Yorkshire