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KERS is not an unproven technology. The basis behind it is ancient. I know that a primitive form of the system was fitted to EM1 by Sir Nigel Greasley (British locomotive designer, best known for the A1/A3 Pacifics of which Flying Scotsman is a National Treasure) in the 1930s - and I wouldn't be surprised to learn of a similar system that proceeded this one.