Braking news
Knorr-Bremse, the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems and supplier of additional sub-systems for rail and commercial vehicles, is to equip the new generation of France’s TGV high-speed train Avelia Horizon from Alstom. Within the scope of a platform agreement with manufacturer Alstom, the contract signed in July 2019 governs the supply of braking and HVAC systems for initially up to 100 Avelia Horizon trains, with callup options for further trains.

“Knorr-Bremse’s strategy and product development activities are geared toward low life cycle costs, energy efficiency and eco-efficiency. The resultant solutions that we presented thoroughly impressed SNCF and Alstom. We are proud to be on board in such a significant and prestigious project as the new generation of the TGV,” said Dr. Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division.

Knorr-Bremse is to equip the new high-speed trains built on Alstom’s Avelia platform with braking systems (air supply, brake control, bogie equipment) and HVAC systems. In the Avelia Horizon for the first time the French national rail operator SNCF has opted for the direct braking systems that have proven their worth in high-speed trains around the world. The initial delivery of braking and HVAC systems from Knorr-Bremse for the Avelia Horizon are scheduled in 2020. The new Alstom high-speed train will enter scheduled commercial service in 2023.

“This contract for the Avelia platform represents the next step in our successful collaboration with SNCF and Alstom that already covers several generations of high-speed trains,” said Mark Cleobury, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems. “We have considered the requirements of both SNCF and Alstom from the very beginning. Through our expertise, we are helping to assure the establishment and long-term success of the new TGV.”

First in Slovakia
News 157 iLeading fully private Central European train operator, RegioJet, which operates PSO regional trains on the Bratislava – Dunajská Streda – Komárno line, has commenced operations of double-decker coaches. Trains composed of double-deckers will increase the capacity of the morning and afternoon train services operating during the peak hours.

It is a turning point for the railway line itself and for railway transportation in Slovakia. The Bratislava – Komárno line, which in 2011 was one of the less important ones according to its performance, is today the busiest single-track railway line in Slovakia.

RegioJet purchased the coaches from DB Regio German railways. So far, they have been used for suburban trains in the region of the Bavarian capital city of Munich. They are pulled by SIEMENS Eurorunner diesel locomotives. Within the last six months, they both underwent a demanding approval process to get all the licenses for operations on the Slovak railway infrastructure (ZSR). RegioJet is the first carrier in Slovakia to operate this type of wagon and deploy double-decker trains on non-electrified train lines.

Keeping track
News 157 jCoreRFID is rolling out a system of tags and readers for Network Rail. The RFID based system automatically assists in identifying rolling stock as it passes over monitoring sites across the rail network. The tags, which can be read over long distances whilst the rolling stock is moving, are coded to Network Rail’s precise specifications and this enables assets to be matched to corresponding records in Network Rail’s asset management systems.

The solution also helps Network Rail distinguish between its own assets and a those of other operators’ rolling stock using the same rail infrastructure. The readers and tags are able to fully function in all weather conditions and cope with vibration and contamination caused by dirt and grease.

CoreRFID and Network Rail will continue working together as new rolling stock comes into operation.



New trains for Merseyside
News 157 kThe new state-of-the-art fleet for the Merseyrail network is beginning to take shape with a crucial milestone reached in the manufacturing process. The first train is due to arrive in Liverpool for testing later this year. The trains will begin to be rolled out for passengers from 2020.

The basic structure of the first train is now complete, with the wheelsets (bogies) attached to the bodyshell and factory-based testing has commenced. Train manufacturer Stadler will be putting 52 trains through the process. Once the ‘marriage’ is complete, trains will undergo routine static commissioning as a first step in preparing them for the authorisation required to enter service.

Dynamic-testing will kick off at a test-ring in Wildenrath, Germany later this autumn. Much of the testing is being undertaken at this purpose-built facility to minimise the need for testing and any associated disruption on the Merseyrail network itself.


Official launch for East Anglia
News 157 lThe transformation of the railway in East Anglia has been celebrated with the official launch of Greater Anglia’s brand-new trains. Modern longer state-of-the-art bi-mode trains are now in service on the Greater Anglia network, just three years after the contract was signed to buy 58 trains from Stadler. The bi-mode trains, powered by diesel and electricity, are replacing all of Greater Anglia’s existing diesel trains on rural routes.

They are some of the first trains in the UK to be financed with long-term investment from pension funds and insurance companies through Rock Rail East Anglia, a joint venture between Rock Rail, Aberdeen Standard Investments and GLIL Infrastructure.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director commented on how the new trains are being received: “Our customers are telling us they think our new trains are amazing. We promised new trains would improve their journeys and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

“Feedback has been brilliant. Customers love the USB and plug points, the improved accessibility, the longer trains with more seats, the smooth, quiet ride and the comfortable seats.”

Welcome the Paragon fleet
News 157 mHull Trains has officially named its £60m new fleet of trains which will revolutionise travel between Hull and London. The five Hitachi trains will form Hull Trains’ Paragon fleet – a name chosen due to its stand-alone meaning and its significance in Hull.

A Paragon means someone or something which is the very best. It is defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as a model of excellence – which is exactly what these high-tech five trains will be when they arrive on the tracks later this year.

Paragon is also a name which grew strong roots in Hull as early as 1802 when Paragon Street was named – which then led to the name Paragon Station being used when it was built in 1848. Since its original construction, Paragon Station – renamed Paragon Interchange in 2007 – has been regarded as being at the heart of the city, as something of a spectacle landmark.

Today Paragon Interchange is still the gateway to the city – a jewel in Hull’s crown and a historical beacon which has served the people of Hull for more than 165 years.

Hull Trains – the only train operator in the country which has named a company after the city it serves – has chosen to name its fleet after the station in a nod to what is arguably one of the city’s most important features on the skyline.

The new fleet name was suggested by On-Board Experience Manager Patrick Tobin and approved by the board after careful deliberations.