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Configurations of new Thameslink fleet of Class 700s revealed

Battery-powered train to be developed

Work is to begin on a prototype battery-powered train to use on lines which have not yet been electrified, Network Rail has announced.

Funding from Network Rail, the Enabling Innovation Team and the DfT will see two different forms

of battery tested to

identify how an Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU) could work.

Working with Bombardier and Greater Anglia, a Class 379 train will be fitted with lithium phosphate and hot sodium nickel salt batteries and tested at the Old Dalby test track before running on an electrified branch line on the Anglia route, with the pantograph down.

Battery-powered trains could be used to bridge gaps in otherwise electrified railways, or bring the benefits of electric rolling stock to non-electrified routes, charging at terminal stations. The programme will be complete by the end of 2014.

Network Rail’s director of network strategy and planning, Richard Eccles, said: “If we can create an energy storage capability for trains, electric traction can be introduced to more parts of the network without the need to necessarily extend the electrification infrastructure.”

EIT director David Clarke said: “We see the IPEMU project as a good example of something that will work according to the R&D but no one will invest in without seeing a full scale demonstrator. By supporting this programme we are helping to take innovation out of the lab and de-risk its potential introduction onto the railway.”

4 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 13

First Capital Connect and Siemens have given more details about the new rolling stock being built for Thameslink.

It has been revealed that the new Class 700 fleet will be made up of 55 12-carriage trains (700101- 700155) and 60 eight-carriage trains

(700001-700060), which will be fixed in length and have no intermediate cabs.

They will feature “wide interconnecting gangways to enable passengers to move easily through the train”.

The order for 1,140 rail vehicles was finalised, after long delays, in June, with the first train due to enter service in 2016.

Its livery has also been revealed – the trains will be light grey with pastel blue doors and a white diagonal flash at the carriage ends.

FCC said: “It is anticipated that this livery could be retained by the eventual franchisee for the routes or treated as the basis for an alternative brand.”

The operator’s new trains and engineering director Jonathan Bridgewood said: “FCC is playing a leading role in the delivery of this hugely important order for new trains, working in partnership with Siemens to deliver outstanding new trains for the Thameslink routes.”

Steve Scrimshaw, managing

director of Siemens Rail Systems, added: “The new Class 700 Desiro City train represents a step change for commuters on the Thameslink routes and will also play a significant role in the advancement of the rail industry in the UK.

“We are looking forward to continuing our close relationship with FCC as we move closer to seeing these new trains take pride of place on the UK network.”

More on the Thameslink programme on page 64.

Business boost for Network Rail suppliers

British businesses have benefitted from £3.2bn of work through Network Rail over the last year.

£1.2bn of this total went to SMEs, supporting local growth and jobs. Network Rail’s business has sustained over 90,000 full time jobs in their supply chain. Over the last four years the company has generated £17.3bn worth of work for British business, a 22% increase on the previous four-year period.

The research was welcomed by Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, while Simon Kirby, managing director of Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, said: “The rail industry is increasingly recognised as a key contributor to our national, economic and social well-being.

“Across Britain, investment in a bigger, better railway has provided a massive boost to hundreds of businesses of all shapes and

sizes, supporting sustainable economic growth and jobs.

“Every day, more than three million rail journeys are made in Britain and the railway transports millions of tonnes of goods between ports and shops. But railways don’t just move people and freight.

“Railways connect homes and workplaces, businesses with markets, create jobs, stimulate trade and support the growth of a balanced economy.

“Network Rail will have a pivotal role to play in driving sustainable economic growth over the next five years, with plans to add 700 more trains each day between the key cities of the north, increase London’s rail capacity by 20%, build

new lines to increase

capacity in Scotland and electrify hundreds of miles of railway so cleaner, faster trains can run. By continuing to invest in rail, we are investing in the future of Britain.”

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