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october 2009 | the rail engineer | 19
feature
used on the AGC fleet in France, were an of 42 tonnes in Bombardier’s earlier
obvious choice. New developments in comparable designs. That saving in mass
welding from Germany were matched with alone reduces fuel costs but other tried-
the CKD production techniques already and-tested techniques can reduce energy
used in Derby to produce a lighter, stronger expenditure still further.
vehicle.
Lightweight bogies from the TURBOSTAR Other systems
also looked promising as they provided the Bombardier’s EBI Drive 50 Driver
ideal combination of lower weight - with Assistance System enables drivers to
reduced track and wheel wear - and high achieve an economical driving style
reliability, but adapting them for a and energy savings of up to 15%.
motorised version initially posed certain Regenerative dynamic braking saves
challenges, as Eddie Searancke, Director of yet more, as does the use of
Product Engineering for Bogies, explains. ‘intelligent’ air conditioning and a
“The FLEXX Eco is a very lightweight bogie ‘Smart Stabling’ system to shut
that has already done millions of miles unused vehicles down when
under both Voyagers and Meridians. out of service but come back
However, they are driven by a body- online quickly when required.
mounted traction motor via a cardan shaft ORBIFLO feeds real-time
connected to a final drive on the bogie. For information back to the depot so
AVENTRA, we needed to find a traction any faults can be quickly repaired
motor that would fit directly onto the bogie and downtime kept to a
but, as it’s an inside-frame design, there isn’t minimum, although Bombardier
much room.” calculates that AVENTRA will be
Fortunately, a Bombardier division in 70% more reliable than any of its
Pittsburgh already has a proven drive trains in UK service today.
solution for an inboard-bearing bogie ERTMS signalling can be fitted as
design which is used in North America and standard and there is room for a
Australia. It is a conventional motor with a second signalling system if the
very compact final drive. To prove the vehicles are to be used on different
feasibility of the new traction motor networks. An IP backbone controls all
installation, trials were undertaken using a the ‘clever’ systems that keep the
modified bogie fitted under East Midlands whole train running and enables
Trains’ Class 222 Meridians operating out of modules connecting to the system to visual displays inside Wide gangways
St Pancras. be readily upgraded, therefore and out will not only advise travellers about and an airy, open
protecting against obsolescence. their journey but can also show information feel gives AVENTRA
Lighter weight AVENTRA can run on both 25kV AC and such as flight departures from airports and a comtemporary
Throughout the design process, great care 750V DC power - the high-efficiency seat availability for people waiting on the look.
was taken to reduce the weight of the train. transformers being another area where a platform.
“We went for an all-welded construction,” heavier component was chosen because, in Wide doors will make getting on and off
explains Senior Vehicle Engineer Dean the long term, it’s cheaper to run. Pairs of quicker and easier, whilst faster acceleration
Taplin. “It allowed us not only to eliminate cars will run off a common power bus with a will cut journey times. Fire-avoidance
all the bolts that we normally use but also converter on one car powering both. The materials will be used for enhanced
all the thick flanges that are needed in a other car can be fitted with power storage passenger safety.
bolted construction. In total, we saved over devices such as super-capacitors or Lithium-
500kg per car.” Iron batteries if required. The intention is The result
Development of the new AVENTRA that every car will be powered although With the AVENTRA, Bombardier has come
continued, striving for lighter weight trailer cars will be available. up with an extremely light train that uses
without sacrificing reliability. According to 50% less energy overall than a Class 319; it
Eddie Searancke, “We actually fitted some Passenger appeal accelerates quickly and is very track friendly,
larger components than we needed to, such The result is a train that operators will find resulting in low access charges. It is elegant
as the journal bearings, but this way the competitive to buy and cheap to run, reliable and comfortable for passengers, has all the
system needs substantially less in service as well as incorporating proven aids a driver needs and is cheap to maintain.
maintenance and our calculations show innovations and ‘best-in-class’ technologies. The company believes it will be the mainstay
that the customer will save money overall.” But what will the passengers notice? of the UK’s regional fleet for the next 20
LED lighting keeps the weight down even The whole train will have a clean, years. Whether the government agrees and
more and, taken with the other weight- contemporary look. Wide gangways, similar chooses AVENTRA for at least one of the
saving measures, an AVENTRA car will weigh to those on the current Class 378, will give major contracts that will be placed in the
in at 30-35 tonnes compared to a minimum the interior an open, airy feel while large near future, only time will tell.
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