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Rolling stock

Roll on the future

R

Graeme Clark explains what the expectations will be for rolling stock in the next couple of decades

ecent rolling stock procurement programmes in the UK have been driven by specifications and requirements issued by the DfT. Currently these programmes have yet to be realised – the DMU project has been cancelled; IEP is under review and may also be cancelled; and the Thameslink

programme has slipped. The DfT process has been heavily criticised for failing to

adequately involve the train operators. It is almost certain that this arrangement will change with the new government, with operators receiving longer franchise terms, allowing them to procure new rolling stock. This will see a return to something closer to the

procurement processes employed at the start of UK rail privatisation. In the short and medium term, the life extension of existing

trains, through the use of state-of-the-art traction and auxiliary systems, will become a big market. Reliability improvements and the use of remote diagnostics and monitoring technology to help improve performance will become the norm. The train itself will become ‘intelligent’, producing vast amounts of information needing human input for interpretation so that maintenance and operation processes can be continually improved. An increase in electrified route mileage will result in the vast

‘The DfT process has been heavily criticised for failing to adequately involve the train operators’

JUNE 2010 PAGE 25

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