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A low-impact commuter train

Joe Bednall explains what the new features built into Avantra are designed to achieve

In this age of recession, climate change, and rising diesel and oil prices, Bombardier has been working towards a future generation of low impact electric commuter trains, in the belief that it is important for the UK to continue its electrification programme. We have developed a commuter train for the UK market that

is not only extremely light, but is efficient to run, reliable, and comfortable. The new Bombardier Aventra electric multiple unit is based on proven systems that have been uniquely customised for the UK market. It has significantly reduced mass and lower energy consumption. The Aventra train is 21 per cent lighter than the lightest train

in passenger service in the UK today. This weight has been saved in several key areas: for example, its fully welded bodyshell saves weight and reduces the need for bolts and flanges. Five tonnes in weight per car has been saved by using the Flexx-Eco bogie, which is not only lightweight, but has a very low lateral track force, resulting in a longer wheel life. LED lighting has also saved weight and brings the added benefits of reduced power consumption and lower maintenance costs. Obviously a lighter train uses less energy, but other energy-

saving packages include the Bombardier EBI Drive 50 Driver assistance system that helps drivers to achieve economical driving styles. The trains use regenerative braking and have smart stabling to ensure that they can be deactivated when not in use, and then remotely woken up to ensure that they are ready when required. Journey times are reduced because the train has extra wide doors and open gangways, allowing people to get on and off the train faster. Passengers can also expect increased levels of safety as the trains have ERTMS signalling.


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