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WORKSHOPS, DEPOTS & LIFTING EQUIPMENT


Next steps at Central Rivers


Adam Newton, Bombardier’s general manager at Central Rivers Depot, speaks to RTM about effective, sustainable maintenance that stems from great working relationships.


S


ometimes good service is not down to the introduction of radical new technology,


but continuous improvement to working practices and good use of data. RTM spoke to Bombardier’s general manager at Central Rivers


Depot in Burton-on-Trent,


Staffordshire, Adam Newton, about its contract extension with Virgin, condition-based maintenance and innovation that fi ts short time scales.


Virgin, for the Voyager product and of course for our people as well. That’s really positive for us.


“Virgin is a high-profi le customer. We’ve been


committed to doing the right thing.


“ It doesn’t always mean there’s a need for a very high-technology, high-complexity solution. ”


Bombardier Transportation has been awarded an extension of its fl eet maintenance contract with Virgin Trains until 2016, following Virgin’s own 23-month franchise extension on the WCML to 2014.


The £106m contract will see maintenance provided for the Super Voyager trains in operation on the West Coast Main Line.


The trains will be maintained at Central Rivers Depot, and at other outstations across the network. The depot, built specifi cally to maintain the Voyager and Super Voyager fl eet and opened in 2001, employs 360 people.


It is a central hub for maintenance data- gathering and the use of diagnostic technology to identify issues before they affect passenger services.


A ‘great shop window’


Newton welcomed the maintenance contract extension and said: “There’s several really strong aspects for us; the fi rst is a guaranteed revenue stream until March 2016, which gives us the stability to keep doing the right thing, for


58 | rail technology magazine Dec/Jan 13


working for them for 13 years, so a lot of mutual trust and respect has been won over that time. This is an opportunity to continue that.”


The fact that Virgin’s 21 Class 221 Super Voyagers are in operation on WCML helps Bombardier


to maintain a “really strong


position in the services market”, Newton said. “West Coast is considered to be one of the busiest and arguably the highest profi le franchise, so it’s a great shop window for us. Operationally if you work on a franchise with Virgin on West Coast it can make a real difference.”


The other 23 Super Voyagers, and the 34 Class 220 Voyagers, are operated by CrossCountry.


Future optimisations


Newton said there were a number of optimisations under discussion for the extension.


He said: “The risk of a short extension such as this is perhaps – in a more traditional view in the industry, or with a less mature partnership in place – that it could lead to a bit of stagnation. But we try to keep ourselves


“One area we’re going to work together on is to reduce the fuel consumption of the vehicles. It’s a very obvious thing, with a positive impact on cost but also a strong sustainability argument there.


“If you could get to the point where the trains are at the ‘next step’ in terms of


fuel effi ciency, which we think we can, it gives us different options in terms of diagrams.


“They’ve got some technology enhancements that are possible, but experience shows that if we act on quality and timely data, which is what we’re all about, we can provide reliability and can get operational costs down. Ultimately, that’s the goal.”


Fundamental reliability


Discussing the merits of new technological innovations versus improved working practices, he explained that continuous development of working relationships is the most important factor in running a successful maintenance programme.


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