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Knorr-Bremse RailServices(UK) Ltd. and Kiepe Electric Ltd.(UK) to be sold to holding company Mutares

Knorr-Bremse is to sell its vehicle services business in UK to the holding company Mutares. The companies have signed an agreement to this effect and closing is expected by autumn 2018. 

Knorr-Bremse is carrying out a strategic realignment of its vehicle services business in the UK market. “With this step, we are continuing our ongoing efforts to realign our strategic focus on core competencies as a key supplier for the railway industry, offering subsystems, components and all related services,” says Klaus Deller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division. “We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with Mutares – an agreement that will create significant added value for the divested businesses.”

The agreement between Knorr-Bremse and Mutares governs the full takeover of the UK vehicle services business of Knorr-Bremse RailServices and Kiepe Electric, including both Knorr-Bremse RailServices sites in Wolverton and Springburn as well as the Kiepe Electric facilities in Birmingham. The components and aftermarket business in the UK will be continued by Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems.

Robin Laik, CEO of Mutares, says: “RailServices and Kiepe Electric hold a unique market position in the UK, providing excellent expert services and know-how for the railway industry. Both companies have strong growth potential and are an ideal match for our ongoing operations. We look forward to welcoming the RailServices and Kiepe Electric specialists to our portfolio. Mutares possesses expert knowledge in how to utilize the strong potential of both entities and allow profitable growth for Knorr-Bremse RailServices UK and Kiepe Electric UK.”

Mutares is a holding company that typically acquires companies or divisions that are no longer part of the core business of a larger corporation. As an investor with its own consulting team, Mutares specializes in increasing production efficiency, leveraging synergies and enabling growth. In particular, they invest in European companies that have significant potential for development and already possess established business models – often combined with strong brands.

Under a set of commercial collaboration agreements with Knorr-Bremse, the businesses will be the preferred integration and installation partners of Knorr-Bremse. These formal collaboration agreements are designed to ensure a seamless transition period for employees and suppliers and are important for the continuity of delivery to customers and to ensure long term collaboration between Knorr-Bremse and the businesses on future opportunities. The businesses will be renamed shortly, in line with the strategic approach of Mutares.

Knorr-Bremse RailServices UK is a provider of a wide range of maintenance and overhaul services to rolling stock owners and train operating companies across the UK and Ireland. Knorr-Bremse RailServices is specialized in vehicle overhaul and refurbishment as well as modernization, upgrading, incident repairs and wheelset overhaul. At its two sites in Wolverton and Springburn, Knorr-Bremse RailServices has a headcount of approx. 600.

Kiepe Electric is a globally active supplier of electrical systems to leading rail vehicle and bus manufacturers. In the UK, it operates from Birmingham with a headcount of approx. 100. The UK company is an engineering consulting firm offering turnkey solutions for refurbishment and modernization for domestic and international rolling stock providers, as well as project management and system integration. Kiepe Electric has been part of the Knorr-Bremse Group since January 2017


South Western Railways award Kiepe Electric a contract for traction upgrade and refurbishment

Kiepe Electric UK Ltd has been awarded a contract by First MTR South Western Trains
Limited to carry out traction upgrade and refurbishment works on 18 Class 442 trains
to be operated on the South Western Railway franchise.
The refurbished units will start to enter service from December 2018. The traction upgrade
element will see the existing DC traction equipment replaced with state-of-the-art AC equipment
incorporating IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technology from Kiepe Electric
Düsseldorf. This upgrade will increase the reliability and efficiency of the trains by removing
the life expired equipment. In conjunction with the new traction equipment, a new braking
system from Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems will be installed which will improve the environmental
performance of the trains and lower operating costs by enabling regenerative
braking. The refurbishment will include new seats and carpets with at seat power in all classes
and table top charging facilities in 1st Class. The environmental benefits also extend to
the vehicle interiors with the installation of LED lighting. Wifi will be provided throughout and
disabled passengers will be catered for with universal accessible toilets and seating facilities.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract which follows on from other recent
turnkey projects, including retraction projects, delivered in the UK”, said Tim Jenkins, Managing
Director Kiepe Electric UK Ltd. “It is a further testament to Kiepe Electric UK’s skill, capability
and flexible approach in supporting customers to improve their rolling stock through delivering
complex turnkey projects”.
Neil Drury, SWR Engineering Director said: “We are delighted to have appointed Kiepe Electric
to carry out part of our planned £45m refurbishment and overhaul of our incoming Class
442 fleet of trains. Kiepe Electric has a proven track record in this field and we know that they
will produce high quality, as-new trains for our customers which will include fully refurbished
interiors, new information systems and improved performance.”

The “Brighton Belle”

Kiepe Electric UK are delighted to be working with the 5BEL trust in developing and designing a sanding system for the Class 403/1 “Brighton Belle” Pullman EMU.

The system will apply sand to improve braking and traction performance in times of low adhesion and will fully comply with GM/RT2461. The 5BEL Trust are restoring the historic “Brighton Belle” back into operational condition for passenger-carrying services.

The “Brighton Belle” was the most famous electric train in the world, running each day between London and Brighton between 1933 and 1972. When built, the quality of the accommodation set standards for luxury travel which continue to inspire today.  Each car was individually designed by a different leading British design house. It was – and will be again – the leading icon of the Art Deco period. The 5BEL Trust aim to have this wonderful train running on the mainline for many years so that future generations can enjoy an authentic 1930′s travel experience.



KEUK has a long history of providing sanding solutions into the UK rail market and are becoming increasingly successful in assisting Leasing Companies and Train Operating Companies achieve franchise commitments by installing technical enhancements, refurbishing existing rolling stock and increasing fleet reliability.

AGA MkIII Refurbishment

Tim Jenkins Managing Director and Dennis Bailey Operations Manager were fortunate enough to attend Norwich train Station on the 16th September 2016 for a photo call with Abellio Greater Anglia, the DFT and the Essex Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the successful completion of the MKIII refurbishment project.

Abellio’s Commercial Director Andrew Camp said “This project is a great success and has been delivered under budget and ahead of time! This is down to the hard work undertaken by Vossloh Kiepe, and this refurbishment program has enabled AGA to significantly increase capacity on the network”.

Tim Jenkins said “It was great to be able to join our colleagues from Crown point who have executed this contract for us and to hear the kind words from Abellio’s Commercial Director Andrew Camp. For me to hear a customer speak this way about our Company is incredibly rewarding and only further confirms that we as a team and individuals can continue to achieve great things.”

Renatus Re-Tractioning Series Roll-Out for 30 off Class 321 EMUs Awarded to Kiepe Electric UK by Eversholt Rail

Following the success with the pre-series upgraded traction and auxiliary system with innovative energy-saving Kiepe Electric traction equipment on Class 321 EMU No 321 448, Kiepe Electric UK is pleased to announce that it has received an order from Eversholt Rail for a further 30 off traction and auxiliary equipment packages for the first batch of mid-life upgraded and re-tractioned Class 321 EMUs.

Eversholt Rail has committed to this investment ahead of the new East Anglia franchise being let with 10 off Class 321 EMUs being delivered into service with Abellio Greater Anglia by October 2016 and the remaining 20 off EMUs being offered for service when the new East Anglia franchise starts.

In 2013, Eversholt Rail and Vossloh Kiepe embarked on the pre-series project to demonstrate modern AC traction on a Class 321 unit. The key objectives were to reduce journey time for passengers, improve reliability and maintainability, and reduce the total cost of operation through a combination of reduced energy consumption and regenerative braking.

The major change to the Class 321 EMUs traction packages includes replacing the current DC traction system with a modern lighter-weight 3-phase AC Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) traction system.

The new AC traction system is contained in a single case and uses the same bogie frame and axle suspension tube mountings as the present DC traction case.   Reliability is improved by the reduction in the number of moving parts and lower maintenance requirements.

Vossloh Kiepe in Düsseldorf will be responsible for the manufacture and delivery of the AC traction equipment including the Main Transformer, the AC Traction Motors, the Traction Converter, the Auxiliary Power Supply Unit and the installation of a modern braking system with improved wheel-slide prevention.  The traction system provides a regenerative braking facility that uses the traction motors as generators when the train is braking.  The electrical energy generated is fed back into the overhead 25 kV traction power supplies and offsets the electrical demands of other trains on the same network.

Vossloh UK based in Birmingham will carry out the Turnkey project that includes engineering design, approvals, installation and testing of the equipment.

The upgraded units, given the programme name Renatus by Eversholt Rail, will follow the work being undertaken by Wabtec in their Doncaster facility to vastly improve the Class 321 EMU passenger environment.

Eversholt Rail is committed to enhancing its existing rolling stock to meet passenger expectations and reduce costs to the UK rail industry with the Class 321 product upgrade matching the quality and performance of a new train.  The contract for the re-tractioning builds on the strong relationship between Eversholt Rail and Vossloh Kiepe, both in the UK and in Germany.

When the contract was announced by Eversholt Rail, Mark Williamson, Managing Director of Vossloh Kiepe UK Limited said; “We are delighted to have secured this contract for new and modern Vossloh Kiepe traction equipment for the Eversholt Rail Class 321 Fleet.  Our clear focus is on ensuring that our newly fitted traction equipment and integrated braking enhancements deliver a highly reliable and greatly improved Class 321 performance level for Eversholt Rail, the train operators and the passengers that use these trains in future years.”