Eversholt Rail Group has begun looking at a traction system upgrade for its fleet of Class 321 and 322 electrical multiple units and has awarded the contract for a feasibility study to Birmingham-based Vossloh Kiepe UK.
Formerly Transys Projects, Vossloh Kiepe UK will be combining the installation experience of its Birmingham-based staff with the traction expertise from colleagues in Dusseldorf, to complete the feasibility study by March 2013.
The project encompasses all traction equipment design, installation design, procurement and installation of the Traction System Upgrade on Eversholt Rail Group’s Class 321 fleet, as well as providing full certification and a Safety Case for the new traction, auxiliary power and braking control systems.
The aim is to take the design, safety case and associated processes to a ‘pre-concept’ stage. This will enable a full evaluation of the new traction system, the installation design and certification as well as providing accurate pricing for the placement of a contract for the re-traction of a pre-production Class 321 and subsequently, fleet modification.
Richard Carrington, Eversholt Rail’s Head of Projects and Procurement said: “Eversholt Rail is pleased to have this opportunity to understand the feasibility of providing a new traction system for the Class 321, working with Vossloh Kiepe UK to develop a new modification. This will enable us to offer up-to-date rolling stock to our customers”.
Vossloh Kiepe UK’s principal consultant Karl Barras added: “We’ve been asked to consider all major aspects of the new equipment, installation, operational issues, reliability and maintenance, safety engineering, energy and cost savings for the integration of modern technology into the existing Class 321 units, prior to the upgrade of the fleet.”
Potentially, there are major changes planned for the Class 321/322 units and one of these changes is the replacement of the present DC traction system with a modern 3 phase ac IGBT traction system. The new system will be contained in a single case, using the same mountings as the present traction case. The upgrade will include replacement of the present dc traction motors with modern, lighter ac traction motors, using the same bogie frame and axle suspension tube mountings.