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Kiepe Electric UK completes the installation of 2 off Class 37 locomotives with Hitachi Rail ETCS

Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) awarded Kiepe Electric UK a contract in 2015 to integrate and install the Hitachi European Rail Traffic Management System/European Train Control System (ERTMS/ETCS) to 2 off Class 37/5 locomotives, for operation west of Sutton Bridge Junction and Shrewsbury on the Cambrian Line in Wales.  The two locomotives, Nos 37668 and 37669, are owned and operated by West Coast Railways.

Vossloh Kiepe’s turnkey project included the integrated design, engineering, procurement and the installation and commissioning at Barrow Hill in Chesterfield.

The installation of ETCS on Class 37 Locomotives is a complex task.  There are many unique features on each locomotive as the class was originally supplied in twelve batches and subsequently maintained by numerous operators who independently carried out their own internal modifications.  However, Vossloh Kiepe offered HRE the benefits of its experience by utilising many aspects of the successful ETCS approved design, installation and conversion that Vossloh Kiepe had undertaken on 3 off Class 37 Locomotives for Network Rail.  These three locomotives were reclassified as Class 97 and numbered 97302, 97303 and 97304.

In collaboration with HRE, Vossloh Kiepe’s Engineering Design office developed the post-concept design for the package of work and produced the necessary design pack.  Vossloh Kiepe provided site and safety management and skilled and certificated tradesmen, including a coded welder when required.  The project included the removal of both redundant and obsolete cab equipment together with the installation of new ETCS equipment.

To locate the new Doppler radar and balise (transducer) antenna installation, Vossloh Kiepe redesigned and installed a replacement long range fuel tank in order to make provision for the new equipment that was being installed on the underside of the fuel tank including a revised wiring installation.  The design incorporated full Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and was approved to meet Railway Group Standards.

The package of work included modifying the ETCS cubicles to allow occasional access to the rectifiers and fitting of new On-Train Monitoring Recorder (OTMR) and upgrading the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) Equipment, GSM-R/GPS and GSM-R/Data Antennas, and ETCS Brake Control Equipment.  Vossloh Kiepe reviewed and modified the cab desk design and fitted new cab equipment housings that incorporated a 240V power inverter, socket and Ethernet connection on the non-drivers side for a secondary Desktop Management Interface (DMI)/laptop. New axle speed probes were also provided and fitted.

Following the completion of the installation, Vossloh Kiepe undertook verification and routine testing of the ETCS, TPWS and OTMR systems and assisted in performing the commissioning and set-up of the ETCS system before final testing and handover to the Customer.

The spot-hire locomotives will provide additional haulage capability and flexibility for commercial operations over the Cambrian line and providing further ERMTS/ETCS operating experience for the roll-out across Network Rail.