Both Garrandale and Chiltern Railways have announced tests will start shortly on the new Cleartrak toilet system.
Following £365,000 being awarded towards the Cleartrak system through Innovate UK’s First of a Kind (FOAK) Funding Programme, Chiltern Railways’ trains will be the first to try out the new system.
The major benefit of Cleartrak is reduced train downtime for disposing of waste and less infrastructure cost spent on toilet emptying equipment.
This will help reduce costs but also make trains more environmentally friendly. All going well, Cleartrak could be fitted to more trains, with both Angel Trains and Porterbrook in support of Cleartrak.
Garrandale’s CEO Tim Brown said: “With the rail sector worldwide striving towards decarbonisation, Cleartrak technologies will ensure that the environmental gains made by alternatively powered trains will not be wasted by continuing with an outmoded, logistically complex, resource hungry process ‘in depot’ that takes trains out of service every 2 – 3 days.”
Chiltern Railways’ Engineering Assurance Development Manager and Joint Project Manager for the Cleartrak trials Simon Jarrett said: “At Chiltern we are always looking for new ways to enhance our offering to our customers and whilst depot maintenance is not an area of the railways that gets much publicity, it does underpin everything that happens on track.“
“Cleartrak’s revolutionary new process would see trains in service for longer and this increase in capacity, in one of the densest railway networks in the world, could have far reaching benefits for our customers as well as train manufacturers, Rolling Stock
Owners and Franchises like ourselves.”
Cranfield University’s Head of the Centre for Competitive and Creative Design within the School of Water, Energy and the Environment at Cranfield University Professor Leon Williams said: “Trains are already the most environmental form of travel and with so many major rail projects underway, seeking to open up new routes and opportunities for passengers, Cleartrak could initiate a greater flexibility in how trains are maintained in the future.
For prestigious projects such as HS2, Cleartrak provides a truly innovative alternative to the 30 year old toilet technology currently specified. By retro fitting, legacy rolling stock can also benefit from the clear advantages offered by Cleartrak. We are confident that Cleartrak will be a depot changer and a game changer.”
Chiltern Railways’ Simon Jarrett said: “With over 150 years of rail experience between our core team as well as the expertise from Cranfield’s School of Water, Energy and Environment it’s going to be a very interesting project and we’re hopeful that our evaluation process will prove even more benefits.”
DB ESG’s Project Director James Hornsby said: “We are experienced in installing new technologies onto UK train fleets and can utilise new applications, such as 3D scanning to make this process easier. This innovative and environmental toilet waste processing system is just what our industry needs and we are proud to be playing a key role in this project.”
Porterbrook’s Development Engineer Colin Musisi said: “Porterbrook is always keen to see supply chain innovation and we look forward to seeing the results of this trial.”
MP for Derby North and Parliamentary Under Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) Amanda Solloway said: “pleased to see local businesses being awarded funding for such exciting and innovative projects and developments in our communities. This is really great news for Garrandale.”
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