Siemens Mobility has confirmed that its Class 185s, in operation with TransPennine Express, will get smarter thanks to new technology upgrades.
The project is a collaboration between Siemens Mobility, TransPennine Express (TPE) and Eversholt Rail. The TPE fleet of 51 Class 185’s will undergo the digital upgrades so that they can connect to the cloud gaining real-time information.
The upgrades are expected to bring better reliability, improved passenger experience and also lower maintenance costs.
TPE boasts one of the UK’s more reliable fleets and with the new technology onboard, will provide access to a host of cloud-based reporting tools and applications via Siemens Mobility’s Railigent system. The Railigent system will help the operator understand and make use of the data, generating very useful information and providing an ability to optimise planning.
Depot maintenance teams will also benefit from the upgrade as the data will enable the streamlining and planning of maintenance tasks even more effectively, such as monitoring facilities like door and battery performance and general fault finding.
The range of support systems will bring remarkable improvements in reliability for the fleet and will see a reduction in overall maintenance and entire life costs, also providing a platform to build on for the future allowing other trains systems which will future-proof the 185 fleet.
Recently published Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, outlines a passenger lead focus and is key to laying the foundation for the future direction of the rail industry. Class 185’s are well-loved, especially due to the exceptional performance since starting service for TPE in 2006. The trains have become a familiar sight travelling routes in the North and into Scotland with a massive 143+ million miles travelled. Siemens Mobility is focused on its digitalisation initiative to get the most out of mid-life fleets by making them digitally proficient. The work with TPE is a huge step in that direction.
The digital upgrades should be completed by Autumn 2022.
Commenting, Sambit Banerjee, Managing Director of Rolling Stock and Customer Services for Siemens Mobility in the UK, said: “The Class 185 is one of the UK’s most reliable and popular trains. But having the ability to further increase the fleet’s reliability – and passenger journeys – is something we are extremely excited about.”
“In a world of smartphones and constant connectivity, we are used to accessing information immediately. So, this is a great opportunity to bring the same capability to the railway. Importantly, we are proud to be working with our partners TransPennine Express and Eversholt Rail towards the important industry-wide goal of increased reliability and high-quality passenger experience.”
Paul Staples, Fleet Director for TransPennine Express, said: “The TransPennine Express Class 185 fleet is one of the United Kingdom’s most reliable fleets in its class and I am proud that it sits at the very heart of the service we offer to our customers. This critical digital upgrade to these already excellent trains will help TPE and Siemens to ensure that further improvements to reliability and cost efficiency are identified and delivered quickly, which is so important to rail travel in the North of England as it plays its part in regional growth and prosperity.”
Paul Sutherland, Client Services Director for Eversholt Rail, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with TransPennine Express and Siemens Mobility on this digital upgrade project. In recent years we have all witnessed our personal devices becoming increasingly connected to the cloud – and this is the railway equivalent. This £2.7m investment in cloud-based technology will provide real time data to the operator and maintenance staff, so they can foresee emerging issues early and deal with them as they arise; improving responsiveness and reliability whilst reducing maintenance costs. This is part of our continued support into a key fleet for both TransPennine Express and their customers.”
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