TRANSYS Projects Ltd has started work at Cambridge depot to fit sanding equipment to a batch of Class 158 DMUs operated by Central Trains of Great Britain, following successful installation last year on six Class 158s and a batch of Class 323 EMUs (below). The equipment operates automatically in braking mode, triggered by the wheelslide prevention system. At times of low adhesion, such as the autumn leaf fall season, the driver can apply sand manually during traction.

The sanding equipment fitted to date has a fixed delivery rate, but intelligent sanders are under development to further improve adhesion, if the incremental improvements can be justified commercially. These will be designed to be retrofitted to existing equipment.

On-train sanding was largely phased out by British Rail, despite the lighter adhesive weight and higher power of modern multiple-units. Over the past two years, an industry-wide Adhesion Working Group has been looking at ways to prevent wheel slip and slide.

Infrastructure owner Railtrack is keen for Train Operating Companies to adopt solutions which may reduce delays, and has effectively agreed to fund the cost of the equipment out of the saving in performance penalties that would otherwise be incurred. Track access charges are reduced for sander-equipped units, offsetting the higher leasing charges to cover the cost of installation which the TOCs must pay to the Rolling Stock Companies which own the trains.

Transys Projects Ltd, Great Britain

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