Transport & Travel Research Ltd is undertaking the European Commission funded GENESYS research and development project to reduce energy consumption on urban rail services through better driver training. A spreadsheet model is used to calculate energy consumption, and this is used to encourage staff to drive in a more energy conscious manner. Amongst the routes modelled are parts of Dublin’s DART suburban network, the Tyne & Wear Metro, Central Trains’ Birmingham Cross-City line and the Bilbao metro.

EWS is to provide maintenance, driver training and lease 14 diesel locomotives to the Continental Rail consortium to haul construction trains on the Madrid - Barcelona high speed line. Under a four-year contract, the ex-BR Class 37 locos will be based at Sallilas and Calatayud, but will be transferred to other bases as work progresses. The standard gauge line is due to be completed through to the French border in 2006 (p58). Continental Rail is jointly owned by Spanish civil engineering group Vias y Construcciones and bus operator Continental Auto.

Interfleet Technology and Pickersgill-Kaye are co-operating to field test on a Class 165 diesel multiple-unit a door lock which interfaces directly with the toilet waste tank. Once the tank is full, the door automatically locks, shutting the toilet out of use. Staff are provided with an over-ride key for use in emergencies.

Universal Power Systems has been awarded a contract for the installation of Uninterruptible Power Supplies at four locations on Railtrack’s Great Western zone. The UPS protects signalling equipment from transient power disturbances. A ’Plug & Play’ concept and standard proven technology has been used throughout, and the hardware is housed in portable location cases. The four sites were selected because of local difficulties in maintaining a continuous power supply, or where a signal pased at danger risked causing a significant collision. The equipment has recently been tested at Dorchester South on the Southern zone.

IAD Rail Systems has received Railtrack certification for a new generation of electric point motor, which was installed at Nunhead in south London during October. The High Performance Switch System was developed over seven years by the Industrial Actuation Division of Claverham Group with Balfour Beatty, Railtrack and ERA Technology. Offering reliable actuation and enhanced locking and detection technologies, HPSS combines a proven switch actuation mechanism with sleeper-mounted torsional back-drives. Long life, low maintenance, and high reliability are claimed, together with the ability to tamp the whole turnout.

Corus Rail Consultancy has launched a 3D computer simulation system to provide route familiarisation for drivers. Designed to run on a Pentium III (or equivalent) machine on a Windows 95/98 platform, the animation package gives drivers a realistic three-dimensional view of track layouts and infrastructure. It was developed for Railtrack as part of the ’Leeds 1st’ station upgrading project. Simulations will be used to train 1300 drivers for Northern Spirit, Virgin, GNER, Midland Mainline EWS and Freightliner as the layout at Leeds is progressively remodelled.

Reader Enquiry Numbers:

Transport & Travel Research Ltd 143

English Welsh & Scottish Railway 144

Pickersgill-Kaye 145

Universal Power Systems 146

Claverham IAD Rail Systems 147

Corus Rail Consultancy 148