DEMU inspection ensures quality
NEXT month NedTrain Consulting will complete a contract awarded by HSBC Rail to monitor the construction of a fleet of inter-city DEMUs by Bombardier.
The Class 222 Meridian units for British franchisee Midland Main Line and the similar four-car Pioneer sets for open-access operator Hull Trains are being built at Brugge and Crespin, and the UK leasing company wanted to appoint a partner to ensure that the work was being carried out in accordance with the contract.
NedTrain Consulting benefits from the experience of its parent company, and following a successful bid it was able to supply three Dutch-speaking inspectors who took turns working in Brugge and Crespin.
According to NedTrain's Hans van Hiel, 'First we audit the production process in order to get to know the manufacturer and the locations. Then we take four to six weeks to develop a concept inspection plan. Finally, after extensive preparations, it is time for the inspection team to get to work.'
'Bombardier proved to be a learning organisation that responded constructively to our feedback', explained van Hiel. NedTrain 'was able to do our job well thanks to Bombardier's co-operation' and 'much better trains [have been] supplied than if we had not been involved.'
CAPTION: After assembly in Brugge the Class 222 Pioneer DEMUs for Hull Trains were tested on SNCB tracks to Kortrijk during January. Following delivery to the UK they are expected to enter passenger service between London and Hull during May Photo: Hubert Deschepper