Network Rail electrification train to transform railway improvements

The 23-vehicle train will provide a complete electrification service as it moves along sections of track, completing everything from foundations and stanchions to installing and testing the overhead line equipment (OLE).

The system has been under development for the last three years and will make its railway debut on the Great Western main line electrification project in autumn 2013. More than £750m will be invested in the route, the largest amount since it was built, which will provide a more reliable service with more seats and better station facilities for passengers.

The High Output Plant System, also known as a factory train, will work overnight and allows for the adjacent line to remain open, minimising disruption to passengers.

It will be able to electrify an average of 1.6km of track per night which is a significantly higher rate of construction than previously achievable. This will dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to complete construction, again reducing disruption and cost.

Costing around £35m, the train is part of the continued investment by Network Rail to deliver a better, safer and more reliable railway. Windhoff Bahn- und Anlagentechnik GmbH, a supplier of specialist rail maintenance and improvement equipment, will custom build the train to a design that meets the performance specification developed by Network Rail engineers.

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Simon Kirby, Network Rail’s managing director for investment projects, said: “Electrification provides a faster, more reliable, greener and economic railway and is a key part of our plans to improve the network. The electrification train is an innovative piece of equipment which will deliver benefits to millions of passengers across the country.”

Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s major programme director, said: “This new train will allow Network Rail to electrify routes more quickly and economically while minimising as much as possible any disruption to passengers. The electrification train, which has been designed and developed by Network Rail, is revolutionary and will allow us to continue to transform the railway.”

To mark the purchasing of the system, contracts were signed by Network Rail and Windhoff Bahn- und Anlagentechnik GmbH .

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