South West Trains is to become the first train operator in the UK to introduce a ground breaking new technology on its trains to help improve reliability and punctuality across the network.
The GreenSpeed Driver Advisory System collects real time data from a huge range of sources to calculate the ideal speed of the train to help ensure it arrives exactly on time. It also has the potential to reduce the impact on the environment by lowering energy consumption as well as allowing more frequent trains to be run on the network.
This multi-million pound investment is a crucial part of the ongoing work to provide extra space on the South West Trains network, particularly at peak times. This wider plan aims to transform services for passengers and also includes longer platforms, reopening the former Waterloo International Terminal as well as major investment in new and refurbished carriages and longer trains.
The contract to introduce the technology was awarded to a consortium comprised of ESG, the rolling stock engineering consultancy and the IT and engineering company Cubris. Installation is expected to start in May with the system fully operational in 2016.
Christian Roth, Engineering Director for South West Trains, said: “We are constantly working to find ways to improve the service we offer to our passengers. We are investing millions of pounds right across the network to provide extra space, refurbish and improve our trains as well as upgrading our infrastructure to ensure more of our trains run on time.
“The introduction of this ground breaking technology is part of that ongoing commitment and is a major step forward towards improving one of Europe’s busiest networks.”
Martin Horsman, Managing Director of ESG, added: “ESG has a long track record of delivering excellent engineering services to both rolling stock operators and lessors. This project demonstrates ESG’s capability to offer engineering, installation and approval of Driver Advisory Systems, which complements our product portfolio perfectly.”
Sune Edinger, CEO of Cubris, commented: “It is a breakthrough for Cubris to now enter the UK market with GreenSpeed, our advanced driver advisory system, and we are extremely satisfied with winning the first major C-DAS project in the UK rail sector. The first phases of the project have been concluded and we can already see the positive results of involving the drivers in the early design of the user interface.”
The system is already being used in Denmark but this is the first time it will be introduced in the UK.
The work will take place on class 158/9, 458, 444 and 450 trains. Installation starts next month and the first pilot starts on the West of England lines in the autumn. Fleet deployment will take place gradually, as drivers are trained and train installations are completed.