A project team made up of SNC-Lavalin and partners received the ‘Engineering & Safety Award’ at the prestigious UK Railway Industry Innovation Awards.
The SNC-Lavalin Rail and Transit team - in partnership with Porterbrook Leasing, Loram UK, Knorr Bremse Rail Services (KBRS) and Greater Anglia - received the award for a new design of wheel slide protection system, which has been successfully demonstrated on Greater Anglia’s Class 156 diesel multiple units.
Leaf fall is recognised as a problem within the rail sector, causing delays, a lack of availability of trains for passenger service and leading to longer stopping distances in some conditions. The Class 156 fleet of trains was built when wheel slide protection systems were not fitted as standard. As a result, the trains suffer wheel damage during the autumn leaf fall season.
The project was an international team effort, with all companies working in collaboration. Porterbrook acted as lead organisation, co-ordinating the team; KBRS supplied and adapted the equipment to ensure the design was suitable for the application including thoroughly testing and simulating different leaf fall conditions; SNC-Lavalin led the design integration to the existing vehicles and Loram UK supported SNC-Lavalin with the prototype installation, known as the ‘First in Class’ unit.
Train operator, Greater Anglia, supported dynamic testing of the First in Class unit and then operated the unit in passenger service during the autumn 2016 leaf fall period. The First in Class unit, 156419, has been in operation since October 2016 and continues to perform very well in service.
“We are delighted to be part of this collaborative project. It has been a real team effort, as each of the companies involved has contributed unique skills and expertise.”