Regenerative braking upgrade to South Western trains

| Transport

Düsseldorf facility of Kiepe Electric

South Western is upgrading its Class 442 trains to AC operation with improved environmental efficiency through regenerative braking.

Kiepe Electric UK has been awarded a contract by First MTR South Western Trains to carry out traction upgrade and refurbishment works on 18 Class 442 trains to be operated on the South Western Railway franchise between London and Portsmouth.

The refurbished units will start to enter service from December 2018. The traction upgrade element will see the existing DC traction equipment replaced with state-of-the-art AC equipment incorporating IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technology from Kiepe Electric Düsseldorf. This upgrade will increase the reliability and efficiency of the trains by removing the life expired equipment.

In conjunction with the new traction equipment, a new braking system from Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems will be installed which will improve the environmental performance of the trains and lower operating costs by enabling regenerative braking. The refurbishment will include new seats and carpets with at seat power in all classes and table top charging facilities in 1st Class. The environmental benefits also extend to the vehicle interiors with the installation of LED lighting. Wifi will be provided throughout and disabled passengers will be catered for with universal accessible toilets and seating facilities.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract which follows on from other recent turnkey projects, including retraction projects, delivered in the UK”, said Tim Jenkins, Managing Director Kiepe Electric UK Ltd. “It is a further testament to Kiepe Electric UK’s skill, capability and flexible approach in supporting customers to improve their rolling stock through delivering complex turnkey projects”.

Neil Drury, SWR Engineering Director said: “We are delighted to have appointed Kiepe Electric to carry out part of our planned £45m refurbishment and overhaul of our incoming Class 442 fleet of trains. Kiepe Electric has a proven track record in this field and we know that they will produce high quality, as-new trains for our customers which will include fully refurbished interiors, new information systems and improved performance.”

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