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Innovative New Train Braking System Wins ‘Engineering & Safety Award’ at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards

Porterbrook Leasing, SNC-Lavalin, Loram UK, Knorr Bremse Rail Services (KBRS) and Greater Anglia received the Engineering & Safety Award at the prestigious Railway Industry Innovation Awards for a new design of wheel slide protection system which has been successfully demonstrated on Greater Anglia’s Class 156 diesel multiple units. 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, providing full confidence in the wheel slide protection system and demonstrating the benefits that would be realised from applying this enhancement to Class 150, 153, 155 and 156 units. Neil Foster, Fleet & Standards Director, Porterbrook said “This is a great achievement and congratulations to the whole project team for their efforts. The First in Class unit demonstrated a significant improvement in braking performance during last autumn and I am pleased to confirm that we will be implementing this upgrade on Porterbrook’s Class 156 fleets at both Greater Anglia and East Midlands Trains before autumn 2017. We are working with the industry to explore whether opportunities exist for the wheel slide protection system to be more widely adopted across the Class 150, 153, 155 and 156 fleet base.”

Paul Goodhand, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse Rail UK commented said, "We are very pleased to be part of the Award winning team and delighted with the outcome of the project. Working with, and in support of, our customers to provide solutions which support their business and keep their trains running is exactly what we are about. My congratulations go to the joint team for developing this performance enhancement which many said couldn’t be done."

Jason Groombridge, UK Rolling Stock Director for SNC-Lavalin said “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. As market leaders in rail vehicle modifications, we are excited to support the rollout of this innovative upgrade.” Andy Houghton Commercial Director for Loram UK said “Loram UK are really pleased to be part of the winning team for this award. The project was a real demonstration of how a collaborative approach can work. The results the system produced are outstanding and will bring a real benefit to the industry. We look forward to making this project a continued success.” Greater Anglia’s Norwich Depot Technical Manager, Jason Mills, said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition for an innovative solution and industry first by the teams at Norwich Crown Point, Porterbrook, KBRS, SNC-Lavalin and Loram UK Ltd, taking a class of train that some thought incompatible with WSP and creating a bespoke system that has surpassed everyone’s expectations. This investment means that these trains will be more reliable as they will not need to be taken out of service as often to visit the wheel lathe, and is a further investment to improve our passengers’ experience.”

Photo attached separately (L-R Richard Gardner, SNC-Lavalin; Rob Purdy, SNC-Lavalin; Paul Jolly, Loram UK; Paul Wilson, SNC-Lavalin; Tony Parker, KBRS; Chris Baker, Porterbrook; Helen Simpson, Porterbrook. Front Centre Jason Groombridge, SNC-Lavalin & Alex Greig, Porterbrook).

Notes to Editors: Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited ("Porterbrook") is a leading player in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet of around 5,500 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes over 4,300 passenger vehicles. Porterbrook has been highly successful in winning new train orders since privatisation, investing in over 2,000 new passenger vehicles and more than 1,500 freight locomotives and wagons, and in the refurbishment of much of its in-fleet equipment. The company also provides ongoing train maintenance services. In October 2014 the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and Hastings Funds Management.