Hitachi Rail to install live monitoring system on UK high-speed trains
Hitachi Rail this week announced that it would be fitting a wireless monitoring system on all of Great Western Railway’s 93 high-speed trains in an effort to reduce downtime and maintenance costs.
The system will monitor gearboxes, traction motors, bearings and wheels in real time. The monitoring of bogies and wheel sets in particular tends to be time consuming, with manual inspections and overhaul taking seven days on an average.
According to Hitachi Rail, the digital monitoring system could replace periodic inspections. This would cut bogie overhaul downtime in half. If you are to extrapolate this to the fleet of 93 trains, it could result in an additional 100 days of train availability on an annual basis.
Access to monitoring data will also help optimise the maintenance effort. If personnel know exactly what to inspect and work on, they can use their time more effectively. The data can also assist in predictive maintenance, so as to avoid trains having to spend more time than necessary in a depot.
The first systems have already been installed, with the remainder of the monitoring sensors to be fitted in the latter half of the year. The system comes with the added benefit that it also monitors track condition and condition of the train axles.