Hitachi UK intercity train

Knorr-Bremse to provide and maintain new braking devices for UK Hitachi fleet

1.200 UK intercity Class 800/801/802 train cars will be upgraded with new brake pads and disks following a framework contract for four years between Knorr-Bremse and Hitachi Rail. From the first quarter of 2021, Hitachi intercity trains operating in the UK will start using the new generation of brake pads and discs developed by Knorr-Bremse. The multimillion euro contract includes an option for an additional four-year extension.

The transition to the new friction technology on the UK Hitachi fleet will see all the trains equipped with the new brake pads and discs from Knorr-Bremse, based in Munich. This should optimise the vehicles’ braking systems performance as well as minimise maintenance time and life-cycle costs.

“We are delighted that, working with Hitachi, we have developed an optimised solution that will support increased train availability through enhanced performance”, says Mark Cleobury, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems.

Long-term maintenance

Hitachi Rail’s long-term maintenance contracts ensures it will be maintaining and servicing trains in the UK for several decades. Supporting the Hitachi Rail maintenance regime, the Knorr-Bremse braking system equipment for the Class 800 series trains has been designed to facilitate longer maintenance intervals and reduce maintenance time. The four-year contract has the option to be extended for an additional four years.

Local presence

The strong local presence of, and support provided by Knorr-Bremse in the UK, was a key deciding factor in Hitachi choosing Knorr-Bremse as a strategic partner according to Paul Goodhand, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse Rail UK. “Our four UK facilities provide a strong local presence for our customers at Hitachi Rail Systems UK. With our state-of-the-art local RailServices support logistics we can guarantee both reliable original parts delivery, as well as rapid and efficient brake system overhaul including technical support and advice.”

“We have worked with Hitachi successfully for many years now, supporting them with brake control, air-supply and friction technology. We now look forward to supporting them over the next four years by bringing them the benefits of the latest generation of Knorr-Bremse disc and pad technology.”

High-speed programme

Initially, Hitachi Rail had awarded Knorr-Bremse the contract for the supply and commissioning of the braking systems for the Class 800 trains as part of the UK’s high-speed programme in 2013. Since their entry into service in 2017, the trains have been providing mainline services, running with a top speed of up to 200 km/h across major routes in the UK. With over six-hundred seats per train, they have boosted transportation capacity by around 18 percent compared to the fleets they replaced, according to Knorr-Bremse.

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Author: Esther Geerts

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