Kiepe traction equipment to be fitted to ‘442s’
CLASS 442s entering traffic with South Western Railway from December 2018 will be fitted with traction equipment from Kiepe Electric UK Ltd, as part of a £45 million project to reinstate the trains.
The contract was awarded on October 25, and 18 five-car ‘442s’ will be treated at Eastleigh Works. When back in service, the electric multiple units (EMUs) will operate between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour, and will be based at Bournemouth.
The fleet of 18 EMUs, owned by Angel Trains, will also be refurbished. They are currently out of traffic, having been withdrawn by Gatwick Express and Southern in 2016-17.
The remaining six not leased by South Western Railway could be employed by Alliance Rail, which wants to use them between Southampton and Waterloo.
The traction equipment being fitted to the SWR ‘442s’ will replace that fitted when the ‘442s’ were built by BREL at Derby in 1987-88, when traction motors and electrical control gear were removed from the Class 432 4-REPs (built in 1966-67) that they replaced.
As part of the project, the DC traction equipment will be replaced by AC equipment incorporating insulated-gate bipolar transistor technology from Kiepe Electric Dusseldorf. The German company says this will improve the reliability of the trains.
Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems braking will also be fitted, meaning that the trains will have regenerative braking for the first time.
The interior refurbishment will include new seats and carpets, with at-seat power in both First and Standard Class. The trains will have 2+2 seating.
There will be table-top charging facilities in First Class. LED lighting and WiFi will be fitted, as will universally accessible toilets.
The ‘442s’ were introduced on the London Waterloo-Weymouth
route from December 1987, and spread to operations on the Portsmouth route in the 1990s.
They transferred to South West Trains in privatisation, but were withdrawn by January 2007 after SWT ordered more Class 450s and decided to retain the Class 458 fleet.
The ‘442s’ transferred to Gatwick Express and Southern. Initially 17 were leased, before that increased to all 24.
They started running in December 2008, but their interiors, luggage space and single-doors were condemned as unsuitable for the airport market they were serving, especially when compared with the newer Class 460s they replaced.
With the introduction of Class 387/2s last year, GatEx withdrew the trains.
Currently 442403/404/409/ 411/414-418/420/422/423 are at Bournemouth depot for assessment, having been moved from Ely Potters Group yard where they had been stored. 442401/ 407/412/421 remain at Ely.