Kiepe trac­tion equip­ment to be fit­ted to ‘442s’

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News - Richard Clin­nick As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­ @Clin­nick1

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.

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