North­ern’s new DMUs to be­gin test­ing in spring 2018

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News - Philip Haigh Con­tribut­ing Writer philip.haigh@bauer­me­ @phi­la­trail

NORTH­ERN’S first new diesel mul­ti­ple unit (DMU) should be on test at Ve­lim in the Czech Repub­lic this time next year, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior Ar­riva man­ager.

Span­ish com­pany CAF is de­sign­ing and build­ing North­ern’s Class 195s. The move of the first to Ve­lim was con­firmed on March 14 by Richard McLean, the Ar­riva man­ager who led the com­pany’s bid for North­ern. He was speak­ing at a meet­ing in Leeds.

North­ern’s Class 195 fleet will com­prise 30 three-car trains and 25 two-car units. The first three-car is due in pas­sen­ger ser­vice in Oc­to­ber 2018 and the last in May 2019. Two-cars will start ser­vice from De­cem­ber 2018, with the last in Novem­ber 2019. They are be­ing as­sem­bled at Irun from bodyshells made in Zaragoza and bo­gies and wheelsets made in Bea­sain.

They fea­ture MTU en­gines and six-speed epicyclic gear­boxes with re­tarders from ZF, which also sup­plies their fi­nal drive and re­verser. (Cur­rent North­ern DMUs have three-speed hy­draulic trans­mis­sion, and McClean ex­pects the six-speed boxes to be more eco­nom­i­cal.) Their 1,600-litre fuel tank gives a range of 1,250 miles.

CAF is also sup­ply­ing North­ern’s new Class 331 elec­tric mul­ti­ple units (EMUs), with this fleet con­sist­ing of 31 three-cars and 12 four-cars. The first in pas­sen­ger ser­vice is ex­pected to be a four-car unit in Septem­ber 2018, with the first three-car that Novem­ber and all de­liv­er­ies com­plete by Jan­uary 2019. CAF plans to build the EMUs in Zaragoza, with wheels and bo­gies from Bea­sain.

The new trains will have alu­minium bodyshells, run at up to 100mph, and have 2+2 seat­ing in air­line style or around ta­bles. Each pair of seats will have ac­cess to a power socket. Each unit will have two wheel­chair spa­ces and a uni­ver­sal ac­cess toi­let of con­trolled emis­sion type.

EMUs and DMUs will have Dell­ner cou­plers, but the two types will not be able to work to­gether be­cause their con­trol sys­tems work at dif­fer­ent volt­ages. Their bo­gies will fea­ture in­side bear­ings (as Class 220s have) to re­duce weight. Doors will be slid­ing-plug type to max­imise space within the train. Cab doors will be a slam type in­ter­locked with train con­trols.

Pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion sys­tems will in­clude a live feed from the rail in­dus­try’s Dar­win timetable data­base, giv­ing up-to-date in­for­ma­tion. Seat reser­va­tions will be dis­played with North­ern plan­ning to in­tro­duce ten-minute book-ahead tick­ets, as Ar­riva has done on CrossCoun­try.

McClean noted the prob­lems with CrossCoun­try pas­sen­gers oc­cu­py­ing seats that were booked later with­out them know­ing it, and said North­ern’s new trains would in­cor­po­rate tech­nol­ogy that al­lowed book­ing sys­tems to know which seats were oc­cu­pied.

Driv­ers will oc­cupy full-width cabs which will have no gang­way. Artists’ im­pres­sion from CAF show a bank of mon­i­tors within the cab to al­low driv­ers to check that a train’s doors are closed be­fore leav­ing a sta­tion. This sup­ports North­ern’s fran­chise com­mit­ment to shift the sec­ond crew­man’s du­ties from those of a guard into those that look af­ter pas­sen­gers and col­lect rev­enue.

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