Northern’s new DMUs to begin testing in spring 2018
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.