Latest Rail News

16.04.13

£40m traction upgrade for SWT’s Class 455s

South West Trains is launching a £40m upgrade for its Class 455 train fleet to increase reliability for services running from London Waterloo to Reading, the Hounslow loop and Shepperton branch.

The trains will be fitted with new AC traction equipment, allowing for regenerative breaking which will return over 20% of traction electricity on inner suburban services. The lighter units will also reduce damage to infrastructure. The gap between major servicing and maintenance works will increase from 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles.

The programme is being delivered by the SWT/Network Rail Alliance, Porterbrook and the DfT, with completion scheduled for spring 2014.

Christian Roth, engineering director for the Alliance, said: “Our Class 455 trains are already by far the most reliable fleet in the country, however we are not complacent and we want to make sure these excellent results are sustained and improved even further. 

“The new traction motors will help us to improve the reliability of these trains for our passengers at the same time as delivering environmental benefits through the reduced electricity supply.”

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