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Project 110 speeds up London Midland journeys

London Midland is running faster passenger services after a year-long rolling stock enhancement project.

Project 110 has allowed the fleet of 30 Class 350/1 trains to operate at 110mph, cutting up to 35 minutes on off-peak Crewe to Euston journeys. Milton Keynes now has hourly non-stop services to Euston, cutting journey times from 45 minutes to 35.

London Midland said the project was complex and had to be done on a challenging timescale, with no other similar trains running at 100mph-plus speeds elsewhere on the network to learn from.

Engineers from the team, which also featured Siemens, Angel Trains, Network Rail and the DfT, worked for 2,700 hours across UK and Europe to reprogramme onboard computers, to test the dynamic on-train systems on the UK network, and on enhancing the suspension to improve ride quality.

London Midland’s managing director, Patrick Verwer said: “This is great news for passengers and shows just what can be achieved when the industry works together, with a focus on innovation, to bring improvements for our customers. Importantly, Project 110 isn’t solely about delivering in the here and now; this is a scheme that will bring further benefits in the future.

“We are already testing to run longer trains of eight and 12 carriage length and from later this year we hope to operate longer off-peak trains to meet rising demand. With the delivery of ten new Class 350/3 trains in 2014 we will soon be able to run a peak Project 110 timetable.

“This will mean an extra three morning peak trains into London and five evening peak trains from London with over 4,000 extra seats on commuter services to/from London - all as a result of Project 110.”

UK managing director of Siemens Rail Systems, Steve Scrimshaw, added: “The concept of Project 110 seemed very simple and a real opportunity to deliver significant journey time reductions and increased capacity for passengers without the need for an expensive and time consuming route upgrade.

“Naturally the reality of delivering such a change is much more challenging, but importantly it was achieved – on time and without impacting reliability – with teamwork the real key to project success.”

Angel Trains’ technical director, Mark Hicks, added: “We have welcomed the opportunity to be part of the team actively involved in delivering this innovative project in order to provide a better service to its customers. It is a great example of how, as an asset owner, we are able to add additional value, financially and operationally, into the rail industry.”

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Commonsense   10/08/2017 at 06:57

A good idea but it would make far more sense to buy trains that could run at 125mph to maximise capacity of this route. Trivial cost compared with HS2. Electrify Chiltern line too and run all trains at same speed. No need for HS2. 100 billion for useful projects, quicker to deliver, negligible destruction, better integration.

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