October 27, 2017

Kiepe Electric secures British class 442 upgrade contract

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Class 442 EMU in its former Gatwick Express livery. Class 442 EMU in its former Gatwick Express livery.

BRITISH franchise operator First MTR South Western Railway has awarded Kiepe Electric UK a contract to conduct a traction upgrade and refurbishment on 18 class 442 trains, which were previously used on Gatwick Express services, ahead of their transition to the South Western Railway fleet.

The traction upgrade work involves replacing life-expired dc equipment with an ac system incorporating IGBT technology developed by Kiepe Electric Düsseldorf which will increase the trains’ reliability and efficiency. The trains will also be fitted with a new regenerative braking system supplied by Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems.

The interior refurbishment includes the fitting of new seats and carpets. At-seat power points will be installed in all classes with table-top charging available in first class, and new LED lighting available throughout the trains. Disabled passengers will also benefit from new universally-accessible toilets and specially-designed seating.

The refurbished trains will enter service on London Waterloo - Portsmouth Harbour line from December 2018. The total cost of the fleet refurbishment is £45m.

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