The International Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has acquired a fleet of three Class 360/2 EMUs from Rail Operations Group. The Class 360/2s have been beforehand used to function the Heathrow Join stopping providers on the route between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington.
At the moment saved at MoD Bicester, the Class 360/2s had been going through the tip of the road and have been destined for scrap however will now be moved to GCRE throughout 2023 when GCRE’s personal business rolling inventory storage facility turns into accessible to the broader market. The fleet will then be used as a part of the GCRE analysis and innovation supply. The trains might be accessible to the business as check prepare ‘mules’ accessible to check ETCS, novel prepare management, traction and suspension and lots of different railway improvements for the business.
GCRE will characteristic two check loops, each electrified at 25kV AC. One might be a 6.9km high-speed rolling inventory check observe with a design pace of 110mph. The interior loop might be 4km lengthy and designed for 40mph operating and might be devoted primarily to infrastructure testing, the place heavy passenger and or freight trains, together with the Class 360 fleet, will run 16 hrs a day, 5 days per week to offer the 20 MGT/60,000 axle passes ‘load’ on the infrastructure loop. This can create a practical duplicate of a UK mainline and enabling speedy life and degradation testing of infrastructure parts – distinctive to Europe.
Welsh Authorities Financial system Minister Vaughan Gething stated:
“The acquisition of a fleet of electrical trains is a big milestone in establishing the International Centre for Rail Excellence within the Dulais and Higher Swansea Valleys. As soon as established, this facility will present a raft of significant providers, analysis, improvement and innovation to us in Wales and companions throughout these islands and the world.”
Andy Doherty, Chief Technical Officer for GCRE stated:
“Our funding on this fleet of Class 360/2 EMUs is a vital step in direction of reaching our imaginative and prescient of placing the UK on the very coronary heart of twenty first century sustainable transport innovation.
“GCRE is strategically necessary for the entire UK rail business. Our goal is to allow excessive Know-how Readiness Leve testing inside an excessive surroundings, turning into the ‘one cease store’ for railway innovation with state-of-the-art rolling inventory testing, infrastructure testing and storage and upkeep. Importantly, we will even allow the rail business to decrease carbon emissions, enhance reliability and improve the client expertise for all the UK.”
David Burley, Chief Working Officer at Rail Operations Group, stated:
“The Class 360 items have been in retailer at MoD Bicester since we acquired them from Heathrow Airport in February 2021. They’re a wonderful fleet for rail testing functions and will definitely assist GCRE to ship the strong testing amenities that the UK and European rail business desperately wants. What’s extra, repurposing them for testing implies that they’re now saved from the scrapyard.”