Saft lands multi-million euro contract to supply backup power to UK main line trains

Saft lands multi-million euro contract to supply backup power to UK main line trains

Business news |
By eeNews Europe

The trains will be used on the UK’s Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line services.

The contract, which is one of Saft’s largest agreements in the UK rail industry, covers the supply of MSX battery systems for up to 122 Hitachi Class 800 and Class 801 train sets.

As part of the Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi is replacing the UK’s 40-year-old InterCity 125 high speed diesel-powered fleets with new electric and bi-mode trains that represent an important step-change in train travel in the UK. In addition to greater capacity and reduced environmental impact, the Class 800 series trains place a key focus on achieving reliability.

Jamie Foster, Procurement Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said: ”For the Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi places the highest priority on quality and reliability and we require this from our suppliers as well. Saft were able to provide us with a commercially competitive offer, while meeting our customer’s demanding technical requirements regarding temperature conditions and lifecycle. I am confident that our collaboration with Saft over the duration of our contract will be very positive, especially as they are a proven, supportive supplier to the Class 395 Javelin trains.”

“This a very significant contract that reinforces Saft’s position in the UK rail sector. We are delighted to be building on the excellent relationship we established with Hitachi in supplying batteries for their Javelin trains,” said Xavier Delacroix, General Manager of Saft’s IBG Division.

Saft engineers worked in close cooperation with Hitachi to develop the optimum onboard battery system to support passenger safety and comfort functions on the Class 800 series trains – such as lighting, ventilation, door opening and communications – for up to three hours in the event of an interruption to the main power supply. A key requirement was to ensure total reliability and power continuity over a 15-year service life, even in the harsh winter conditions encountered on the train routes in North Scotland.

The result is a compact turnkey ‘plug and play’ battery raft, designed for mounting under the train floor, and featuring MSX batteries that deliver exceptional high power and cycling performance over a wide range of operating temperatures, from – 30°C to + 50°C. Every Class 800 and 801 train set will be fitted with at least two Saft battery systems, but some will have three or even four systems depending on their operational mode.

The first confirmed call-off from the framework agreement is for 135 battery systems for installation on Great Western Main Line trains. Saft will deliver the majority of them to Hitachi’s new Newton Aycliffe factory in northeast England. However, an initial batch of 28 will be supplied to Hitachi in Japan for the pre-series test program that commences in 2014.

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