Serco Rail Technical Services awarded Stadler Rail contract to test new Merseyrail EMU fleet of trains

Serco’s Derby based Rail Technical Services (SRTS) has been awarded a contract by Swiss rolling stock manufacturer, Stadler Rail, to undertake a programme of testing services for the new fleet of trains for the Merseyrail network.

Stadler Rail is delivering a fleet of 52 EMU (Class 777) trains, including ongoing maintenance services for Merseytravel. Once testing is complete later this year, the fleet will be rolled out gradually over the course of 12 months. SRTS are undertaking type testing activities at the Wildenrath test track in Germany and at the new Liverpool Kirkdale depot operated by Stadler Rail Service UK. SRTS engineers have delivered and fitted instrumentation to the first unit and are carrying out a range of tests including dynamic ride performance, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), braking, Wheel Slide Protection (WSP) and noise. This involves working as an integrated team with Stadler to a tight schedule, including collection and analysis of test conditions and results to support system verification and validation.

SRTS is also supporting testing activities for Stadler with other UK new fleet projects (Greater Anglia FLIRT BMU and the Glasgow METRO EMU).

Of the recent success with Stadler, Richard Hobson, Director, SRTS said: “Serco is delighted to be supporting Stadler during a critical project phase in the introduction of their fleet being funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which will ensure that the investment in new rolling stock for the Merseyrail network delivers safe and reliable trains for the benefit of passengers in the Liverpool City Region. SRTS are pleased to be assisting new train manufacturers such as Stadler Rail becoming established in the UK rail market and developing a reputation for high quality, dependable rolling stock.”

Merseytravel’s Programme Director Rolling Stock David Powell: said: “The new fleet will transform how people travel. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone and are now able to test our state of the art trains on the network to ensure they are ready for passenger service.”

Andy Heath, Merseyrail’s Managing Director, said: “This is yet another step towards bringing new trains to the Merseyrail network and the people of the Liverpool City Region, and we are looking forward to working closely alongside Serco Rail Technical Services to ensure the trains operate safely and effectively.”

SRTS is also providing independent assurance services to Merseyrail, ensuring potential risks to new fleet introduction have been identified, particularly relating to system interfaces (e.g. vehicle/track, vehicle/power) and are being managed effectively.

Photo credit: Serco