Serco Rail Technical Services (SRTS), based in Derby, has won a contract with Stadler Rail to undertake a programme of testing services for a new fleet of trains for the Merseyrail network.
Stadler Rail is delivering a fleet of 52 EMU Class 777 trains, including continuing maintenance services for Merseytravel. Once testing is complete later this year, the fleet will be rolled out gradually over 12 months.
SRTS is carrying out 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, braking, wheel slide protection and noise. This involves working as an integrated team with Stadler to a tight schedule, collecting and analysing 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).
David Powell, Merseytravel's programme director of rolling stock, 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, to guarantee that potential risks of introducing new a fleet have been identified, particularly those relating to system interfaces (e.g. vehicle/track, vehicle/power), and are being managed effectively.