As the second largest train operator in the UK, it is of upmost importance that Northern maintains its fleet of trains to the very highest of standards.
Northern plays a vital role in the north of England by connecting tens of thousands of people to work, leisure, education and more every day.
The Northern engineering team were aware that much could be done to improve the efficiency and reliability to its fleet of legacy diesel trains and approached potential suppliers to develop an appropriate engineering solution.
Loughborough-based Flotec was successful in its proposal and through a rigorous tender process, has been awarded a multi-million-pound contract to modify the complete fleet of Northern 15x class trains.
This substantial investment highlights the Northern commitment to offering a best-in-class service to the passengers who rely on its network.
The modification focuses on the engine cooling system, primarily the fitment of the award winning, reverse pitch fan and electronic fan control, solely distributed in the UK by Flotec and developed to maintain the efficiency of the radiators by periodically reversing the air flow through the radiator to remove contaminants collected during its cooling cycle. This becomes a particular problem during the spring pollen season on many Northern routes.
The fleet modification also consists of a complete hose replacement with the introduction of the Bluestripe EPDM coolant hose and PowerGrip clamp solution. This product has proven to eliminate premature coolant hose failures, which creates many traffic RTI’s during regular service.
All hydrostatic hoses are to be replaced with the new Railtec market leading hose and MegaCrimp couplings, which will also eliminate Hydro leaks and premature failures during service.
A four-year trial with Northern and several successful fleet installations, with other operators, provided the confidence for the Northern reliability team to commit to this product and the benefits it will bring to the existing DMU fleet.
The fleet upgrades will be completed before the end of 2023 and will support Northern in reducing downtime, increasing vehicle efficiency and delivering environmental benefits.
Photo credit: Flotec