East Midlands Railways (EMR) and Hitachi Rail are supporting jobs in Burton upon Trent and Ripley after the awarding of contracts linked to manufacturing of new train fleet for the East Midlands.
Mors Smitt, which manufacturers Automatic Warning Systems (AWS) / Train Protection & Warning Systems (TPWS) and the Automatic Power Control (APC) systems, at its factory in Burton upon Trent, was just one of the many UK firms chosen to supply products for the Aurora project.
The contract with EMR and Hitachi Rail helps supports Mors Smitt and the 65 employees it has across the Midlands.
The TPWS safety systems it produces assists the driver in the safe operation of the train, providing the driver with information about the upcoming signal status and applying the trains emergency brake if the train passes a restricted signal.
The APC safety system ensures the train is not drawing power from the overhead line when the train passes through a neutral section – preventing electrical arcing that can damage the overhead line and the train.
Both systems have been designed to comply with the latest technical and safety standards, whilst also being small, lightweight and lower on power which improves the overall efficiency of the train.
Mark Scott, Product Development Director RTPE Group, said: “Mors Smitt, are excited to be involved in the deployment of Aurora into East Midlands Railways. Not only are the AWS/TPWS and APC products designed and manufactured in the Midlands here in Burton upon Trent but we also insist on utilising Midlands based suppliers where possible.
“A truly local effort that genuinely contributes to sustainability of the System Engineering Team and Systems Manufacturing team here in Burton.”
Another Midlands company, Ripley’s Forbo Flooring Systems, was also chosen to supply parts for the Aurora fleet.
The flooring product, which was developed purely for the rail sector, has been designed to be easy to clean, hardwearing to cope with the heavy footfall of passenger numbers and simple to maintain.
Bob Summers, International Key Account Manager UK & Ireland at Forbo Flooring Systems, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working on the Aurora contract.
“The fleet will be benefiting from Forbo carpet that has been specially digitally printed, giving the designers the widest possible scope to create an interior fitting for this project.”
When it enters service in 2023, the Aurora fleet will offer significant advances on EMR’S existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors.
The trains, which will have the ability to run on overhead electric lines, will also include features that passengers have said they want to see, including air conditioning, free WiFi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.
Lisa Angus, Transitions and Projects Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “It is great that the production of our Aurora Fleet is able to support UK businesses locally – helping to maintain and create jobs.
“These local specialist companies will help turn our new trains into something special which I’m sure our passengers will love to travel on.”
Amy Webb, Head of EMR Programme at Hitachi Rail said: “Mors Smitt and Forbo are valued members of Hitachi Rail’s extensive UK supply chain so it’s great to see that our partnership with EMR is already delivering tangible benefits for the Midlands.
“Supporting job creation, while also encouraging innovation, is precisely why Hitachi Rail prioritises UK suppliers.
“The new Aurora fleet is currently being manufactured at Hitachi Rail’s UK factory. As one the UK’s major train manufacturers and maintainers, Hitachi Rail prioritises UK suppliers whenever possible. This approach as resulted in Hitachi Rail spending over £1.8 billion with UK suppliers in just eight years.”
Photo/Video credit: East Midlands Railway