Siemens establishes new ‘Rail Innovation Centre of Competence’ in the UK

Siemens’ Mobility Division is to establish a new global ‘Rail Innovation Centre of Competence’ in the United Kingdom from March 2011. The Innovation Centre will lead the development of new concepts and technologies to drive performance improvements for the Division’s customers and Siemens’ international rolling stock service business.

The demand for innovation and technology in the rail sector is ever increasing: the accessible world market for rail service is scheduled to grow by more than three per cent annually to €35 billion by 2016. The service business accounts for more than one third of the total rail transportation market worldwide.

Establishing the Rail Innovation Centre in the UK will benefit customers globally by drawing on the extensive experience Siemens has gained from operating trains throughout the UK and serviced at Siemens’ purpose built train maintenance facilities. Siemens is the only manufacturer in the UK which has signed a maintenance contract for each train delivered.

At its new Rail Innovation Centre of Competence in the UK, Siemens will develop modern concepts and technologies to allow condition-based, predictive and preventive maintenance solutions by monitoring the performance of rolling stock in service.

By adopting this approach, Siemens aims to improve the safety, reliability and availability of rolling stock, while reducing lifecycle costs through the optimisation of maintenance and repair cycles of systems and components. By techniques such as on line monitoring and interrogation, Siemens technicians can intervene immediately even before a fault occurs.

“With the foundation of the Rail Innovation Centre of Competence, Siemens is responding to the increasing worldwide demand for efficient, safe and reliable rolling stock,” explains Nicholas Kay, Manager of the new Innovation Centre.

In his previous position Kay, who joined Siemens in 2007, was responsible for developing technical improvements to Siemens’ award-winning Desiro fleet in the United Kingdom. “I am looking forward to promoting the development of new service technologies and concepts for Siemens and its international customers from the UK,” concludes Nicholas Kay.

Siemens is already responsible for the maintenance of over 370 Desiro trains for seven different operators across nine depots in the UK. In recognition of their high reliability, the Desiro Class 444 trains operated by South West Trains in London were awarded the “2010 Golden Spanner” in January 2011. In 2010 the fleet travelled 89,000 kilometers on average without a ‘fault-caused failure’ of a train. This record makes the Desiro Class 444 the most reliable train in Britain.

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