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Last week saw Rail Operations Group supporting a huge joint industry collaboration along with Network Rail, Data Acquisition & Testing Services Ltd (DATS) and Train Operators.
After a period of preparation and pre-testing, the DAT's OHLE test train commenced testing of the new overhead line equipment on the Midland Main Line, with ROG operating the test services.
Mechanical testing at 110mph was carried out last week with dynamic testing planned for next week.
The Midland Main Line has been electrified from Bedford-Corby/Kettering. It’s planned that electric trains should start running north of Bedford from next May, although Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has previously suggested that trains could start running earlier once the testing is complete.
Testing of the Midland Main Line OLE is being led by Network Rail and supported by DATS. The testing, prior to commissioning of the equipment is an important part of the approvals process. ROG have been commissioned by DATS as the operator of the test train. Dynamic testing, simulating in service train requirements,will be with a two pantograph train and eventually with a three pantograph operation.HST power cars are being used, together with Mk 3 coaches, ex LNER class 91's together with a DB Class 90 loco to test the new infrastructure.Hitachi Class 810's are on order and all line testing must ensure that the wires are suitable for the new trains, so the three electric locos used for the dynamic testing have been fitted with class 810 style pantographs.
ROG Managing Director Dave Burley said "Facilitating testing of a new test train on an open railway was always going to be a challenge. Only the co-operation of all parties and real industry co-operation made this happen. It really is teamwork at its best. I am immensely proud of the part that ROG is playing in this testing. Our ability to partner projects such as this and be both creative and flexible in our approach to problem solving pays testament to what we bring to the industry table. Last week's testing success demonstrates just how robust this approach is in terms of excellence in service delivery."
Rail Operations Group
This article first appeared on www.focustransport.org
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