East Midlands Railway is supporting jobs in the local supply chain after the awarding of contracts linked to manufacturing its new train fleet.
Hitachi Rail is currently building the new Aurora trains for the Derby-based train operator – and is using some local firms for the project.
Among them is 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.
The contract with EMR and Hitachi Rail helps support 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 them 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 it passes through a neutral section – preventing electrical arcing that can damage the overhead line and the train.
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.
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.”