Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Return of the Electrostars & NR PAYG Oyster

No sooner had I put up my last post about the current state of the Electrostars and a major issue crops up with the 377/5 for FCC. As of Thursday evening all six units were withdrawn from service due to safety concerns. After a week of no information, FCC, on its regular web chat with interested parties the actually reason for the withdrawal

We stood down the 6 377/5 units last Friday due to a problem with the earth return brushes which was found on unit 377 502 on routine maintenance. We then examined 377 505 and found a similar problem. We therefore stopped the fleet for examination and rectification. There are 14 sets of return brushes on class 377/5 and not more than 30% have been found defective on any unit. However we do not want these to deteriorate further and the situation to go unchecked so the manufacturer, Bombardier, have been working on a solution. This solution has started to be introduced today and we expect to have trains back in service at the rate of two per day.

This was added to a different question -

As a precaution, we have had to stand down from service all 6 of our new and recently-delivered Class 377/5 Electrostars after discovering an issue with the power transmission system during a routine inspection. This relates to earth return brushes at the axle ends.

We welcome the manufacturer's commitment to fix the fault and will return the trains to service as soon as possible - hopefully starting Thursday and completing Monday.

And on the case of the doors at St Pancras International -

We are aware of the problems, which are caused by technical comms issues with the beacon at St Pancras and the receiver on the trains. We are running more test trains to understand why the problem continues to occur, and Network Rails engineers have been supported by our engineers to understand what is causing the interference to the signal between track and train.

It is the removal of the interference (which we are working to establish what is causing it) which will solve the problems.

Frustratingly the interference did not manifest when FCC/NR/Southern were testing last year!

On the case of PAYG Oyster on national Rail, FCC stated that currently implementation is likely to be late 2009 or even early 2010. There is still on going discussion with TfL and the DfT on resolving it and introducing it on all FCC services.

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