Ricardo has been working with leading manufacturer Alstom on a smart solution for the testing process required for the authorisation for their locomotives to operate in the Netherlands. This solution significantly reduced Covid19 related delays in the authorisation process.
The new solution was applied to the Alstom TRAXX 3 MS, the only multi-system locomotive on the market with the last-mile functionality. This feature means the TRAXX 3 MS can easily bridge non-electrified track sections found in ports or freight terminal and is particularly useful in harbour areas like Rotterdam in the Netherlands which form a key part of the European freight corridor.
Ricardo Certification is responsible for the testing needed to grant authorisation to operate in the Netherlands and also acts as the designated body for certification in that country.
Covid19 restrictions threatened to put a hold on the programme
A critical part of the TRAXX 3 MS authorisation was testing at the Velim test centre in the Czech Republic. The goal of this testing was to demonstrate the compatibility of the locomotive’s electrical systems with the train protection systems. It was also the final element to complete the Intermediate Statement of Verification (ISV), an essential requirement before the NSA (National Safety Authority) can grant a temporary authorisation for type testing. However, travel restrictions due to the current Covid19 pandemic threatened to put a hold on the programme.
Working together, Alstom and Ricardo came up with an innovative approach which circumvented this problem. Alstom staff in Velim were able to carry out tests on the train, while Ricardo staff remotely supported the testing. This required a reconfiguration of Ricardo’s measurement system to function fully automatically. Furthermore, the staff on the train provided a livestream via camera to ensure that the Ricardo test leader was in direct contact with testing staff.
Utilising remote testing and measurement, enough data could be collected to compile the ISV and apply for a temporary authorisation for type testing in The Netherlands. This smart solution has kept project delays to a minimum and without this process Alstom’s authorisation for TRAXX 3 MS in The Netherlands would have been set back by several months.
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