Ricardo expertise helps Northern launch digitally enhanced train

Ricardo expertise helps Northern launch digitally enhanced train
25 September 2018

Ricardo wishes to extend its congratulations to Northern following the successful launch of its refurbished Class 158 vehicle, complete with on-board digital enhancements such as at-seat USB charging sockets and Wi-Fi.

The first refurbished Class 158 entered into full service this month (September 2018) on the route between Leeds and Lincoln and will soon be followed by more than 240 refurbished trains from across Northern’s fleet, including Class 150, 155 and 319 sets.

System integration support

Our teams in the UK have supported Northern’s rolling stock refurbishment programme since 2016, providing system integration services from the concept design stage through to detailed design and installation.

A multi-disciplinary team was brought together to deliver the full scope of works – including rolling stock engineers, human factors specialists and EMC experts – and produce the necessary technical designs and reports. These included initial installation concepts, design risk assessments, electrical schematics and wiring diagrams, as well as final drawings and documentation such as Modification Procedures and Maintenance Bulletins.

Ricardo also carried out the approvals process, validating the systems and the design integration.

Our assistance helped ensure the new onboard digital systems – including CCTV, Wi-Fi, Passenger Counting, Passenger Media Information, Forward Facing Cameras and provision for a Driver Advisory System – were integrated into a single, Ethernet-based onboard network. This was to help minimize the number of antennae, communications hardware and sub- components, and enable single sign-on to activate the systems.

"A systems engineering mindset"

“We are extremely proud to be playing such a key role in this project for Northern,” said Olivier André, Managing Director, Consulting UK Ricardo Rail. “This project requires the involvement of specialist experts who can apply their domain knowledge whilst maintaining a focus on the full-system requirements. We are one the few organizations with the scale and capabilities to maintain a systems engineering mindset across such a technically challenging assignment. We look forward to helping Northern deliver the full refurbishment programme and hope its passengers will continue to be impressed by the quality of these refurbished vehicles”.

Our teams are now working with Northern to ensure these enhancements are rolled out to other vehicles in the fleet – applying adaptations to the designs as necessary – and thus help the operator deliver an improved service for passengers across the routes it serves.