Case Study

Stadler WINK Testing and Certification

Stadler WINK Testing and Certification
Published: 03 August 2021

Stadler's WINK is a two-car, low-floor multiple unit designed for regional lines where services run at lower service frequencies than in more populous commuter areas.

The vehicles are equipped with a powerpack that contains a biodiesel-compatible engine, batteries to store energy recuperated from braking, and a pantograph, meaning they can run on electrified or partially electrified lines.

Unveiled in 2017, the vehicle was planned to be in service by early 2021, with 18 trainsets initially ordered for routes serving Friesland and Groningen in northern Netherlands.  

Overseeing the WINK test programme

​As a hybrid vehicle, the train's electrical performance had to be rigorously tested during its development.

In early 2020, once initial testing had been performed in the Netherlands, the testing process moved to a test ring in Germany where Ricardo's rolling stock team oversaw a comprehensive range of tests that both they and Stadler had spent many months preparing for, including brake tests, commissioning tests and verification of the automatic train protection system.  

In June 2020, after the successful conclusion of the second test stage, and following the award of an intermediate certification status, the trainsets returned to the Netherlands to commence track testing the Dutch network, a stage also overseen by the Ricardo team.

This is an outstanding and special result because we achieved the authorisation in only 3 months. Many thanks to all of you who made this possible Lars Dietzel, Authorisation Manager, Stadler

Certification under the ERA 'One Stop Shop'

In addition to the testing programme, Ricardo Certification* performed a central role in the assurance process that enabled Stadler to obtain authorisation to run on the Dutch rail network. 

Our responsibilities included providing Designated Body and Notified Body services, as well as acting as the Assessment Body.

The WINK was an early example of a vehicle seeking authorisation under the revised process set out under the Fourth Railway Package, which came into effect in 2019. This saw the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) operate a centralised 'one stop shop' for vehicle authorisations across member states.

As the Netherlands had been one of the first countries to implement the Fourth Railway Package, Ricardo had already gained extensive experience of processing authorisations through the new ERA model, enabling us to help Stadler compile and deliver a certification file that could be accepted by ERA in an exceptionally short time span.

Following authorisation from ERA, the first WINK trainsets were put into service in April 2021.

*Ricardo Certification comprises a set of companies within the Ricardo group that perform independent assurance and testing services, including Notified Body, Designated Body and Independent Safety Assessments. For more information see Ricardo Certification.

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