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Serco Rail Technical Services completes OLE testing on the Midland Mainline for Network Rail

Published: 24 May 2021

Serco’s Derby based Rail Technical Services (SRTS) has completed the delivery of a contract for Network Rail (NR), to undertake a programme of validation testing on the newly electrified section of the Midland Mainline from Bedford to Corby. Electrification of the route was completed in August 2020, with testing concluding in March 2021.

SRTS engineers delivered and fitted instrumentation to three East Midland Railway (EMR) operated, Siemens-built Class 360 units equipped with Brecknell Willis HPS MkII pantographs.  This allowed for real-time monitoring of the contact force at the pantograph-Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) interface as the units travelled over the whole route. The SRTS engineers worked as an integrated team with NR, EMR and Siemens to a very tight schedule, to undertake collection, collation, and analysis of on-track test data to support system and construction validation of the newly installed OLE.

This work is the latest project between SRTS and Network Rail for electrification validation testing across the UK, including Gospel Oak to Barking (GOBE) in London, the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and the Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa Improvement Programme (SDAIP).

Of the recent success with Network Rail, Richard Hobson, Director, SRTS said, “Serco is delighted to have been invited to support Network Rail with this key enhancement project for the UK rail industry and participate in what has proved to be a great example of how collaboration can produce positive results.”

Paul Cater Senior Project Manager of Network Rail said “Serco formed part of a cross industry team that delivered Infrastructure testing to enable authorisation in time for the timetable change on the 16th May 2021, which forms a key milestone of the Midland Main Line Upgrade Programme. “