Bad weather affects Crossrail testing – intentionally!

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Bombardier’s new Class 345 trains for Crossrail, which will be named the Elizabeth line once services commence in 2018, have been undergoing climatic testing in Vienna.

The Rail Tec Arsenal test centre can replicate various different weather conditions at temperatures between -25ºC and +40ºC. Cold, hot, windy and foggy weather, all of which can be expected in the UK at some time or another, can be simulated and used to test traction motors, heating and ventilation systems, windscreen washers and wipers, horns and a host of other systems.

The driving car of one of TfL’s test trains was in Vienna for three weeks before Christmas, undergoing these searching tests.

Dean Taplin, Bombardier’s senior vehicle engineer, commented: “Subjecting the new trains to a range of climatic conditions, including thick snow and ice, is another crucial step towards making sure that the trains perform as intended whatever the weather.”

Caption: Graduate engineer Steven Merryweather from Bombardier’s vehicle engineering team inspects an icy bogie in Vienna’s Rail Tec Arsenal test centre.

Bombardier recently commenced series production of the 66 nine-car Aventra trains for Crossrail, having completed the preproduction test trains. One of these is now in London for overnight testing in East London.

The first few trains will go into service, in seven-car configuration, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in May 2017.

The first nine-car trains will be introduced on to the Paddington-Heathrow service in May 2018 and Elizabeth line services will commence between Paddington and Abbey Wood, running through the new tunnels under London, in December 2018.

Report by Nigel Wordsworth

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