AFRY to conduct independent review of Västtrafik’s new trains
Photos: Bombardier Transportation
In 2018, it was announced that Västtrafik, the company responsible for public transport in western Sweden, had procured 45 new trains from train manufacturer Bombardier Transportation. In order for the vehicles to commence operations, they have to be authorised by the ERA (the European Union Agency for Railways) and the Swedish Transport Agency. Bombardier has therefore enlisted TÜV Nord to check that the vehicles fulfil all EU requirements as well as the Swedish national requirements.
AFRY works on behalf of both Bombardier and TÜV Nord. The assignments include technical support as well as an independent review aimed at ensuring that the new trains meet the Swedish requirements.
”For example, it may involve technical issues related to Swedish infrastructure with its particular requirements, or support before tests are carried out. It may include tests of electric power, current collectors, running characteristics of railway vehicles and tests in winter conditions,” says Bernt Andersson, who works with railway vehicles at AFRY.
Since the 1980s, Sweden has had a train protection system called ATC (Automatic Train Control). The system supervises the train’s progress according to a technical driving permission given by the railway’s signalling system. The shift from ATC to ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System, has been going on for a few years now. AFRY has also been tasked with ensuring the technical compatibility between the vehicles and the rail traffic management system ERTMS.
The new trains are of the model BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO Express X80 and the three-car trainsets are about 80 metres long. They will be able to reach a maximum operational speed of 200 km/h and have 270 seats.
“The best part of railway vehicles projects is the variation of the work. It concerns everything in technical support regarding, for instance, fire safety, disability adaptation, running characteristics (how the vehicles appear on the track) as well as carrying out tests. There are many different aspects that have to be taken into account when it comes to train manufacturing,” says Bernt Andersson.
The delivery of the trains is expected to commence at the end of 2021. The trains will frequent all of Västtrafik’s railway lines in Västra Götaland, western Sweden. The investment in the new trains is part of Västtrafik’s long-term ambition to increase the number of trips taken by rail to 130,000 trips per day by 2035.