Great Western Railway’s 93-strong Intercity Express Train fleet is to be fitted with Hitachi Rail’s ‘Perpetuum Onboard’ wireless technology to monitor wheelset and bogie parts. Hitachi says the technology will boost fleet availability by over 100 days per year.
The wireless sensors will allow real-time data to be gathered on gearboxes, traction motors, bearings and wheels. Digital monitoring of bogies and wheelsets can replace periodic inspections, reducing bogie overhaul downtime by up to 50%. It also means parts are only replaced when necessary, eliminating wasteful discarding of components in good condition. The sensors also have the capability to monitor the track and train axles in future.
The technology has been installed on some initial GWR units, with rollout across the fleet taking place over the coming year. This covers both the units ordered as part of the Intercity Express Programme and the Class 802 fleet ordered later by GWR and owned by Eversholt Rail.
Hitachi completed the acquisition of condition monitoring specialist Perpetuum last year.