Maintenance contract awarded for Network Rail's 'Flying Banana' train: New Maintenance Train (NMT) at King's Cross platform

Tuesday 7 Jan 2020

Maintenance contract awarded for Network Rail's 'Flying Banana' train

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Network Rail has awarded a contract to Loram UK for the maintenance of its New Measurement Train following a competitive tender in 2019. The contract, awarded in December, is budgeted for £8million over five years.

The New Measurement Train monitors and records track condition information at speeds up to 125mph. Known as the Flying Banana because of its distinctive yellow livery, it is the fastest train in Network Rail’s infrastructure monitoring fleet, which identifies faults on the railway before they become a safety issue or affect performance.

The New Measurement Train will be maintained at Loram UK’s Derby facility, where Network Rail’s other infrastructure monitoring trains have been maintained since 2010.

Equipped with high-tech measurement systems, track scanners and high-resolution cameras, the New Measurement Train is a converted Intercity High Speed Train that has been travelling around Britain’s railway network for 15 years.

The train’s speed means it can measure large distances in a single operating shift. It covers 115,000 miles in a year and captures around 10TB of image data every 440 miles. Engineers use the data that the train collects to make repairs and plan maintenance.

Earlier in December, Loram UK completed a three-month overhaul of the New Measurement Train coaches as part of the infrastructure monitoring fleet operations contract. The overhaul process happens every four years and involves taking apart the train completely, testing all its parts, making any improvements or fixes and then rebuilding the train.

Mike Black, supply chain services director, Network Rail, said: “This contract simplifies the maintenance of the New Measurement Train. It will not only deliver savings to Network Rail and ultimately the taxpayer, but also ensure that the train is maintained to a high standard so it can continue to work for the safety of passengers and other railway users.”

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