After RSSB research project T1107 had completed testing at Network Rail’s RIDC, under controlled closed track conditions, we were approached by RSSB to produce a full Double Variable Rate Sander (DVRS) system for a service trial, as all other sander system manufacturers were unable to meet the technical requirements for such a system and/or the needed timescales.
We worked with RSSB to identify a suitable fleet for the trial and the WMT operated class 323’s were chosen as they experience significant operational difficulties in leaf fall season, often having to run a “skip stop” timetable.
We designed and produced 2 train’s worth of equipment, which was ready for installation 26 weeks after the order was placed and provided a full suite of documentation to allow certification.
The system gives full, software controlled, variable rate sanding; giving a nominal 4kg a minute sand delivery and that is varied with train speed and brake demand.
The system fitted and worked exactly as designed from the outset and has experienced no in-service failures in 6 months, to date, of operation.
The DVRS system has been described by WMT as “a game changer” and has allowed the 2 trial units to be operated in leaf fall season without the need for traditional seasonal, defensive, driving as the braking performance has been improved exponentially, over the current system, in poor railhead conditions.