Saft clinches 1 million euro battery contract from Bombardier Transportation for Southern Railway’s new ELECTROSTAR trains

October 29, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Saft has been awarded a 1 million euros contract by Bombardier Transportation to supply onboard battery systems for 26 new five‐car Class 377 ELECTROSTAR EMU (electric multiple unit) trainsets under construction for Southern Railways, the train operating company serving the south of England.

The Saft battery systems will support the consistent and reliable operation of the new Southern Railway trains by supplying backup power to ensure the continuity of critical safety and auxiliary systems in the event of an interruption to the main power supply. The use of Saft’s compact nickelbased MRX cells has enabled the battery systems to meet Bombardier’s key requirement for an uprated capacity within the existing space envelope, to meet the additional demands of new power loads for passenger comfort services such as Wi‐Fi and power sockets for mobile phone and laptop charging.

A number of previous Bombardier ELECTROSTAR projects, such as South Africa’s Gautrain, have featured Saft MRX batteries. The new Southern Railway battery systems will also comprise MRX cells that provide a capacity increase of around 30 percent, with two of the 110 V systems installed below the floor of each trainset.

Construction of the 26 Southern Railway trainsets has already commenced at Bombardier Transportation’s Derby facility. Saft will deliver the battery systems to Bombardier as turnkey, installation‐ready, packages, assembled in rafts complete with control equipment and interfaces to communicate with the train systems.

Saft MRX batteries are the ideal choice for this type of EMU application as they have been purpose designed to deliver maximum performance, reliability and low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). They provide the low maintenance and long service life benefits of sintered/PBE technology within a slim, light‐weight block battery package that shows a major size and volume advantage compared with conventional batteries. The MATRICS MRX design is reliable and does not suffer from the ‘sudden death’ which can affect some batteries, even in extreme temperatures ranging from ‐ 30° to + 70°C.

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