Second major engine remanufacturing
11/20/2015 | Words: Yvonne Wirth | Pictures: Virgin, Wilfried Probian
HST, Great Britain, Remanufacturing, engine, Virgin Trains
The logo on the side of the truck tells the story as a red MTU engine, the power at the heart of Britain’s HST (high-speed train) fleet, is cautiously lowered back into its locomotive. This is the first from a total of fiftytwo 16V 4000 R41 engines to be returned to operator Virgin Trains following a second major remanufacturing at MTU Reman Technologies in Magdeburg. The unit was removed 30 days earlier in Edinburgh before being sent to Magdeburg, fully remanufactured and returned to Edinburgh for replacement. “First, we completely strip down the engine. Then we remanufactur all the components and put them back together again. At the same time Virgin Trains gets another as-new engine,” explained Gerald Westerholt, Project Leader for HST maintenance contracts at MTU. The engines first went into service on the London to Edinburgh route in 2006. “Since then, the unit has clocked up 3.2 million kilometers over 77,000 hours of operation. That’s equivalent to 40 times around the world,” added Westerholt. The HST engines first underwent major remanufacturing in 2010 and this is the second round. All 52 engines will have completed the process in around 2 years. The units will also get an external makeover. Until now these HST engines painted in gold. When Virgin Trains took over the track franchise system at the beginning of the year, it decided to have them re-painted flame-red. “That’s not a problem for us. We can offer the similar color range as any automotive manufacturer,” said Westerholt.
Maintenance contract with systems remanufacturing
For the first time, the generators will also be remanufactured as well as the engines. “This maintenance contract is the first to include a systems remanufacturing,” explained Westerholt. “That means we also remanufactur the generator and return a complete diesel-electric Reman system to the customer. MTU Magdeburg developed the necessary tools and procedures to implement these complex tasks.” Virgin Trains are very satisfied with their MTU engines: “We have 99.5% availability,” said Phil Buck, Head of Fleet at Virgin Trains. “That means there are as good as no delays or breakdowns. That is extremely important to us.” To guarantee this level of performance, four service technicians from MTU UK and a supervisor from Germany are on hand in Edinburgh to carry out non-major procedures directly on-site.
105 engines to follow
MTU will be remanufacturing twice as many engines for a second train operator. In July this year they decided to extend the existing contract from April 2007 for further five years. In October, the first of a total of one hundred and five 16V 4000 R41 engines arrived in Magdeburg. “These units will only be undergoing engine remanufacturing,” said Westerholt. However, they will also be getting a makeover from their previous silver finish to the standard green of the British train operator. The locomotives will mainly be in service on routes connecting London and the south of England.
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