Knorr-Bremse extends contract with Hitachi

By Jack Burke13 January 2021

Local presence of Knorr-Bremse in the UK was a key deciding factor

Knorr-Bremse will start supplying a new generation of brake pads and discs for Hitachi intercity Class 800/801/802 trains serving UK intercity routes starting the first quarter of 2021.

Knorr-Bremse and Hitachi Rail have signed a long-term framework contract to equip several major UK high-speed train fleets.

The transition to the new friction technology will see all the trains equipped with the new brake pads and discs designed to optimize the vehicles’ braking systems performance as well as minimizing maintenance time and life-cycle costs, Knorr-Bremse said.

The multi-million Euro, four-year contract has the option to be extended for an additional four years. Hitachi Rail has long-term maintenance contracts, ensuring it will be maintaining and servicing trains in the UK for several decades. Supporting the Hitachi Rail maintenance regime, the innovative Knorr-Bremse braking system equipment for the Class 800 series trains has been designed to facilitate longer maintenance intervals and reduce maintenance time.

The strong local presence of, and support provided by Knorr-Bremse in the UK, was a key deciding factor in Hitachi choosing Knorr-Bremse as a strategic partner, the company said.

“Our four UK facilities provide a strong local presence for our customers at Hitachi Rail Systems UK,” said Paul Goodhand, managing director of Knorr-Bremse Rail UK said. “With our state-of-the-art local RailServices support logistics, we can guarantee both reliable original parts delivery as well as rapid and efficient brake system overhaul including technical support and advice.”

Initially, Hitachi Rail had awarded Knorr-Bremse the contract for the supply and commissioning of the braking systems for the Class 800 trains as part of the UK’s high-speed program in 2013. Since their entry into service in 2017, the trains have been providing mainline services, running with a top speed of up to 200 km/h, across major routes in the UK. With over 600 seats per train, they have boosted transportation capacity by some 18% compared to the fleets they replaced. 

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