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Smart Rail Services has a proven record of delivering Professional Services

Smart Rail Services provides an extensive range of professional technical and engineering services to a wide variety of major clients in the UK rail industry. The information provided below gives a brief introduction to some of the recent projects which Smart Rail Services has delivered. If you require any further information about how Smart Rail Services can assist your company to achieve its goals, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.

Client: Garrandale Limited

Smart Rail Services has recently completed the development of detailed designs for two equipment modules for installation and use on the Network Rail 'Winter Development Vehicle'. These modules are currently being manufactured by Garrandale Ltd and will be installed on the new 'Snow and Ice Trains', which it is intended will evaluate the effectiveness of a number of technologies designed to reduce the impact of adverse weather events on critical areas of the national rail network. Assuming that these trials are successful, it is understood that Network Rail will commission the manufacture of additional modules in coming years to enable a number of additional trains to be equipped.

Both modules were designed 'from the ground up' utilising a standard 10' ISO container footprint to enable mounting on a modified YXA wagon and a superstructure which fits within the limits of the 'Reduced W6A' gauge profile. One of the two modules was designed to house four high-pressure steam generators, together with lances and extension reels and a centrally mounted 2,250l water tank. The second of the modules was designed to house a much larger water tank of 4,000l capacity, together with a high performance air compressor and a number of ancilliary items. Both modules were designed with high level floodlights to provide illumination for the work area and required extensive optimisation to minimise the Tare weights and achieve the maximum load capability within the defined limits for Gross weight.

Smart Rail Services produced detailed and fully rendered 3D models for both modules, to assist Network Rail with the visualisation and review of the key features of the modules and equipment being fitted. These modules were also used to carry out detailed 'Design for Manufacture' (DfM) reviews with Garrandale and design optimisation to ensure weight limits were met. From these 3D models, full arrangement and manufacturing drawings were produced from which the principal structures and components have been assembled.

Winter Development Vehicle Concept - Module 2
Winter Development Vehicle Concept - Modules 2 & 3 During Build at Garrandale Workshops

Client: Angel Trains Limited

Smart Rail Services has recently completed an extensive work package covering the production of Engineering Change packs for more than twenty modifications being proposed for implementation on the Class 180 fleet. This work included collection and collation of source documentation, detailed review of the proposed engineering change, review of external verification or validation of the change, identification of any additional documentation/validation required, technical assessment of the change and the production of formal documentation in-line with ATL Engineering Change Control procedures. The work was undertaken in close collaboration with Angel Trains Fleet Engineering, ALSTOM Transportation and with the Class 180 operators First Hull Trains, Northern Rail and Grand Central Railway.

Work undertaken by Smart Rail Services assisted ATL to prepare a fleet-wide modification package for the Class 180 units, which is currently being implemented by Wabtec Rail Limited at Loughborough.

Client: Grand Central Railway Limited

Smart Rail Services has provided a broad range of technical and professional engineering support to open access operator Grand Central Railway to assist in the development, implementation and management of engineering changes, modifications and other fleet enhancements over a period of 15 months. This enabled Grand Central to take a pro-active approach in supporting the vehicle owners, Angel Trains, to achieve fleet reliability improvements and engineering enhancements on the Class 180 DMUs.

Smart Rail Services managed the suite of modifications and enhancements being developed and implemented on Grand Central operated High Speed Trains and Class 180 units.  This included ensuring that all Engineering Change documentation, formal Approvals and other aspects of both the Owner's and Operators Management of Engineering Change procedures were completed and any additional external approvals (CCB/VAB) had been obtained. In delivering this work, Smart Rail Services worked with engineers and other staff from Angel Trains Limited, Alstom Transportation, Grand Central and Northern Rail at Heaton Depot where the routine maintenance of these units is carried out.

Examples of projects where Smart Rail Services led Grand Central's proactive approach to the development and implementation of enhancements include:

  • Service trials of a new brake pad design for use on Class 180s, including routine inspection of pads, measurement of friction elements, reporting of data and co-ordination of routine maintenance in line with current requirements
  • Installation of new engine hours logging devices on Class 180 units, including assistance with the optimisation of the modification design, hosting of service trials and feedback to the system designers (Engineering Support Group) on operational/maintenance issues
  • Identification and assessment of improved driver's sunblinds on HST power cars, liaison with prefered supplier, implementation of first of class installation, development of Modification Instruction and supporting technical documentation pack
  • Managing the implementation of Alstom Transportation modification to achieve the permanent isolation of on-board ATP equipment on Class 180 units, including preperation of technical documentation pack and management of CCB/VAB requirements
  • Development and implementation of revised galley equipment arrangements on Class 180 units, in line with on-board catering requirements, including drawings, modofication procedures, preparation of the technical documentation pack and co-ordination of external approvals requirements
  • Development of Modification Procedure, Installation Drawings, Electrical Schematics and associated technical documentation for the installation of additional 240V sockets on Class 180 units
  • First of Class installation of a number of Angel Trains/Alstom Transportation designed modifications, including detailed engineering feedback, suggested enhancements, revisions, etc prior to fleet implementation


Grand Central Class 180105 - Pictured at Heaton Depot

Client: Grand Central Railway Limited

Smart Rail Services has successfully completed the development and implementation of a new High Speed Train (HST) livery for open access operator Grand Central Railway. As part of a minor refresh of the HST sets, Grand Central was keen to update the external appearance and apply the new corporate livery as currently used on their Class 180 DMU fleet.  The development of the new livery required tailoring of the corporate branding principles to the unique features of the HST vehicles, to ensure that the brand values were maintained without compromising the overall 'look' of the vehicles.

To ensure that this was achieved, Smart Rail Services provided a wide range of design options for review by Grand Central, which combined the corporate branding guidelines with an extensive knowledge and understanding of the uniques features of the vehicles in question. Once the preferred option had been selected, Smart Rail Services produced full engineering drawings showing the livery and other mandatory signage/data required for all types of vehicles used in the HST sets.  Drawings were supported by a full Design Technical File demonstrating compliance with National Technical Rules (NTRs) and Railway Group Standards (RGS). All drawings and documentation has now been approved for use by both Angel Trains Limited and Grand Central and the livery successfully applied to the first refurbished HST set.

Client: WG Specialist Coatings

Smart Rail Services has provided support to WG Specialist Coatings in their successful refurbishment of the first JGA Hopper wagon. The wagon, owned by NACCO UK was subject to extensive internal and external repainting, together with refurbishment/replacement of bogie components and a number of modifications.

As Received After Refurbishment

Support provided by Smart Rail Services included:

  • Professional Engineering Services
  • Detailed vehicle inspections and advice on repair procedures
  • Review of and guidance on use of technical documentation
  • Review and guidance on the requirements of Mandatory and other applicable industry standards
  • Supply of Competent Staff to undertake Safety Critical testing and inspections

Project Manager for WG Specialist Coatings, Pete Slater, acknowledged the support provided by Smart Rail Services as being critical to the succesful delivery of this refurbishment project, the first undertaken at the recently completed Foston facility. Andy Cox, Managing Director of Nacco UK, expressed his delight with the finished vehicle at the hand-over ceremony at Foston. As a result of the excellent performance on the first wagon, WG Specialist Coatings have recently received a contract to refurbish and repaint the remaining 28 wagons in the fleet, in support of which Smart Rail Services will continue to provide an extensive range of technical and engineering support.

Client: Chiltern Railways Limited

Smart Rail Services maintains its accreditation by Chiltern Railways to act as a 'Competent Person' for the review and authorisation of Engineering Changes, in accordance with their Safety Management System (SMS).  This accreditation was achieved by the successful completion of and audit of Smart Rail Services' technical and engineering competencies, together with review and approval of documented procedures for undertaking such work in accordance with the requirements of both Chiltern Railways and the industry.

Smart Rail Services has previously supported Chiltern Railways Limited on two engineering workstreams; the development and documentation of a revised Class 168 Fuel System arrangement and the provision of Engineering Support for the Class 168/0 Heavy Maintenance Development project. This work was been carried out in close collaboration with Chiltern Engineering and Technical Staff, and was undertaken both on site at Aylesbury Depot and at third party sites as required.  The work undertaken by Smart Rail Services has provided a significant contribution to the ongoing develoment of vehicle reliability and enabled Chiltern to satisfy vehicle owners, Porterbrook Leasing, of the validity of their approach.

Client: Angel Trains Limited

Smart Rail Services undertook a top-level engineering review of bonnet panel design, installation and operation on Class 180 DMUs. These units were built by ALSTOM Transportation and entered service with First Great Western in 2000-2001, since when they have been transfered to a number of other operators to operate high-speed services on the East Coast Mainline and local services in the North-West. The driving vehicles of these 125mph units are fitted with retractable couplers, which are designed to be covered by bonnet panels when not required. Due to a number of issues, units are often run with bonnet panels retracted or removed, which causes tertiary issues for train crew and vehicle maintenance staff.

With cooperation from Bombardier Transportation, a detailed inspection of the bonnet panels, the retraction mechanism and other principle features of the Class 180 driving vehicles was carried out by Smart Rail Services. The findings of this inspection, together with a number of recommendations for engineering enhancements to improve system reliability, were documented in a report submitted and reviewed by Angel Trains.

Based upon the findings of this report, Angel Trains worked with Dartford Composites to obtain new bonnet panels. These panels were manufactured in accordance with the recommendations made by Smart Rail to produce bonnet panels with a significantly increased structural integrity, improved stiffness and greater resistance to impact damage.

Initial service experience of the performance of the new panels, gained in operation on Grand Central operated Class 180s, shows dramatic improvements in resistance to impact damage over the original type. Performance to date has proven that the new bonnet panels are able to survive large impacts without sustaining damage, whilst maintaining correct functionality of the retraction mechanism.