UR Group Provides Ethernet Backbone for Porterbrook 144e

Porterbrook Leasing has recently unveiled it’s Class 144e demonstrator in Derby.

The concept, realised in partnership with Lloyds Register Rail and RVEL as well as other collaborators, revolves around the class 144 Pacer Diesel Multiple Unit which has seen service since 1986. It is intended to demonstrate what can be achieved by refurbishment in lieu of outright replacement, in situations where the rolling-stock itself is deemed to be fundamentally sound.

Concept and Scope

As part of the drive to comply with PRM TSI accessibility regulations, and to provide an enhanced passenger experience, Porterbrook unveiled their first fully refurbished 144e on June 26th. The revisions included accessibility improvements throughout, with additional space and access enhancements required to be implemented by the end of 2019. However, the refurbishment scope went much further. It showcased how technology, and the concept of a ‘connected’ DMU, could be of real benefit to operators and users, by providing real-value services while offering additional future return on investment. UR Group were selected for it’s technology know-how and supply chain capability to provide the latest Ethernet backbone technology.

Interior Before and After Refurbishment

Technology and Return on Investment

At the core of the technology offering is the connectivity; in this case the Ethernet backbone. The clear benefit of this in terms of enriched passenger experience is WiFi access and enhanced passenger information systems (PIS). However, these systems give operators the ability to provide additional advertising and targeted marketing opportunities. They can be further optimised by adapting to the demographic footfall, depending on the hour and day of the week, and even the geo-location (geo-fencing) of the unit. Consider a city-centre commuter’s interest and available viewing time versus that of a mid-day leisure traveller traversing the countryside.

Moreover, with this backbone in place, operators can take advantage to incorporate additional connected technologies intended for the purpose of improving operational services, maintenance and security. In the case of the 144e this includes automation of announcements and information systems as well as forward-facing and in-car security CCTV systems. However, it can be leveraged further to provide connected data for environmental and maintenance conditions, passenger-counting, automated ticketing and fare-collection as well as a plethora of other operational enhancement systems. All of these technologies combine to provide a compelling case for real-world return on investment.

Services from UR Group in this application included design concept and functional layout support, integration with complimentary and connected technologies, design-proving and pre-install live demonstration, through to kitting services and the fulfilment of the hardware requirement.

The 144e program is successful in demonstrating how existing, sound and viable rolling-stock can be modernised and adapted for future directives and at the same time take advantage of new technology to increase the ROI value of these DMU’s for many years to come. For UR Group, all three of our core customer-focused elements; Technical Competence, Supply Chain Management and Sales and Fulfilment were leveraged and we feel proud to be associated with the program.

Read the Porterbrook article here: http://www.porterbrook.co.uk/pages/corp2015.html

Download the Brochure: http://www.porterbrook.co.uk/downloads/144Brochure.pdf

Railway Gazette Article: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/passenger/single-view/view/porterbrook-unveils-pacer-dmu-life-extension-demonstrator.html

More Information: [email protected]

Press Contact : Roy Duff ([email protected])

Brought to you by UR Group UK, 105 Faraday Park, Dorcan, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5JF.

UR Group Holding S.p.A., Viale Edison 44, 20090 Trezzano, s/N (Milan) Italy.

Please see the links at the top of this page to download the pdf brochure and this release

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