Kiepe Electric UK has secured a contract from First MTR South Western Trains to conduct traction upgrades and associated overhaul works on 18 Class 442 trains operating on the South Western Railway (SWR) franchise.

The refurbished vehicles are slated to enter commercial service from December next year.

Kiepe Electric UK managing director Tim Jenkins said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which follows on from other recent turnkey projects, including retraction projects, delivered in the UK.

“It is a further testament to Kiepe Electric UK’s skill, capability and flexible approach in supporting customers to improve their rolling stock through delivering complex turnkey projects.”

The agreement will see company replace the trains’ existing DC traction equipment with the latest AC equipment featuring insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology from Kiepe Electric Düsseldorf.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which follows on from other recent turnkey projects, including retraction projects, delivered in the UK.”

The overhaul works are expected to improve the overall efficiency of the vehicles.

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By GlobalData

A new braking system from Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems is also expected to be installed on-board the locomotives to improve their environmental performance, as well as optimise the operating costs of the vehicles by enabling regenerative braking.

Additionally, the refurbished vehicles will feature new seats, new LED lights and Wi-Fi services, as well as table-top charging facilities in 1st Class carriages.

The trains will also provide universally accessible toilets and seating facilities for disabled passengers.