French industrial battery manufacturer Saft has secured a €1m contract to deliver nickel-based SRM onboard power backup batteries for Alstom metro trains operated the London Underground Northern Line in the UK.
The original time-served onboard batteries were first supplied by Saft in the 1990s for the Northern Line’s ‘1995 Stock’ trains, which entered service in 1998.
These batteries provide backup power for essential safety and passenger comfort systems, including the radio, train control, passenger announcement and CCTV systems in case of an interruption to the main power supply.
Alstom maintains the rolling stock on behalf of London Underground through a long-term service contract, which is due to run until 2027.
The selection of Saft follows a competitive tender process managed on its Alstom e-Sourcing (ALTeS) system.
As part of the deal, Saft will deliver a total of 212 of its SRM batteries to Alstom’s Golders Green Traincare Centre, where they will be equipped on the 106 metro trains that serve the Northern Line.
Alstom purchasing manager Matt Goff said: "Alstom has a long-term commitment to maintain the Northern Line rolling stock and awarded the contract to Saft because of its confidence in Saft’s technology, competitive price, extended warranty and proven reliability."
The new SRM batteries are based on the existing reliable nickel-based design for railway applications.
The company noted that these batteries have the advantages of a long service life and extended service intervals, with topping up only required at two-year intervals.
London’s Northern Line carries more than 250 million passengers a year between 50 stations that includes two branches deep below ground level in central London.
Image: Saft’s Colin Tremlett with new batteries on board a Northern Line train. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.