Eurailtest Contributes to Type Approval of Bombardier M7 Coaches for SNCB
Following the success of the brake tests performed on OMNEO trains, Bombardier had no hesitation in commissioning Eurailtest for a further series of brake tests, this time using the “slip” technique, on the new M7 rolling stock, ordered by the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB).
The M7 rolling stock of the Bombardier – Alstom consortium
M7 coach design is similar to that of the double-decker M6 that has proved reliable and very popular with operators and passengers alike. M7 coaches will, in particular, be able to be coupled together with M6 coaches for operation at speeds of 200 km/h. They are scheduled to be placed in revenue service on all main lines in Belgium and on cross-border lines with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, including a number of high-speed lines.
Slip brake tests on Bombardier M7 coaches
Bombardier contacted Eurailtest in early 2019 over brake tests on a M7 coach, Bombardier being responsible for manufacturing the leading and trailer coaches, with Alstom providing the motive power cars.
While most of the rolling stock on which Eurailtest has worked in recent years has tended to be self-propelled trainsets, on this occasion the service requested concerned hauled stock. In such cases, dynamic tests to confirm braking performance are not conducted on trainsets but on individual vehicles using the slip braking technique.
As the term suggests, this consists of using a locomotive to haul the test coach until it reaches the desired speed (up to 160 km/h in this particular instance) and then releasing the coach. The brakes are then automatically applied and the team of experts on board can record the various parameters needed to assess braking performance.
Tests were carried out in Velim (Czech Republic) by staff from the Railway Test Agency (AEF), a Eurailtest partner laboratory. The teams conducting the tests demonstrated their flexibility by slotting their operations into the gaps available at the test ring, Velim being in particularly heavy demand, and by travelling abroad to complete their remit.
The success of this stage in the process represents a major milestone in the test campaign required to obtain type approval for M7 rolling stock.
Les essais ont été réalisés à Velim (République Tchèque) par les agents du laboratoire partenaire d’Eurailtest, l’Agence d’Essai Ferroviaire (AEF). Les équipes d’essais ont fait preuve de souplesse en s’adaptant aux créneaux disponibles – l’anneau ferroviaire de Vélim étant particulièrement saturé – et de flexibilité dans leur mobilité en se déplaçant à l’étranger pour ces essais.