Siemens adopts green cable solution with Rail Order

Siemens has appointed Rail Order, part of Alan Dick Communications, to provide a complete cable inspection and repair service for its Desiro class of vehicles across the UK.

The three-year contract, which will involve the management of jumper cables from approximately 170 trains, demonstrates Siemens’ commitment to sustainability in the rail industry.
Scunthorpe-based Rail Order began inspect and repair work in August 2014, operating to a strict two-week turnaround schedule for each consignment of inter-car signal and data cables. Once monitored, using a mixture of visual and electrical test techniques, each jumper unit undergoes appropriate repairs and returned to Siemens within the agreed timescale for return to service.

Typically, these jumper cables fail after eight to nine years (having completed approximately a million miles). In the past, these complex units – containing valuable metals such as copper – were subject to ad-hoc repairs as a short-term fix. This new innovation from Rail Order enables the value of such cables to be prolonged, with minimal cost.

The majority of cable fails occur due to the inherent stresses they are subjected to and damage from foreign objects. Rail Order engineers have perfected a solution whereby railway group standard compliant over-moulds are utilised to extend operational life expectancy of cables, enabling the jumper unit to be returned to service.

Barry Larcombe, managing director of Rail Order, said:

“This contract is a great example of innovation and partnership at work within the rail industry. It shows how a fresh approach to existing engineering challenges can create value in the rail supply chain. Cable assemblies that would previously have been scrapped are now being repaired, tested and put to good use on the rail network. Siemens already has a strong reputation for its environmental credentials and this project further enhances that perception.

“Indeed, we hope that the strong leadership shown by Siemens in this area will encourage other TOCs and ROSCOs to consider more imaginative ways of prolonging the life of components such as cable assemblies, which were previously seen as a consumable commodity.”

Rail Order provides a complete service to Siemens, ensuring a fully tested and compliant product is returned to the customer to be re-entered into service.


For more information, please contact St John White or Natalia Gameson at Prova on 01926 776900.