Irish Railway Record Society
Class 22000 Intercity Railcars
SMYTH, HEAD OF PROJECTS, CHIEF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS DEPT, IÉ
2003 Iarnród Éireann decided to look towards future growth and fleet
replacement requirements on diesel locomotive hauled Intercity routes. With the
advent of a booming economy a new breed of traveller was identified; the
Intercity Commuter. These can be defined as commuters who travel relatively long
distances (greater than 25km) into Dublin for work on a daily basis. As road
traffic ground to a halt the Company envisaged considerable growth on the
was clear that the existing fleet of Mk III and Mk II coaching stock would be
unable to provide the capacity for growth or for additional services. In any
case the Mk II were life expired and in need of replacement. For some time rail
operators have been migrating the diesel short haul Intercity product towards
railcars to take account of the greater flexibility, reliability and performance
offered. Thus it was envisaged that the Iarnród Éireann coaching stock
replacement would be a Diesel Multiple Unit or a Diesel Electric Multiple Unit.
was available under the transport responsibility of the National Development
Plan which later became Transport 21
and the requirement was consistent with a number of strategies including the
Iarnród Éireann Strategic Plan.
original business case called for 120 vehicles to serve routes from Dublin to
Limerick, Waterford, Tralee, Galway and Westport. A significant number of
locomotives and carriages could be withdrawn from service and considerable
savings realised from not undertaking major overhauls and refurbishments.
the same time it was recognised that with such a new fleet that a purpose built
modern maintenance facility would be required to provide all maintenance and
repairs for the new fleet. This of course was eventually built as Portlaoise
Traincare Depot and opened in mid 2008.
invitation to tender was formally launched in 2004 and six companies qualified
to bid for the supply of 120 Intercity Railcars. The detailed Technical
Specification was created by Iarnród Éireann and called for an ultra modern,
one person operated, 161 km/h Intercity Diesel Multiple Unit that provided the
very highest standards for crew and passengers of safety and comfort. The design
called for the trains to be reliable in performance and economical in operation.
The external appearance was expected to be modern, aerodynamic and sleek.
contract was eventually awarded in December 2004 to Mitsui & Co of Japan, a
company with a long association with the supply of new rolling stock to Iarnród
Éireann. Having signed a framework contract with Mitsui, it was subsequently
decided to increase the order in stages as various company growth strategies
developed. The current order breakdown stands at 234 Railcars as follows:
number of amendments were agreed to items such as the order of delivery and some
specification amendments as the design evolved. Mitsui bid the contract using
suppliers Hyundai Rotem of Korea and Tokyu Car of Japan with the latter
supplying the bogies and running gear based somewhat on previous designs and
Hyundai Rotem leading the design, assembling and constructing the vehicles in
are four distinct variants of the Class 22000:
Rotem employed the services of Creactive Design, a well recognised industrial
designer for rail vehicle interiors and exteriors. They took responsibility to
produce the final designs and the schedule of finishes.
the Intercity nature of the product, great emphasis was placed on passenger
comfort with seat types optimised to match window bays and a maximum of
“airline style” seating. Modern materials and fabrics blended with a
completely revised Intercity silver and green livery to move the entire product
image forward from the orange and brown of yesteryear.
trains meet or exceed demanding standards for structural crash protection
(GM/RT2100), interior passenger safety (AV/ST9001) and fire standard BS 6853
Cat1b. Using UK Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (RVAR) as a guideline,
the trains were designed to provide safe and secure access for wheelchair
passengers, mobility impaired and sensory impaired passengers with the required
toilet facilities also. In addition to the seated passengers each 3-car train
has approved spacing for two wheelchairs and also secure stowage for three
bicycles and a small number of parcels.
and drive train was chosen from MTU of Germany, a subsidiary of Mercedes Benz.
MTU is a very well regarded rail engine supplier. The engine fully meets the
demanding EU emissions directive Class 3a and is the most advanced currently
available in terms of emissions. The MTU under-floor “raft” combines the
engine (rated at 360kW), Voith hydrodynamic transmission, 3-phase auxiliary
power generation, cooling systems, fire protection, hydraulic systems and
exhaust silencer all located in a suspended ”H” frame which allows for easy
removal. An identical raft is fitted under every vehicle and operates
independently. There is a certain amount of power sharing between vehicles in
degraded operation and it is an area being looked at currently for further
raft drives a pair of adjacent wheelsets on each vehicle thus every vehicle is
mechanically identical in terms of drive train with 1 x raft, 1 x powered bogie
and 1 x trailer bogie. The raft also features a dynamic retarder brake through
the Voith gearbox which is very efficient and reduces brake wear considerably.
vehicles are constructed from high quality stainless steel which was a preferred
choice for Iarnród Éireann. Certain structural elements of the bolster are
made from corrosion resistant carbon steel. Building in stainless steel is
familiar to vehicle builders in the far-east and is the norm for car building.
for saloons and cabs is provided by roof mounted self contained units made by
Toshiba in Japan. The previous Iarnród Éireann experience with Toshiba
confirms that this supplier is one of the few in the industry to supply reliable
air-conditioning for rail vehicles. The performance of such systems within the
industry in general is a source of frequent problem and passenger complaint.
After some initial teething problems with the system overcooling saloons, it was
apparent that the air-conditioning units were overcooling in the mid-range
temperatures in Ireland so control software parameter changes have been made
which rectified this issue.
the vehicles are assembled and built in the Hyundai Rotem plant at Changwon,
South Korea, much of the production of a modern train is actually a component
assembly exercise. Many of the on-board systems are actually EU sourced and
fitted at build. The exception being the air-conditioning modules and bogies
which are built in Japan.
dedicated production line was established in the state of the art factory in
Korea and an Iarnród Éireann presence has been maintained throughout the build
which will continue until late 2011. From the beginning it was apparent that the
trains were built to a very high quality standard, in particular the electrics
are of very high standard and final build finish was very good indeed. The IÉ
team in Korea were responsible for quality control and monitoring of production
and witnessing of routine tests. A robust system was developed under the control
of the Iarnród Éireann CME Project Team with the focus very much on delivery
at a maintained quality level.
on the ground in Korea are rotated on a 6-8 week placement and most if not all
the expats have enjoyed their time on site with at least one confirmed marriage
to a local girl!
contract stipulated delivery to Ireland for the first trains in March 2007 and
this schedule was achieved. Subsequent deliveries were either to schedule or
late by typically up to 8 weeks as Hyundai Rotem suffered problems with certain
supplier deliveries. Shipment is made from the Hyundai port facility near the
factory directly onto ships booked by Mitsui. The trip to Ireland takes 6-8
weeks, weather or other stops permitting. As the ship nears Ireland the team can
expect daily emails from the vessels master updating the eta into port with the
bay of Biscay weather intervening regularly to delay final arrival by one or two
all the shipments came into Dublin and were unloaded onto the railhead in
Alexandra Road in a highly complicated operation involving multiple crane lifts
for each vehicle from ship to low loaders and then onto the railhead in the
middle of a busy road.
Dublin Port Authority was always very supportive of the traffic although it did
bring significant disruption to other port traffic and an alternative unloading
facility was set up in Waterford at the deep water port. All unloading since
early 2008 has taken place in Waterford and it is the preferred location as the
operation does not get in anybody’s way.
unloaded the vehicles are formed into trains and moved at low speed by
locomotive haulage to Limerick works where the commissioning and testing of all
trains takes place. Hyundai Rotem and Iarnród Éireann have dedicated teams in
place for the commissioning and testing of each train which now takes
approximately 12 weeks from arrival in the port to entering passenger service.
original trains were required to undertake specific type approval tests on areas
that could not be tested in the factory such as dynamic brake testing and noise
testing. Once these various tests were completed a suite of routine tests were
undertaken on every train to verify it achieved the required performance
standard. A rigorous commissioning process exists for each train.
process upon arrival involves the manufacturer updating the train with new
software or other changes since leaving the factory. The powerpacks are all dry
for shipment so each has to be fully commissioned by the manufacturer MTU and
their Irish agent – South Coast Diesels of Naas. Once handed over to Iarnród
Éireann a suite of static tests are followed by dynamic on track tests
operating out of the Limerick base using dedicated drivers. Then the units enter
shakedown running with up to 8,000km accumulated on each train to highlight any
problems before the trains move to Inchicore for final acceptance. This is all
controlled within the Project and the resources deployed at Inchicore for the
final acceptance of each train include Hyundai Rotem staff, Project staff,
Contract staff and local Iarnród Éireann staff as appropriate. This is the
last opportunity to correct small snags or perform updates of hardware or
software before service. Certain modifications are undertaken at this stage to
allow for the improvement of catering facilities and bicycle stowage. The final
steps involve a deep cleaning of the interior and then the train moves to
Portlaoise Depot to enter service. Currently there are 29 x 3-car units in
service, 10 x 6-car units with Premier class and 4 x 6-car high density units.
The final high density 6-car unit has recently arrived in Ireland and will enter
service later this year. The final 17 x 3-car units begin construction early in
2010 and will arrive in Ireland during 2011.
sets 22010 and 22011 arrived in the summer of 2007. Upon entering commissioning
it was evident that there was something wrong as the units had heavy electrolyte
type corrosion on copper pipes and electrical connections and printed circuit
detailed investigation ensued and from analysis it was determined that the
vehicles had been exposed to high levels of a phosphorous type gas during
transit in the ships hold possibly as a result of fertiliser or similar in an
adjacent hold becoming wet. The vehicles are wrapped in plastic sheeting so gas
could be trapped and reach strong concentrations. The units were never accepted
by Iarnród Éireann and an insurance claim was made by Mitsui. This resulted in
the units being returned to Korea in 2008 and currently it is believed that they
are uneconomic to repair as every item of electrical and electronic equipment
required replacement or re-qualification at large cost. Two new replacement
units will be provided on the back of the next build in 2011 at no further cost
to Iarnród Eireann.
units are fully compliant to BS6853 Category1b which is an extremely high
performance standard in that the materials used have fire, smoke and toxicity
performance to a standard that would be required for considerable underground
running. It was a company policy to demand a very high fire classification
performance and considerably higher than the minimum required.
intrusion particularly into the saloon area is a major concern with DMU vehicles
and obviously with a large engine under the floor it is an area that can be
difficult to achieve performance in. This is very important for Intercity
journeys where passengers are onboard often for hours at a time. The Technical
Specification set demanding targets to be met for internal and external noise
levels and a new EU directive on train noise came into force during the build
which also contained demanding standards. The ICR comfortably met and surpassed
all the levels set in the requirements and is an extremely quiet train for a
DMU. Much of this goes to Hyundai Rotems floor construction and also the smooth
MTU engine and associated silencers.
the commissioning process it became apparent that a greater level of information
would be required to submit a European style safety case which came into being
with the creation of the Railway Safety Commission which was set up following
the Railway Safety Act 2005. By the end of the summer in 2007 the RSC and Iarnród
Éireann were agreed on the format and content of the safety case and this took
considerable time to get in place. The process is well understood now but
looking back both parties were on a steep learning curve. In the event any delay
to service introduction from the development of our approvals was quite small as
trains were made ready for service. Passenger service began in Dec 2007,
initially on the Sligo line
are running approximately 200,000km each per annum and the fleet has performed
extremely well since introduction and has surpassed early expectations and
targets. Availability and reliability levels are impressive and compared
directly with our nearest neighbour the UK the reliability is several times that
achieved by the best performing DMU in the UK. The main reasons for this are a
combination of good build quality and the use of quality components many of
which were well proven in the rail industry. The challenge will be to build on
this and improve further now that the fleet is already approaching first
overhaul for the powerpacks.
interest in the trains from overseas has been considerable with a number of
European rail operators and transport agencies coming to Ireland to see how
trains built in the “far east” look and perform. Each visitor without
exception has been impressed by the design, build, look and feel of the ICR
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Railway Record Society Limited