Saft to supply IEP battery systems

Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded Saft a ‘multi-million pound’ framework contract to design the battery systems that will provide backup power to the Super Express trains currently being built for the East Coast and Great Western main lines.

Saft has described the five-year contract as one of the company’s biggest in the UK.

Throughout the life of the deal, Saft could supply its MSX battery systems for up to 122 Class 800 and Class 801 trainsets being delivered as part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

The £5.8 billion scheme will see ageing Intercity 125 and 225 vehicles replaced with new electric and bi-mode trains from 2017.

Jamie Foster, procurement director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Saft were able to provide us with a commercially competitive offer, while meeting our customer’s demanding technical requirements regarding temperature conditions and lifecycle.”

In winning the contract, Saft had to demonstrate that its battery system was capable of providing backup power for up to three hours and deliver a reliable service over a 15-year life cycle.