New ‘Caledonian’ carriages get West Highland test run

TESTING of the new Mk 5 carriages for the Caledonian Sleeper operation moved to the West Highland line on April 10, when four of the vehicles were hauled from Polmadie depot to Arrochar & Tarbet.

The testing was due to continue on the West Highland route before moving to the West Coast Main Line, where higher speeds would be deployed, with running up to 110mph.

Class 73 No. 73971 hauls Mk5 sleepers on their first visit to the West Highland Line on a test run from Polmadie to Arrochar and back on April 10. The location is between Craigendoran Jct and Helensburgh Upper. The bogies are wired up to computer equipment to check riding qualities. BOB AVERY

Magnus Conn, Serco’s new trains director for the Caledonian Sleeper, said: “Taking some of the new carriages out on the network for testing marks an exciting phase in our development programme.

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“The purpose is to monitor the interaction between vehicle and track, and to check ride comfort in a variety of suspension states and speeds.”

The carriages used for the test are from the first five to be delivered – Nos. 15001/002, 15101, 15301/302 – which are not fitted out and contain computer equipment to collect data from test runs.

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