Multi-step and Formation Sanding Design Upgrade of Turbostar Units for Porterbrook Leasing

Article: Multi-step and Formation Sanding Design Upgrade of Turbostar Units for Porterbrook Leasing


Porterbrook Leasing Company Ltd. owns a large fleet of Turbostars, made up of Class 168, 170, 171 and 172 diesel multiple units. The current sanding system fitted onto this rolling stock only permitted sanding on a vehicle with an ‘active cab’. In normal operation this would be the leading vehicle of the unit or formation. Porterbrook wished to offer operators of Turbostar units a design enhancement that upgrades the sanding system to enable automatic sanding from the leading car of any unit coupled within a formation, regardless of the cab state (formation sanding, in accordance with Railway Group standard GMRT2461). Also, automatic sanding was not available with all the brake-steps and so this was also requested (multi-step sanding).

DB ESG was approached to provide a standardised, fleet wide solution that incorporated both formation and multi-step sanding. The design needed to also allow sanding to be used on units working in formation with compatible Class 15x units. DB ESG has previously undertaken similar modification work for the Class 321/3 and 321/4 fleets.

Work Undertaken by DB ESG

  • A vehicle survey was completed.
  • An investigation was conducted into the feasibility of providing automatic formation and multi-step sanding in the same scenarios as the current automatic sanding system.
  • A bill of material was produced for each Turbostar class.
  • Production of a design solution report detailing the proposed solution, assessing the impact of this modification, and including a FMECA (failure mode effects and criticality analysis).
  • Creation of modification instructions for the depot environment, containing instructions for post installation testing, with separate instructions for the Class 172 units.
  • Modification drawings were supplied.
  • Certification was obtained from Railway Approvals Limited, for the proposed solution, covering all fleets.
  • On site, first-in-class support was provided.