Dispensing unit with output up to 4 kilos per minute and heating element
Sand nozzle with heating cartridge
One 158/159 train that has been retrofitted with the sanding system
Camera monitoring when using the GripMaster® on the prototype vehicle

Speed-Dependent Sanding System for UK Trains

In summer 2022, we received an enquiry from Northampton UK for a speed-dependent sanding system with an output rate of 4,000 grams per minute for a series of diesel rail cars. by Carsten Stapke

Northampton is carrying out retrofit work which includes the overhaul and retrofitting of mainline trains. During talks on site and at the InnoTrans 2022, it was established that a speed-dependent output rate of up to 4,000 g/min is a new requirement on the British market. The new sanding system was to replace the old one while continuing to use the existing sand containers as part of the retrofit.

Our standard GripMaster® sanding system is designed for an output rate of 300 – 1,200 g/min and has to be adapted to the required output rate. The dispensing unit was adapted to the interface of the existing sand container. 

The timetable for retrofit of the sanding system foresaw a prototype fitting for one vehicle in April 2023 followed by series supply for 39 vehicles.

Taking our GripMaster®, we were able to increase the output rate of the dispensing unit from 1,200 g/min to over 4,000 g/min via variations in the valve and nozzle technology. In order to be able to work and test as efficiently as possible during the further-development phase, all test samples were additively manufactured using 3D printing. This manufacturing process allowed us to test various functional samples very quickly.

Apart from the dispensing unit, HANNING & KAHL’s scope of delivery for this project also includes the sand nozzle and the controller (SCU). The sand nozzle also had to be customized to the existing interface near the wheel.

Parallel to the ongoing development of the dispensing unit, activation control of the speed-dependent sanding system was taken into consideration in the corresponding software.

The advantages of speed-dependent improved traction are continuously variable dispensing of the situation-dependent optimal sand volume which prevents the unnecessary additional consumption which could result from a fixed set sand volume.

Following successful tests of the dispensing unit at HANNING & KAHL, a vehicle set with four prototypes was shipped to UK. In May, the first vehicle was modified, and the new sanding system was commissioned in Bournemouth by HANNING & KAHL.

All GripMaster® systems for 39 vehicles have now been supplied. Fifteen vehicles have been equipped with the new HANNING & KAHL sanding system and are back in passenger operation. Feedback from the operator has been positive throughout.