Whilst the latest exciting news of bright, shiny components being added to the locomotive rightly makes the headlines, in the background, work is quietly progressing to secure the necessary certification and approvals to support the locomotive entering service to work railtours on the GB mainline railway.
This will be based on the successful approach used for Tornado, although certain things have changed in the world of railway certification and approvals since the last time we did it. The requirement now is to demonstrate a combination of ‘technical compatibility’ and ‘safe integration’.
The top level document is the Certification and Registration Strategy. During 2021, this document was drawn up and was reviewed and accepted by our certification body (Ricardo Certification Ltd). It has now been forwarded to the railway regulator (ORR) and we await any feedback from them; in the meantime, various individual workstreams referred to in the document can be worked on notwithstanding.
Most recently, we have contributed to some collaborative certification work with several other new-build groups, including the ‘Patriot’, ‘Clan’ and B17 projects. A joint meeting took place in January at the premises of CTL Seal Ltd in Sheffield, where several aspects of the certification process were discussed, notably the generic parts of the risk analysis work to support the ‘safe integration’ aspect of the approvals. Ricardo Certification Ltd attended to witness the exercise, splitting their costs equally between all groups present – a small but welcome cost reduction. Further stages of the process will be undertaken in a similar manner where the opportunity presents itself.