LEDs shed light on savings for rail network

Back in 2005, daytime running lights on road vehicles were about to be made a legal requirement. Some car manufacturers turned it into a design feature, developing shaped LED lights – demand went through the roof. LED technology advanced rapidly driven by market demand.

But what was as cool as having the right sort of sunglasses in the middle of the last decade – those running lights – now contributes to a massive cost and time saving on our railways, largely thanks to the foresight of Unipart Dorman.

Today, Unipart Dorman has created a generation of rail network signal lights which are zero maintenance. But thinking in the Unipart Way, they also realised that no-maintenance didn’t just mean no bulb changing, it also meant no need to access gantries and no safety issues.

What used to look like – and needed to be built like – a Forth Bridge girder section is now a lightweight composite, and likely to go on working virtually indefinitely. What’s more, providing the lights are positioned such that they are exposed to rainfall, they are also self-cleaning.

More than 110,000 Unipart Dorman LED modules are now installed on the UK rail infrastructure, many no longer require annual maintenance visits, driving increased savings and safety through fewer workers being required at the trackside.

Previously these signals would have required an annual check, involving a minimum of two track workers. With the new maintenance standard, the need for those visits is removed, reducing the cost of the signal to the purchase and installation cost, and releasing the rail workers for more crucial jobs.

Around 1,000 filament Colour Light Signals have been replaced reducing maintenance costs by over £4 million over the fifteen years of their projected life. A further 1,000 are to be installed, doubling that saving.

Previously, filament signal failures accounted for 72,000 delay minutes, equating to a cost of around £2.75 million.

To read the case study, please visit: http://www.unipartrail.com/assets/zero-maintenance-case-study.pdf