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  • Writer's pictureBarry Michael Aldridge

Flotec is Addressing Key Train Requirements.

Loughborough-based Flotec, a trusted and leading supplier of reliable hose and engineering solutions to the rail market, is addressing the needs of the latest Key Train Requirements publication.

Flotec installing a variable pitch fan engine cooling upgrade to a fleet of trains.

Published in July 2023, Version 7 of the Key Train Requirements is a collaborative project between Rail Delivery Group and the Rail Safety Standards Board.

The 329-page document contains a comprehensive series of recommendations, encompassing every aspect of a rolling stock vehicle.

Section 2.8.4 on page 114 stipulates that: “radiators or their filters shall be designed so that airflow is not adversely reduced by the accumulation of dust and debris”.

The specific problem being: “Dust, pollen and seed heads can be drawn into cooling systems via the louvres or radiators causing clogging of them or their filters leading to overheating and equipment shut-down.”

The publication goes on to propose a potential fix: “One possible solution is to intermittently reverse blowers or change the fan blade pitch to clear any accumulation of debris or seed heads from the radiators.”

Flotec installing a variable pitch fan engine cooling upgrade to a fleet of trains.

This is where Flotec’s award-winning variable pitch fan technology comes in to play.

The role of the Flotec variable pitch fan is to eliminate a phenomenon known as ‘return to idle’ or ‘RTI’.

As indicated in the latest KTRv7 documentation, this engine issue typically occurs in warmer months when pollen and other contaminating debris are drawn into the engine cooling system, which can significantly slow the train down or worse, bring it grinding to a halt.

Inevitably, disruption to service occurs. This is detrimental to the UK rail network, which is critical in moving people and products safely and on time.

Flotec installing a variable pitch fan engine cooling upgrade to a fleet of trains.

Flotec’s ethos is to support train operators in reducing fleet downtime and improving performance.

The variable pitch fan and its accompanying system has been specifically designed and engineered to help keep DMU train fleets running to schedule and optimum efficiency.

More than just the fan.

Flotec’s complete engine cooling solution comprises of:

The Railtec branded MED2-HT EN 45545-2 fire safe hydrostatic rail hose. This unique hose can withstand temperatures up to 150 Degrees Celsius and is tested to a market leading 600,000 impulse cycles. The Railtec hose lasts three times longer than other product alternatives on the market.

An upgrade to a more sophisticated electronic fan control.

Replacing a fixed displacement pump with a more reliable variable displacement pump.

Installing a variable displacement pump (VDP) ensures that when cooling is not required, the pump automatically shuts down and only distributes oil around the system where necessary.

Flotec also advises overhauling hydrostatic reservoirs.

Neglecting the reservoirs can lead to component contamination and failure.

Flotec recommends using the Gates Blue Stripe EPDM coolant hose which, when used in conjunction with the accompanying PowerGrip clamps, has been proven to be reliable for over 750, 000 miles of engine use.

Flotec installing a variable pitch fan engine cooling upgrade to a fleet of trains.

The Variable Pitch Fan.

The variable pitch fan is unique in that the blades rotate on their own axis to change the pitch and reverse through the cross position; this guarantees the air will always be increased and in the optimum position to produce maximum air flow when in both cooling and cleaning modes.

Importantly, this technology is efficient in keeping pollen, contaminants, and other debris out of the engine cooling system.

Thinking safety.

Installing a hard-wired fan control system into the existing electronics of the train ensures that the ‘cleaning’ process is not engaged when the vehicle is either stationary or drawing into a station.

An additional benefit.

Installing a variable pitch fan reduces the frequency of needing to high-pressure wash the radiators which has been known to cause damage to the fins, resulting in regular and costly replacement.

The reduction in cleaning also reduces maintenance costs.

Flotec installing a variable pitch fan engine cooling upgrade to a fleet of trains.

A viable solution to a common fault.

Upgrading to the Flotec variable pitch fan and engine cooling system certainly solves the challenge raised by the recently released KTRv7 document.

Live on the UK rail network.

The Flotec engine cooling solution is tried, tested, reliable and live. A selection of operators currently benefitting from Flotec’s innovative approach to improving fleet efficiency include TfW, Northern and EMR.

Flotec installing a variable pitch fan engine cooling upgrade to a fleet of trains.


When considering that the Key Train Requirements document is published as a best procurement guide, it is prudent for operators to benefit from a technology which addresses section 2.8.4 of the latest copy.


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Notes to Editors:

Loughborough based Flotec Industrial Limited has been supplying hydraulic and pneumatic solutions to both rail and wider industries since 1995.

About Flotec Industrial Limited:

Flotec Industrial Limited is a trusted and leading supplier of hydraulic, pneumatic and pipeline products to industry since 1995. Based in Loughborough, UK, Flotec offers a wide range of engineering solutions for various sectors such as rail, automotive, agriculture, offshore and more. Flotec is committed to providing high-quality products and services that meet the needs and expectations of its customers.

For more information, please contact Barry Michael Aldridge FCIM CMktr, Head of Marketing for Flotec Industrial Limited.

Flotec Industrial Limited Pavilion Way, Loughborough LE11 5GW

Tel: 01509 230100

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