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  • Writer's pictureBarry Michael Aldridge


Loughborough-based Flotec, a leading supplier of reliable hose and engineering solutions to rail, has been successful in significantly reducing instances of ‘diesel engine reverting to idle’ on EMR Angel Trains Class 158 Fleet.

East Midlands Railway (EMR) approached Flotec to support the organisation in its vision to create easier journeys for its passengers.

EMR Class 158 fleet have historically suffered with engines overheating and reverting to idle which is a common issue with the industry wider DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) trains whereby a combination of steep inclines and contaminants (such as leaves, debris and pollen) entering the system can catastrophically slow the engine down resulting in delays and in some cases, cancellations.

Flotec inspected a series of Perkins 400 and Cummins 350/400 train classes and designed an engineering solution consisting of upgrading and modifying the existing fan units to Flotec’s Variable Pitch Fan (VPF) innovation.

Flotec’s VPF is unique in its multi-directional rotation which is far more efficient in blocking contaminants from entering the system and efficiently maintaining radiator cooling.

Flotec also completed a hydrostatic hose overhaul, reservoir cleaning, fan control upgrade and variable displacement pump modification.

In total, Flotec supported EMR in overhauling thirty-two of its train fleets which has resulted in a more efficient service to EMR’s passengers, less down-time and measurable operational cost savings.


“We have a large Class 158 fleet which work our long-distance Regional services connecting cities such as Liverpool and Norwich. The routes are particularly challenging for the fleet, with steep gradients and stop start conditions. Our performance regime suffers particularly during summer months when the engines are working hard in hot ambient temperatures which result in delays and cancellations to our customers.

We approached Flotec to help improve our engine cooling efficiency and deliver improved reliability across the fleet. The VPF modification coupled with an improved radiator has significantly reduced our incidents where diesel engines revert to idle, attributed to engine cooling issues. We have seen improvement in performance, reducing delay minutes and cancellations; a benefit which our customers will see when travelling on our regional services.”

James Wale Head of Fleet Production

East Midlands Railway

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