A depot in London couldn’t accommodate 10-car trains without blocking nearby access roads. Without major investment in either the trains or the infrastructure, the existing facilities would have a major impact on maintenance of units of this size.
Changing the layout of the depot or nearby roads would prove costly and disruptive. The proposal by our client, instead was to create a design allowing for a split and join solution. This split and join operation, unusually, would be carried out by the driver. The result would be the train splitting into manageable five car “half” units.
As part of this, handrails used at split ends needed to be insulated from the car body to eliminate the risk of excessive touch voltage between cars.