HRVS on the track to success supplying truck engines for trains

Will Shiers
January 3, 2019


Commercial vehicle dealer group HRVS has diversified into the rail industry, and is supplying MAN D28 truck engines into trains.

HRVS group operations director Keith Sims (pictured) said: “With MAN’s market share being a bit challenging at times, we needed to look at other avenues, after all HRVS is a big beast to feed.”

Sims explains that he initially started talks with train component supplier LH Wabtec four years ago, and at the time was close to replacing ageing Rolls Royce Eagle train engines with MAN D28s. However, that project later fell through. 

“But then another opportunity came our way,” he said. “Fitting modern diesel engines into electric trains, to allow them to run on non-electrified lines. It was an easy project to resurrect, and is now fully functional.”

Sims explains that although the D28 is the perfect fit, both physically and in terms of power (657hp), there were still a number of challenges to overcome. One of these, he says, was the rail industry’s lack of experience with AdBlue.

“They were scared of the technology, but for us it was of course old hat, as we know everything there is to know about it,” he said. The engines are adapted, so they won’t go into limp-home mode if they run out of the AdBlue. “Another hurdle has been getting the engines to talk to the trains, but LH Wabtec is a real expert in this area,” he added.

The engines are fitted by Wabtec subsidiary Brush Traction in Loughborough, with HRVS’s remit in the project being the supply and modification of the engines, parts supply for the next 20 years, and additional technical help should it be needed.

“For us it has been a great business move, and has allowed us to use the skills of the people employed at the dealership, only in another avenue,” said Sims.

About the Author


Will Shiers

Will has been the editor of Commercial Motor magazine since 2011 and is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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