A team from Frazer-Nash celebrated the successful launch of the Southend-on-Sea Pier’s new eco-friendly pier train this month, following six years of supporting Southend-on-Sea City Council to achieve its pier transport project objectives.
The battery-powered train, developed by Severn Lamb, was unveiled by their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, on 1 March. Named after the late Sir David Amess, MP, the two electric trains will replace the diesel trains in operation on the pier since 1986, with the second train set to be replaced this Summer.
Frazer-Nash Consultant, Sam Honeysett, who has been involved in the project throughout, said:
“It’s been amazing to support this project throughout its delivery, from the initial concept right up to and including the successful operational pier train launch. We first became involved in delivering technical advice and support to the then Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (now City Council) back in 2016, when we were asked to identify and assess a wide range of potential transport options for its iconic pier.
“We undertook a detailed study to provide a shortlist of feasible options that met the needs of the Council, the local community and visitors. We then facilitated a workshop to support the council in selecting a preferred option. Once this option had been approved by the Council, we provided a design brief which described the requirements that the new transport system would need to meet, including the need for it to comply with relevant rail safety legislation and to be environmentally sound.
“Through supporting the council’s engagement with suppliers, we were then involved in the appointment process that saw urban transport specialists, Severn Lamb, selected to design and develop the innovative, environmentally-friendly pier trains, and have acted as a customer friend throughout the manufacture and testing stages.”
The self-contained drive system produced by Severn Lamb does not require rail electrification, on-board power generation or overhead lines, and offers a sustainable drive system solution. Sam highlighted that the pier train is a first-of-a-kind in its genre in the UK, saying:
“While there have been demonstrators, we believe this is the first battery-powered train of this size in operation in Britain, and Severn Lamb has included a number of innovative features, including colour changing internal and external LED lighting and facilities to enable the train to be themed according to seasonal and special events. We believe the train will be helping people to enjoy their visit to Southend Pier for many years to come.”