Smith Brothers & Webb Further Extends Global Presnece with Installations in India


Company’s renowned Britannia brand of automated washing system for trains “just the ticket” for rail operators

Smith Brothers & Webb, the UK manufacturer of the renowned Britannia brand of automated washing systems for trains, metros, buses and commercial vehicles, has beaten off global competition to expand its presence in India.

The company, based in Alcester, Warwickshire, where all of its world-beating products are made, has won contracts to provide two Britannia train washing systems for the monorail and the Metro systems in India’s largest city, Mumbai.

This success follows shortly after it had completed installation of two bespoke Britannia train washing facilities in Bangalore, one of India’s fastest-growing cities.
Once famed for its gardens, Bangalore is now better known as the “Silicon Valley of Asia”.

Both of these machines have been fitted with full water reclamation because the Bangalore Metro - colloquially known as ‘Namma Metro’ – is designed to be as eco-friendly as possible, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution.

Rainwater is harvested from viaducts on the Metro route and turned into drinking water and there are plans to harvest more rainwater from the roofs at the 140-acre depot at Peenya to be stored in tanks for future use.

The Mumbai Metro design incorporated mounting the whole train wash plant on an elevated structure. Specially designed to meet specific requirements short style side brushes were included, to wash the side body train profile.

The system comprised of pre wet arch, split cab wash for front & rear of trains, two pairs of application brushes (detergent), two pairs of water brushes (scrub), final rinse arch & RO arch.

The Mumbai Mono Rail design incorporated mounting the whole train wash plant on an elevated structure. It included multi-level side brushes to wash the complex mono rail style train body profile.

This system differed slightly comprising of pre wet arch, cab wash for front & rear of trains , two pairs of application brushes (detergent), two pairs of water brushes (scrub) & final rinse arch.

Andy Barracliffe, Director of Britannia Washing Systems, said: “We are delighted that Indian rail operators are choosing our world-renowned Britannia washing systems and have shown so much interest in our water reclamation systems.

“It is a testament to our proud heritage of engineering excellence and ingenuity that more customers from all over the world are turning to Smith Brothers & Webb for their train washing solutions.

“Each of the systems differ and demonstrate our ability to design bespoke solutions to meet our customer’s individual demands. 

“Customers know they can rely on Smith Brothers & Webb to keep their rolling stock pristine and clean with minimal effect on the environment.”

Each six carriage train that is washed by the Britannia systems in Bangalore will require around 1,000 litres of water on average, which will be reclaimed and recycled for horticulture. The oily residues will be separated off the water filtered first.

Smith Brothers & Webb won the contract in a global tender put out by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, a Joint Venture between the Indian government and the state government in Karnataka.

Paramjit Singh, General Manager of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, said: “A global tender was issued to supply the best-in-class automated train washing plants for both the depots and Smith Brothers & Webb, one of the oldest companies in the world manufacturing train/bus/commercial vehicle wash systems, was chosen against competitive bidding.”

The Metro line in Bangalore was designed to take the pressure off the heavily congested road system of the state capital, with the first stage being inaugurated in 2011, a second in 2014 and a third in May last year.

With a proud history of manufacturing stretching back more than 70 years, Smith Brothers & Webb designs and makes all of its Britannia washing systems in Alcester, Warwickshire. It exports around the world, including to the Far East, Europe, India and the Middle East.

Spending on rail infrastructure has increased in recent years around the world as countries invest in new high-speed rail links and also in mass rapid transport systems to meet the needs of commuters in ever-expanding city conurbations, such as Bangalore.

As well as designing bespoke washing systems for trains, Britannia manufactures a range of models that are suitable for washing trams, vans, coaches, buses, commercial vehicles and a range of municipal vehicles including refuse trucks and street cleaning machines.
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