Unipart Rail: Value through Innovation

Innovation for innovation’s sake is not a good position to take. It’s critical that innovation delivers value, helping the railways to improve and deliver a better service to operators and passengers. Our value in innovation is added though:

  • Increasing safety
  • Optimising cost
  • Reducing risk
  • Improving performance
  • Incorporating digital solutions
  • Increasing corporate responsibility

At Unipart Rail we carefully assess both our own innovations, and those of the innovators we partner with, to ensure that there are many good reasons to make the change. This article takes a look at some of our innovations – many of which will be at Rail Live in June. Come along to the show and see them for yourself.


Park Signalling has developed a Digital Block Controller to allow a section of single line railway to be controlled without the need for end-to-end cabling or on-board equipment. The product shares many of the same operational and safety concepts of traditional electric key token machines, which have been in operation on railways around the world for many years.

It is designed to communicate digitally (optionally wirelessly) through IP-based systems, and include provision for TPWS and section signal release.

  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, incorporating digital solutions

MT04S Technician’s Terminal

The new MT04S Technician’s Terminal has recently achieved Network Rail acceptance, and provides the means of applying and removing technician controls, such as to control the stop/start interlockings, track circuit occupancy, route barring, aspect/points disconnection/disablement and temporary approach control. The terminal can display data link telegram contents and panel requests. It provides additional functionality over the original terminal, such as built-in event analysis and the labelling of trackside functional module input/outputs when monitoring. This is far easier to use than with the original terminal.

  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, optimising cost, incorporating digital solutions

rail innovations


Another piece of clever innovation from Park Signalling is the REMITdetect system to monitor and report missing and corrupt telegrams. The system provides not only a continuous count of missing telegrams but also a count for individual telegram addresses which is particularly helpful in diagnosing the location of specific data link faults.

  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, optimising cost, incorporating digital solutions

Power Products

Over recent years, the requirement for signalling power has evolved, with the introduction of Class II and the Functional Supply Point – the FSP. To support this evolution, we have developed a complete range of signalling power products, which includes applications for new installations through to legacy upgrades and SIN 119, positioning us as a single source partner for all signalling power requirements.

Rail Power Products

Our acquisition of Samuel James Engineering also extended our capabilities throughout the power supply sector, now giving us end-to-end power management solutions for the railway. The full range of products now covers:

  • Functional Supply Points – FSP01/02, FSP03 and FSP04
  • Terminal and earth continuity boxes
  • Transformers, enclosures & pedestals
  • Earthing products
  • Cable products
  • PowerU annex
  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, increasing safety, optimising cost

Aqueous Guard

When protecting the exterior and interior hard surfaces of trains there is no room for compromise. That’s why train operators and maintainers are using Aqueous Guard, an innovative ceramic clear-coat that is designed to protect surfaces from dirt, grime and graffiti. Trains spend less time being cleaned and more time in traffic.

  • Values: improving performance, optimising cost


The range of on-track lifting and handling equipment from our partner, McCulloch, means that sleepers, rail panels and rail lengths can be quickly and safely lifted into position with fewer operatives, greater accuracy and much more quickly than through more manual methods.

  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, increasing safety, optimising cost, increasing corporate responsibility


The Unipart Rail TrackPan system is designed and engineered to protect the environment from contamination caused by spillage and leaks on the rail network. It significantly reduces the risk of costly clean-up and regulatory fines.

The TrackPan collector system is modular and fits into existing track without the need to lift or modify the track.

  • Values: improving performance, optimising cost, increasing corporate responsibility


Wheelset CarriersThe conventional method of stacking train bogies is to have each bogie positioned on top of another bogie. This means the wheels cannot be regularly turned – this could lead to brinelling of the bearings, ultimate failure and expensive replacement. The Ferrartis solution consists of a base frame and intermediate levels resulting in a dynamic stacking system which is 3 units high, to provide storage capacity for a total of 27 tons, and allowing the wheels to be mounted on custom-made Ferralon 2TX rollers so that the wheels can be rotated at regular intervals during the storage period. The design of the stacking frame is adaptable to a range of wheelbase dimensions and can be adapted to be used by different bogie manufacturers and maintenance organisations.

  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, optimising cost


Oilaway from Unipart Rail provides a solution to streamline the recovery, recycling and replenishment of oil to and from heavy-duty powertrain components. The OilAway QuickDrain and Refill Systems provide an automated and safer end-to-end, oil drain, storage and replenishment process to support maintenance operations, thereby reducing costs. Savings can be generated through reduced cleaning and labour costs, improved service times and enhanced train performance and longevity.

  • Values: improving performance, reducing risk, optimising cost, increasing corporate responsibility

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