TBM is top of Class 185

03 December 2018

A lavish black-tie event staged by Siemens to recognise rail suppliers saw TBM lift a prestigious ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award for work on the Class 185 refurbishment project at York. 

The evening dinner, speeches and awards ceremony followed a Siemens Supplier Day that set out to open up new opportunities for rail-related SMEs.


There is a desire to work closely with UK suppliers, to enable them to support ongoing and future rail projects controlled by Siemens.

Collaboration and developing long-lasting partnerships with local suppliers is key to Siemens. Continuity of supply and establishing trust and understanding benefits everyone in the supply chain.

TBM’s partnership with Siemens during the Class 185 project presented a number of challenges. As different requirements cropped up, TBM was able to call on its vast expertise and supporting organisations to offer solutions to a range of issues.

From grab poles to USB power sockets, ceiling and dado panels to powder-coated table legs, TBM sourced and supplied a variety of components to help Siemens complete essential upgrades to its Class 185 fleet.

Work was completed within a nine-day turnaround framework to help keep vehicles available for passenger service.


Neil Smith, TBM director, was delighted to be recognised. He said: “Working with Siemens allows us to showcase the range of products and services we can offer the major railway companies.

“Upgrading the Class 185 involved many disciplines, and we must acknowledge the dedication of TBM’s Martin Cowley who supported the Siemens project team every step of the way.

“He went above and beyond to ensure that all aspects of the refurbishment were completed on time and on budget.

“Collaboration with our partners is also essential to ensure that deadlines are met. Both Sanitaryware Supplies and Omnikote continue to support TBM on projects up and down the country.

“The award is fantastic news for everyone at TBM. It shows how hard work, flexibility and a desire to rise to any challenge can pay off.

“The ongoing investment in UK railways is exciting, and we look forward to bringing an expanded range of products and services to the railway sector over the next few years.”

The successful completion of the Class 185 upgrade means that vehicles return to active duty on time as passenger demand for high-quality services continues to rise.  


Nicola Phillips from Siemens, said: “TBM have worked tirelessly to support and deliver on the 185 project. 

“I commend them on their approach and commitment to us and in turn our customer. Together it’s been a win-win outcome!”

TBM has supported Siemens at several UK rail depots, offering cleaning, servicing and engineering solutions to multiple train fleets.

Other contracts include work on Class 360 vehicles at Ilford, plus a recent overhaul of toilet tanks for a number of fleets supported by Siemens.  

For more information about how TBM can support your fleet please call 0844 800 8577 or email [email protected] to find out more about the services on offer.

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