A sophisticated depot personnel protection system is being installed at a brand new €65-million depot in Ireland. Also, an SIL1 EU safety-compliant system from Zonegreen Limited was specified for the new Eurostar depot in east London, whilst two Zonegreen systems are destined for the Dubai Metro.

Protecting personnel working in new rail depots

Ireland’s rail network operator Iarnrod Eireann has been benefiting from the largest ever investment in new trains in Irish railway history. More than €500 million is being spent on InterCity and commuter rolling stock from CAF of Spain and Mitsui of Japan and the associated maintenance facilities.

The new Laois Traincare Depot at Portlaoise has been constructed on a 15-hectare site near the Dublin-Cork main line. Through a Spanish-Portuguese consortium’s involvement in the project, Zonegreen won the order for the design and supply of a SMARTTM Depot Personnel Protection System via its Portuguese agent Neopul.

As the leading supplier of such equipment, Zonegreen was invited by a number of prospective bidders for the main Portlaoise contract to quote for a state-of the-art protection system,” reveals director Business Development Director Richard Carr, . “Iarnrod Eireann also recognised the merits of our system and we ultimately secured a deal with the successful bidder. Our heavy-handling business is also supplying a 5.5-tonne engine-removal table for Portlaoise.

Achieving the SIL1 safety standard.

Zonegreen is no stranger to high-profile projects at home and abroad. The company has recently been busy commissioning the system it designed and manufactured for the new Eurostar depot at Temple Mills, East London, which opened in November 2007. The company believes this to be the most advanced DPPS system installed in the UK.

It was an essential requirement for this international project that the DPPS for Temple Mills would comply with EU safety standard SIL1 (Safety Integrity Level),” Richard points out. “The Depot Personnel Protection system was independently assessed and approved for this purpose by Lloyd’s Register Rail. We also designed the DPPS to integrate successfully with the refined signalling system at Temple Mills.

Opportunities in the Middle East

The Dubai Metro, like Dubai itself, is expanding rapidly and two depots near the extremities of the system’s Red Line are being equipped. Operating with driverless trains, the metro has been designed to the latest technological standards and the specifications for depot equipment reflected this approach. Zonegreen’s SMARTTM Depot Personnel Protection System offered the desired capabilities.

“This order came to us through Design and Projects International,” explains Richard. “The first system, for Jebel Ali depot, has just been shipped for third-party installation. It will be commissioned in early 2008. The second DPPS is for Rashidiya depot and we expect that to be commissioned a few months later. We see further opportunities in the Middle East for both the technology and heavy-handling sides of Mechan.

SMART Depot Personnel Protection Systems have also been chosen for Siemens’ Desiro train depots around the UK and for two new Hitachi train depots in Kent.