Maintenance of train stock is important in ensuring the successful running of a railway and having sufficient space to undertake efficient maintenance is vital. Having previously worked on train care maintenance depots such as Reading Depot, Abacus was brought on board to further these successes on other maintenance depots with main contractor VolkerFitzpatrick.
VolkerFitzpatrick signed a contract with Siemens to build two new train maintenance depots as part of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project; these depots will cater for all trains operated on London’s Thameslink commuter network. This contract involved the design and build of depots at Hornsey in London and Three Bridges in Crawley, to be undertaken simultaneously over a three year period. Work on both depots commenced at the same time, with Abacus working to a 12 month programme for the project installation. With a set timeframe and work being carried out around other civil works on site, planning and organisation was crucial, as was a positive working relationship with VolkerFitzpatrick and Baileys P.M.
Abacus Raise and Lower columns were installed as part of a package with NG Bailey at both the Hornsey and Three Bridges depots, with each site home to roughly 500 rail approved 4 metre columns. The Raise and Lower base-hinged design is an ideal solution for rail applications and trackside placement as it allows for maintenance to be undertaken at ground level, without interference to day-to-day operations at the depot. Both time and costs of installation and maintenance are reduced with the base-hinged column, as the design enables the column to be installed in sections then raised complete with the head load into place. This simple installation helps to reduce the requirement for extra installation staff or machinery, and alleviates concerns and risks surrounding overhead gantries at the depot.
With the use of a third rail system at Three Bridges, potential touch issues had to be addressed. Abacus supplied neoprene spigots to the column tops, reducing potential risks and further ensuring on-site safety.
Installation at both depots is now complete, with operations at Hornsey and Three Bridges up and running with a column solution designed to work around the busy demands of a rail maintenance depot.