Bicester sees a UK rail first with the new Chiltern Railways Bicester Village Station being the first rail link between a major British city and London in over 100 years. The need for a new station arose from congestion issues surrounding Bicesters busy retail outlet, roads and close proximity to the capital. The construction of the station caters for the increase of visitors and opens up further employment opportunities in London. With extensive running times suited to the retail outlet and working hours, the station needed a lighting column solution that suited both the car park and platforms. Working with Fourway Communications and main contractor the Buckingham Group, Abacus supplied the optimal solution in the form of our proven Raise and Lower columns.
The Abacus Raise and Lower column has been used on platforms across the UK for over 40 years and its winning maintenance capabilities are ideal in a busy rail setting. As a key stop, station downtime must be kept to a minimum with safety, consistent operation and customer satisfaction at the fore. Using a counterbalance, these base-hinged columns can be safely lowered to ground level where maintenance can be undertaken without the need for working at height. The need for extensive planning and co-ordination when working with limited platform space is also greatly reduced, along with the requirement for expensive machine hire.
Use of the same column site-wide keeps maintenance simple and consistent, with the same counterbalance being used for both the car park and station. This base-hinged design allows for lowering in a set direction for maintenance to take place in the safest area with the best use of space. Not only are the financial and time aspects kept to a minimum, but also health and safety risks are decreased ensuring Network Rail’s focus on safety is in mind throughout. A heavier duty raise and lover column was chosen for this project due to the increased stability and headload demands, with the columns being required to hold PA and CCTV equipment in addition to the lighting.
This heavier duty column gives a higher level of stability, providing minimum deflection to ensure better quality CCTV recording, which is imperative on British railways.
Bicester Village Station was one of three stations upgraded by Abacus Lighting and Fourway Communications. Islip New Station and Oxford Station are next in line to benefit from the installation of Abacus’ durable solutions as we continue to meet the needs of the rail industry.