HomeCompany NewsA fresh approach to depot safety

A fresh approach to depot safety

Depot Control System commissioning – Siemens Ardwick Depot.

FirstClass Safety & Control, the Essex-based safety control system specialist, which was created following a management buyout of the safety control division of Beck & Pollitzer back in 2017, has been supplying safety control systems for over 20 years.

The company offers a number of products to the rail sector, including depot protection systems, depot control systems and locally operated points systems (LOPS), allowing FirstClass to provide a rail depot operator with a fully integrated safety system.

Developed as an industry-first in 2017, FirstClass’ RFID-based operator control panel allows users to log on and off using an RFID card, the same card that links to the depot security system and any other RFID-based system. The operator control panels can also now use pictorial menu screens, eliminating the need for ‘wordy’ on screen instructions and allowing translation into multiple languages at a fraction of the cost of other systems on the market.

RFID Operator Panel – GWR Exeter Depot.

Additional features of the FirstClass depot protection system that can be provided include points interlocking, Wi-Fi interlocks, OLE interlocks and high-level-gantry access controls, all to SIL 2 (safety integrity level 2) as standard.

FirstClass does not subcontract design or Installation. All of its depot protection and depot control systems are designed to the client’s specification, so they are 100% tailored solutions, not a standard product that has been tweaked.

Installations are backed up with unrivalled service support, available 24 hours a day with full on-site support, as well as back-office support for software and online diagnostics.

Looking to the future, FirstClass is excited to be developing rail safety systems that incorporate its knowledge of the petrochemical, marine and other safety-critical industries for applications such as hydrogen-fuelled trains, where TUV-approved functional safety engineers are qualified to assess the highest safety integrity levels for the required systems.

With a track record of installations over the past 20 years across the rail sector, from metro depots such as Blackpool Tram to mainline depots, including the Ilford Crossrail depot and the recently completed GWR Exeter Depot, FirstClass can support customers with any and all of their depot safety control system requirements.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com
SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST. A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series. Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.


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