Home General Interest Ardwick depot safety enhanced as it prepares for new fleet

Ardwick depot safety enhanced as it prepares for new fleet

Ardwick depot in Manchester is preparing for a £500 million new fleet of trains, set to replace the much-maligned Pacers.

As part of the necessary upgrades, Sheffield rail safety specialist Zonegreen is installing its Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS®) onto a new four-road stabling facility being built at the Siemens’ depot, where at least 16 vehicles will be housed as part of Arriva Trains North’s new strategy.

Zonegreen is not new to Ardwick – its technology has protected staff there since the maintenance depot and sidings were constructed in 2006, using the latest technology to automate safety procedures and remove the margin for human error. Following the recent modifications, undertaken by main contractor, Spencer Group, Zonegreen’s New Generation system has been integrated with the existing infrastructure to provide a safe working environment.  

Staff working on the new stabling roads are protected via a signalling interface, which prevents routes being set if personnel are logged on to the DPPS. Train movements can only be activated when no one is working on an individual road or on to the existing fuel road that is used to access the new installation. Once a route has been set, post-mounted beacons are activated to warn people of a potential vehicle movement and staff are no longer permitted to log on.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: “The new stabling facility at Ardwick has allowed us to demonstrate just how adaptable DPPS is to the changing needs of rail depots. Our New Generation system has been designed to suit the new layout, allowing us to maintain the safest working environment possible, whilst giving Siemens the flexibility and confidence to move vehicles around efficiently.”

Zonegreen has also installed a new Depot Manager PC in Ardwick’s control room. It displays the status of DPPS, including the signalling slotting system and provides the names of all personnel logged onto the sidings roads.

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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