Today, much emphasis is placed on the ‘passenger experience’. This is much more than just the time spent on the train, it includes wayfinding at the station, retail opportunities, simple ticketing, passenger information and the courtesy of staff. In short, everything involved in making the customer’s end-to-end journey as pleasant and simple as possible.
So asking passengers to alight, late at night, on a lonely platform that is dimly lit by a few orange ‘sodium’ lights, is now very much a no-no.
However, it’s not just a question of replacing those old lights with some new ones. Lighting has to be evenly distributed, not just a few pools, so that not only is the customer experience enhanced, so is the ability of CCTV to see into all the dark corners. It also has to be economical to run and easy to maintain.
So when East Midlands Trains approached Roch NDT Services to submit designs for the replacement of the existing under canopy high intensity discharge fixtures at Chesterfield station, the new design had to take into account the following essential attributes:
- Energy consumption reductions; » Future maintenance considerations and access to fittings;
- Improvement in overall lighting uniformity;
- Improvement of general lighting ambience for security/CCTV;
- Future lighting application adaptability;
- Viable fit-out procedure to avoid potential platform possessions and line blockages;
- Cost-effectiveness and value for money.
The remit was clear and concise and so Roch set about demonstrating how its Veko LED lighting solution would overcome each challenge, one by one. Not just was a very good lighting performance important, so was the simplicity of the fit out procedure, particularly in a live railway environment.
Lighting calculations were scrutinised in order to position the new lighting system away from the platform edge, which would immediately allow for future access and maintenance to be undertaken without the need for costly platform possessions and line blockages. So, the early designs provided solutions to several key elements of the remit, which entertained future long-term savings on maintenance.
Following on from this, the structural element had to be appraised, in particular, how was the system going to be attached to the super structure in its new position away from the platform edge?
After a detailed survey of both under-canopy structures and drawings produced for the final submission with 3D rendered designs, the project was approved.
The companies involved
Roch NDT Services provides structural testing and analysis of lighting columns in the rail, airport and street lighting sectors covering signals, platform columns, approach road and car park columns and high masts. With this close involvement with the safety and integrity of lighting columns, it was natural that the company also became interested in the positioning and performance of the lights themselves, hence the link with Veko. Veko Lightsystems has offices throughout Europe with installations in the rail sector, warehouses, manufacturing plants and sports facilities. In the UK, the quality of the brand is fast becoming recognised and installations for Network Rail are underway.
The simple reason for this is down to the quality, durability and the ease and speed of installation. For instance, one Veko Lightsystems installation team of two people can install up to 300 metres a day. From the client’s perspective, this means less interruption to services and cuts the inflated installation costs down massively.
Much of this is down to the simplicity and quality of the Veko system. It has containment built in as part of the profile manufacture, so any fit out task can be completed very quickly and there is no need for additional cable management systems, such as trunking, conduit or cable trays. It’s a one-fix solution and the Chesterfield station project highlighted this superbly.
Once the survey and proposal were complete and accepted, no additional site visits were needed and installation costs were vastly reduced. The fit out process for both station platforms to be fully commissioned and operational took just over one shift to complete as the Veko products, which were delivered to site with minimal packaging, were coded and pre-assembled. The positioning of the extruded-aluminium profiles meant that there was no need for any station or line closures.
As a result of the refit, the lights are now 2.5 metres from the platform edge and so easily maintainable. There has been an improvement in lighting uniformity and colour rendering, making passengers feel safe and allowing the CCTV to work at its best. To top it off, energy consumption is down by 75 per cent.
Passengers alighting at Chesterfield immediately noticed the improved quality of lighting, without realising that station security and CCTV operators welcomed the changes too.