Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Zonegreen updates safety at historic rail depot

Rail safety specialists at Sheffield-based Zonegreen have installed the latest version of their flagship depot protection system at one of the first facilities to ever invest in the technology.

Staff at Brighton’s Lovers Walk Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot are now using RFID tags, instead of padlocks, to protect against train movements.

A total of 11 roads at the historic East Sussex depot are equipped with Zonegreen’s state-of-the-art Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS). It uses radio frequency-controlled road end panels to allow staff to activate Network Rail approved derailers, preventing vehicle movements in the areas they are working. The firm has also updated warning beacons and klaxons with long-life LED technology.

Brighton is the second in a series of DPPS installations Zonegreen is carrying out for depot operators, Govia Thameslink Railway, to replace obsolete protective technology. The system was first installed at the facility in 2005, as part of a series of updates undertaken at the time.

The new, dynamic version of DPPS is futureproofed with modern electronics and offers greater functionality than its predecessor, along with remote diagnostics and reduced cabling, making it easier to set up and more resilient. Its innovative software design allows for depot upgrades, whilst diagnostics features expand the lifespan of the product.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: “We are continually developing DPPS and the system has come a long way since it was first installed at Lovers Walk 17 years ago. The latest version is easier to use, modify, expand and maintain, giving GTR far greater flexibility in how they develop operations at the depot. Feedback from staff has been unanimously positive and we are confident they will see improved safety and efficiency for years to come.”

The full DPPS (hardware and software) has been independently certified to meet the performance requirements of SIL 2 – a reliability assessment of the relative risk reduction provided by a safety system. It is being used in Brighton in conjunction with Zonegreen’s Depot Manager supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, which provides a visual overview, records all aspects of depot protection and depicts the status of interlocked plant and equipment.

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