Specialist manufacturer Jewers Doors has installed five of its latest Swift SEW automated sliding bi-folding doors at Hitachi Rail Europe’s (HRE) new £80m maintenance depot for the Intercity Express Programme (IEP)  trains at Doncaster, UK.

There has been a railway depot located on the Doncaster Carr site for more than 140 years. With a footprint of 11,000m² and access for rolling stock via five roads, the new facility will inspect, repair, clean, maintain, refuel, re-water and store Hitachi’s fleet of express trains, including Virgin Trains’  East Coast Class 800/801 and TransPennine Express Class 802 AT300 trains. Once in operation, the train maintenance centre will accommodate up to 25 five-car trains which will be serviced there every night.

Tilo Hoelzel, associate director of RPS Consulting Services, the lead designer for the new maintenance building, commented: “As well as securing the building, the practical issues of accommodating live overhead electrification lines (OLE) and rail tracks had to be taken into account.  These were extremely large doors with many factors including thermal and acoustic insulation, resistance to wind, operational safety and security to be incorporated into the design”.

Each door is 4m-wide and 6.6m-high, comprising four highly insulated, single piece composite panels, with two leaves folding to each side when open.  Each door panel also incorporated a 600mm² double glazed vision panel, which is argon filled and manufactured from toughened glass. The panels are seamlessly fitted with multi-wall rubber seals to all edges to reduce water, air and dust ingress.  An 850mm x 760mm cut out in the door allows an OLE cable to pass through the closed door. The cut out is lined with 9mm-thick safety matting tested to 30kVA to prevent bird entry along the cable and for additional safety, the door is then earthed back to the structure with suitably rated earth bonding braids.

The doors are operated by a recently developed high-power, centrally mounted SEW drive unit, which incorporates inverter control for a smooth start and stop and takes less than eight seconds to fully open.  Safety is ensured with full height pressure sensitive safety edges and photocell beams to create a safe zone around the door during operation.  An electro-mechanical lock within the motor automatically holds the door in the closed position while automatic solenoid floor bolts provide additional security and protect against high winds.

Hoelzel added: “Jewers are very experienced in the rail sector and we have established an extremely good relationship with them on previous projects.  We were therefore confident in Jewers’ approach to collaboration in the overall design and in the quality of their doors.”