Workers at a new £150 million train depot in Reading are among the safest in the UK, thanks to innovative technology supplied by Sheffield’s Zonegreen. The rail safety specialist has installed its SMART Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) at the Berkshire facility to control the movement of trains and help safeguard staff.

SMART DPPS allows vehicles at Reading to be moved in and out of maintenance areas quickly and efficiently whilst protecting employees working in the vicinity. It will help ensure the depot has enough capacity to service current diesel trains and the electric vehicles set to replace the Great Western Mainline fleet from 2017.

Tony Hague, Zonegreen’s managing director, said: "Our depot protection system is renowned throughout the rail industry for its quality and proven reliability. We worked closely with the team at Reading to integrate it into this highly complex development and everyone involved is pleased with how well it is performing.

"Future upgrades were a key consideration throughout the design and construction phase and we are confident our technology will continue to keep the depot’s staff safe for many years to come."

The new maintenance depot is part of an £895 million redevelopment programme at Reading station, which is expected to be complete by 2015. The old depot is being demolished to make way for a flyover that will remove the existing bottleneck for freight and passenger traffic in the Reading area of the Great Western Mainline.

Zonegreen’s SMART DPPS protects staff and infrastructure at some of the largest and most sophisticated maintenance facilities in the world. It is the most advanced, reliable and tested product of its type and can be combined with the firm’s Depot Manager software to offer a complete depot overview and a fully traceable system.