Rail depots being built for the government’s flagship Intercity Express Programme (IEP) will benefit from cutting-edge safety systems, courtesy of Sheffield-based Zonegreen.

The rail safety specialist’s new generation SMART depot personnel protection
system (DPPS™) has been specified at all four new IEP depots across the UK.

Maintenance facilities in London, Stoke Gifford, Swansea, and Doncaster, will be among the first to use Zonegreen’s latest version of DPPS, launched earlier this year. It is tailored to each depot’s layout and controls vehicle movements, protecting staff and infrastructure, and improving efficiency.

DPPS is already in place at Maliphant, Swansea and the North Pole depot in London. Zonegreen’s engineers are currently installing the system at Stoke Gifford, near Bristol, while designs are being finalised for Doncaster. The depots are scheduled to open in 2016, and will serve the new electric and bi-mode Hitachi trains to be introduced on the Great Western and East Coast Mainlines, as part of the Department for Transport’s upgrades.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: "Although the four DPPS installations will look and feel similar, they are configured specifically to meet the needs of each IEP depot. Our improved system is expandable and easy to modify, enabling users to access the latest developments in personnel safety and integrate it in new areas of the maintenance facility. It also delivers increased durability and reduced power consumption."

Designed with export in mind, the next generation DPPS offers intuitive functionality, based on a four button controller and a graphical interface that can be programmed in any language. It is operated by personal datakeys and combines powered derailers, road end control panels, train detection equipment and warning signals.

Ross Cunningham, head of property and construction for Hitachi, added: "Delivering a safe working environment for employees across all of our train maintenance centres is a top priority for Hitachi Rail and Zonegreen’s systems help us put safety first. Innovation is at the core of how we work and this technology brings to life one of our most fundamental company values."