National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) has been opened following the installation of Jewers’ Swift-SEW high-speed, automatic bi-folding doors at workshops at the Birmingham and Doncaster campuses in the UK.

NCHSR brings all skills development for the rail industry into one college based over two sites to address the national shortage of British students with world class skills that will be required when the high-speed rail project commences construction.

The college will provide a real work environment that is geared towards informing and preparing students new to the industry and existing workforce with the highly technical engineering skills required to build, operate and maintain HS2 and future rail projects.

Designed by Bond Bryan Architects, both campuses include large-scale workshop areas that will incorporate machinery and scale model areas as well as the capacity for full size power cars and carriages.

Access for rolling stock is by rail tracks, which extend from the external to the internal workshop areas, and the openings are secured by the Swift-SEW-(FG) doors.  There are two 5m wide by 5m high doors at Doncaster and a single 4m wide by 6m high door at Birmingham.

The Swift-SEW door is the latest generation folding door from Jewers and is specifically designed for the rail industry.  Each door comprises four leaves, with two leaves folding to each side on the inside of the building and gliding smoothly across the rail tracks.

Leaves are operated by a powerful centrally mounted SEW drive unit and the control system incorporates inverter control for smooth start and stop and takes less than 10 seconds to open the door fully. Safety is ensured with full height pressure sensitive safety edges, a pair of photocell beams to create a safe zone around the door and internal traffic lights.

Jon Rigby, aAssociate at Bond Bryan Architects commented: “With regards to the doors specifically, we required large bi-folding doors between the internal and external training workshops.  They needed to be large enough for a commercial power car to fit through and also needed to deal with the rail tracks, hence the Swift-SEW door was the ideal solution.”

Both campus buildings, including the workshops, are fully glazed to provide high levels of natural light and allow maximum visibility both inside and out so external passers-by can engage with the building and the activities within.  The workshop doors at both sites are also fully glazed to maintain this concept and ensure conformity with the overall style of the building.

Rigby added: “We have used Jewers Doors on several projects recently which require bespoke solutions, namely the Design Prototype & Testing Centre (DPTC), where a similar glazed product was installed.

“Current projects requiring Jewers’ Kingfisher sliding doors are under construction for the Laboratory for Verification and Validation (LVV) and the Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research Centre (ICAIR), all of which are for University of Sheffield. We are therefore familiar with the expertise Jewers Doors could bring to the table and were confident that their products would be suitable for the job.”