Having worked on numerous orders for the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP), we were in a perfect position to introduce our partner firm, Blaschke, when an innovative approach to exhaust extraction was required at depots welcoming the project’s new trains.
The Hitachi Class 800/801s that are being introduced on the Great Western and East Coast mainlines have electric and diesel engines. This means the depots set to maintain them need to remove hazardous fumes to ensure a clean and healthy work environment.
Blaschke recommended its automatic stationary RailPoint system for North Pole in London, which is being upgraded as part of the IEP and new facilities at Stoke Gifford in Bristol and Doncaster. This cost-effective, efficient extraction solution is particularly suitable for trains serviced in specific configurations, allowing hoods to be placed over the external exhaust stacks of up to six railcars.
Working with main contractors in each location, Blaschke commenced installation in 2014 and has, so far, handed over systems at North Pole and Stoke Gifford, after successful testing. Doncaster will follow suit as soon as the facility is ready.
Exhaust extraction is now running on two and four tracks respectively in these modern facilities, enabling trains with between five and ten carriages to be serviced, whilst all diesel fumes are captured.
Hitachi staff have been trained to operate the equipment and enable it to interact with the depot protection systems. Workers have welcomed the installations, as they allow engines to be run in a closed hall to charge the vehicle’s batteries. Thanks to Blaschke, the air inside remains clean and the health of staff is unaffected.