Sheffield-based rail safety specialist, Zonegreen, is to supply its flagship technology to Metro operator, Nexus’, £8.4 million training facility, being constructed in South Shields.

The firm has signed a contract with main contractors, Galliford Try, to install its Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) in the new state-of-the-art rail skills complex.

Nexus Tyne and Wear Metro Maintenance and Renewals Centre is being built on the site of the original South Shields station to deliver a wide range of infrastructure and operations training to the 1,000 plus members of staff who work on the region’s light rail network.

The skills centre will include a two-road maintenance shed that is to be protected by Zonegreen’s system. DPPS will guarantee the safety of personnel by restricting vehicle movements, via the installation of Network Rail approved derailers. Its advanced interlocking technology, which is being applied to gantry gates, will also ensure high level areas cannot be accessed whilst the overhead line is live.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: ‘We are thrilled to begin a relationship with Nexus at such an exciting time. Not only is the firm seeing its hi-tech training facility take shape, but it will also be introducing a new £500 million fleet to the Tyne and Wear Metro by the end of 2021.

‘This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our technology to the maintenance staff of the future and for them to become familiar with the market-leading protection system, before experiencing it for real in a depot.’

Zonegreen’s DPPS is a tried and tested, standard product that can be configured to the unique needs of each maintenance facility. It uses intelligent distributed technology to ensure it is not subject to a single point of failure, advanced software to reduce cabling and electronic components offering far greater resilience than traditional protection systems.

For more information about DPPS and Zonegreen’s wide range of rail safety technology, telephone (0114) 230 0822 or visit www.zonegreen.co.uk