FirstClass Safety & Control are committed to make railway depots safer, introducing groundbreaking safety control systems and procedures to protect the depot workforce at the workface.

We offer two solutions for Rail Depot Safety – our Depot Control System (DCS) and our Depot Protection System (DPS). The Depot Control System (DCS) and Depot Protection System (DPS) are integrated safety systems suitable for any depot looking for a new system or to upgrade older systems. The systems draw upon proven off -the-shelf hardware and software both of which come highly recommended within the industry and offer extremely flexible, scalable, and reliable systems.

A FirstClass Depot Control System

The FirstClass Safety Depot Control System (DCS) is an innovative depot control solution which assists depot operators by reducing workload and increasing safety and efficiency within the depot or train facility. The operator can set multiple routes within the depot in just a few seconds, increasing efficiency of train movements. This is particularly important in areas where timescales are a key performance indicator. An efficient depot saves costs without any compromise to operational safety. Our DCS safety system is a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional Locally Operated Points System (LOPS) or depot points control systems. Working with approved signalling contractors and using proven aspects, route indicators, points machines, train detection methods and SIL2 rated PLC hardware/software, we have developed a complete system to suit any depot where safety is key for train movements

Typical DCS Interfaces

  • SCADA with flexible operator design.
  • Depot protection interlocking.
  • Points interlocking.
  • Remote diagnostics.
  • Route Indicators.
  • NR Interlocking.
  • RFID Authorisation for points operation
    or any other safety critical operations.
  • 3P Signalling interface.

Our combined knowledge and experience have enabled us to develop a system that allows train movements in and around the train facility quicker and easier. This is already the case at many UK train facilities where our systems have been deployed, a single operator is able to control even the most complex depot or train facility, with the confidence that the system is failsafe and user friendly.

FirstClass Safety & Control has developed a bespoke technical interface that enables the system to be integrated with all UK based mainline interlockings. The FirstClass Safety Depot Control System has become the system of choice for many of the UK operators. Whatever the facility be it a train depot, maintenance workshop, siding, stabling, port or intermodal terminal, FirstClass Safety & Control has a control solution that provides maximum flexibility, dependability, and cost savings.

Add further protection with a FirstClass Depot Protection System

FirstClass Safety & Control’s Depot Protection System (DPS) provides the highest standards of safety for staff working in rail maintenance depots. Designed to provide the safest and most efficient method of controlling depot train movements, critical in today’s modern maintenance facilities. An established market leading product, our DPS is now installed in several UK train care depots and at depots worldwide.

The system is certified to meet the hardware safety integrity requirements of SIL2 and is also compliant with all current railway standards. The FirstClass DPS is a proven “off -the-shelf” product providing excellent reliability and functionality, which can be configured to the client’s precise requirements

DPS System features

  • Distributed I/O with a Fault Tolerant PLC Control System to a SIL2 Safety Standard.
  • Allen Bradley Control / Logix, CompactLogix and Flex I/O Remote Input Output: Reliable, high-quality hardware.
  • Software is 100 per cent configurable making integration and flexibility options endless.
  • Expandable systems which can be remotely managed.
  • 3rd party equipment can be easily integrated: RFID / GPS Vehicle Tracking, Site Access Control, Managing Key Equipment, etc.

Typical DPS Interfaces

  • Interactive log on / off technology – RFID and/or pictorial.
  • Movement Beacon / sounder control.
  • OLE Status beacons
  • Aspect control for inbound / outbound movements.
  • Automatic De-Railers for protecting workforce.
  • Treadle Switches.
  • Diesel Exhaust Extract Monitoring systems.
  • WIGWAG signals.
  • Points Interlocking.
  • High level gantry access control and protective bladders.
  • Access control/CCTV security systems.
  • OLE isolators.
  • Automatic Bollards.
  • Electric shunters.
  • Remote Diagnostics.
  • Pictorial Screens to eliminate any multilanguage confusion.
  • SPAD alarms, turntable, cranes, jacks, wheel lathes, pit lighting interlocks.

FirstClass Safety & Control also offer our combined Depot Protection System/Depot Control System which will further eliminate uncertainty by removing interfaces between  personnel safety and train movements as our system now fully integrates both systems to provide one fully functional, fully integrated Rail Depot Safety System (RDSS).

Our Global Pedigree

Staff working for Etihad Rail will benefit from international best practice in health and safety, thanks to innovative depot protection technology from FirstClass Safety & Control.

Etihad Rail is the national rail network of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Stage One, a 264-kilometre line between Shah/ Habshan and Ruwais, entered service in January 2016. Stage Two, currently under construction, will extend the line in both directions by a further 605 kilometers, taking it from Ghuweifat, on the border with Saudi Arabia, to Fujairah on the east coast.

As part of the Stage Two development, a new operations and maintenance facility is under construction at Al Faya by 2F1JV, a joint venture company consisting of Vinci Construction France and Archirodon Construction (Overseas Company Ltd). The Al Faya facility will be the largest and most significant facility on the UAE’s National Rail Network. It will be responsible for warehousing, installations, operations, and the maintenance of locomotives and wagons. The facility will also include an administrative building to control the operations of the whole network.

We have been commissioned to design, manufacture and install our flagship Depot Protection System (DPS) at the Operations and Maintenance facility in Al Faya, Abu Dhabi.

FirstClass Safety & Control director, Mark Meyrick, said:

‘We are delighted to bring our extensive knowledge and experience in designing safety systems for rail depots to the Middle East market. Our technology gives depots complete confidence that people and equipment are always protected from danger, whilst improving efficiency. The DPS for Al Fayawill be designed to meet the extreme climatic conditions experienced in Abu Dhabi without compromising the SIL2 level of safety that comes as standard with a FirstClass Safety & Control system.’

Continuing, Meyrick said

‘This contract award comes about following an intensive twelve-month period providing design support to GESTE Engineering, based in Switzerland, who undertook the high-level depot design work on behalf of 2F1JV. This level of commitment demonstrates our ethos of working in partnership with our clients and working flexibly to design a system that the client wants.’

A FirstClass Service

All of the technical capabilities of FirstClass are backed up with unrivalled service support, available 24 hours a day with full on-site support, as well as back-office support for software and online diagnostics.

Looking to the future FirstClass are excited to be developing Rail Safety Systems that incorporate their knowledge of the Petro-Chemical and Marine sectors, for applications such as Hydrogen fuelled trains, where the TUV Functional Safety Engineer certification FirstClass hold is a pre-requisite for system design and verification.

We are also supporting the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (NCATI) with the donation of a DPS demonstrator for the Birmingham campus and free lectures and support for the students. Director, MarkMeyrick said:

‘Through the use of modern control technology, these lectures and demonstration equipment are set to improve the trainee’s knowledge and experience of future depot design and operation, and we’re excited to be part of the journey.’

With a track record of installations over the past 20 years across the rail sector, from metro depots such as Blackpool Tram to mainline depots, including the Ilford Crossrail depot and the recently completed GWR Exeter Depot, FirstClass can support you with any depot safety control system requirements.