With the Great Western Railway’s (GWR) project to enhance its services and provide the first HS2 Deliverable, Penzance Long Rock Depot recently underwent a hugely complex redevelopment worth £20million. The project saw Orton Group awarded the £5million contract in collaboration with one of its biggest clients Spencer Group, to provide its services as part of the construction of the new state-of-the-art Train Care Depot and the comprehensive refurbishment of an existing shed which was incorporated in Spencer Group’s innovative envelope and cantilever steelwork design.
The project is the biggest that Orton Group has completed in its 26-year history and the most complex, with the acceleration of the project meaning it had to deliver its services 17 weeks early to meet the project’s timescales and those of GWR, Westminster and Transport for London. As a result, Orton Group had to identify innovations within the project and work closely with main contractors to design and deliver on time-saving and quality-assuring methods to speed up the process.
Bringing in all of Orton Group’s divisions – Electrical, Mechanical and Maintenance – the project required over 70 of Orton’s staff to deliver the project. The project required a large amount of Orton’s operatives to work extensively away from home for the length of the project, with the team involved with the removals of existing redundant electrical and mechanical installations, as well as the design team working on innovative products to meet the project, specification and limitations on installation times and environmental conditions. All of this, whilst ensuring adherence to extremely stringent health and safety, environmental, rail and government legislation regulations.
Some of the services Orton Group provided over the 18 months included design, development, installation and testing.
The project consisted of four core elements:
The electrical and mechanical works were 18-month, challenging and hugely technical, consisting of services including:
During the design development, considerations had to be given to a range of environmental, BREEAM, depot and Network Rail specific requirements for the project’s lighting installation. Strict adherence also had to be achieved for Fire Ratings, IP Ratings, Corrosion Resistance, Escape Routes, Oil / Fuel / Lubrication Resistance, 5G NR Compliance, and much more. All light fittings had to be specifically-manufactured to meet various legislative requirements and corrosion resistance due to the nature of the environment, as well as rounded lighting profiles to pit lighting due to space restrictions, and DALI Digital Addressable Lighting Controls Interfaced with the depot protection systems.
It also saw the coordination with a number of other depot services, which also posed restrictive challenges to installations such as:
The project’s success was achieved through:
All lighting works had to operate in conjunction with other linked systems, including:
To work alongside existing facilities at the depot and to link to new services installed by the Orton Group team including electrical and lighting works, it was also heavily involved in mechanical works which saw it specified to undertake the complete refurbishment (and upgrading of):
Despite the sheer size and scope of the project, Penzance Long Rock Depot remained fully operational throughout the duration of the 18-month project term, with contractors and staff on site having to work around the depot to ensure no pre-approved disruption to not only the public, but to staff, local residents and businesses.
Careful consideration had to be given to the overall project’s impact on the coastal location. As part of the Considerate Contractors scheme and various other legislative requirements, Orton Group designed and created innovative systems including specification of marine environment-approved and aluminium fittings and products. This not only provides protection against rust and corrosion, but it also considers the whole life-cycle of the depot, with the placement of such products and systems hard to access and likely to cause disruption in the event of product failure. Steps were put in place wherever possible to ensure the longevity of the depot and its operations.
The existing shed, which contained asbestos, was innovatively incorporated into the wider redevelopment of the site, with Spencer Group designing a way of retaining the building – after expertly removing all hazardous materials – and constructing a new roof using Spencer Group’s state-of-the-art envelope and cantilever steelwork design.
As Penzance is situated in Cornwall and takes a good few hours travelling from other major UK cities such as Birmingham and London, the project wasn’t easy and straight-forward to reach to due to its location alone. With large deliveries, site vehicles, equipment and machinery going back and forth from the hugely popular tourist town, as well as being just 10metres from the shore, it was no mean feat to conduct all of this whilst the depot remained in full operation throughout.
The works at Penzance were part of a wider commitment to the South West as part of the £80m ‘National Strategic Investment Strategy’ for 2017 and beyond.
The original contract completion date was April 2018, but due to the transition of rolling stock from Old Oak Common, the contract was required to be accelerated by 17 weeks, completing by 5th December 2017. Orton Group proudly hit every major project milestone through detailed planning, hard work and dedication using not just the team involved on the ground, but from the comprehensive support available at its head office in Wombourne, Wolverhampton.
As part of the new development, there were around 80 new jobs created locally
The project, worth £5million, was completed on time and on budget
The complete installation, design and maintenance of the new Train Care Shed was completed in just 2 weeks, seeing Orton Group accelerate their works by 17 weeks
The successful completion of this project became Orton’s biggest to-date – and will stand it in great stead for ongoing major railway works across the UK