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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A fresh approach to depot safety

Depot Control System commissioning – Siemens Ardwick Depot.

FirstClass Safety & Control, the Essex-based safety control system specialist, which was created following a management buyout of the safety control division of Beck & Pollitzer back in 2017, has been supplying safety control systems for over 20 years.

The company offers a number of products to the rail sector, including depot protection systems, depot control systems and locally operated points systems (LOPS), allowing FirstClass to provide a rail depot operator with a fully integrated safety system.

Developed as an industry-first in 2017, FirstClass’ RFID-based operator control panel allows users to log on and off using an RFID card, the same card that links to the depot security system and any other RFID-based system. The operator control panels can also now use pictorial menu screens, eliminating the need for ‘wordy’ on screen instructions and allowing translation into multiple languages at a fraction of the cost of other systems on the market.

RFID Operator Panel – GWR Exeter Depot.

Additional features of the FirstClass depot protection system that can be provided include points interlocking, Wi-Fi interlocks, OLE interlocks and high-level-gantry access controls, all to SIL 2 (safety integrity level 2) as standard.

FirstClass does not subcontract design or Installation. All of its depot protection and depot control systems are designed to the client’s specification, so they are 100% tailored solutions, not a standard product that has been tweaked.

Installations 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 is excited to be developing rail safety systems that incorporate its knowledge of the petrochemical, marine and other safety-critical industries for applications such as hydrogen-fuelled trains, where TUV-approved functional safety engineers are qualified to assess the highest safety integrity levels for the required systems.

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 customers with any and all of their depot safety control system requirements.

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