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Zonegreen points Bournemouth depot to safer future

September 2022

A South Western Railway maintenance depot in Bournemouth, which is key to the smooth running of London area train services has improved its safety controls, thanks to Zonegreen.

The Sheffield-based rail safety specialist has undertaken a complete overhaul of its Points Converter system at the facility, ensuring it benefits from the latest technology.

Points Converters automate manual points, allowing them to be operated remotely to protect workers from potential handling injuries. They were initially installed at the Bournemouth depot in 2013, as part of a major project to create the UK rail industry’s first dedicated paint facility. They have now been replaced with Zonegreen’s mark two system, offering improved safety and efficiency.

Zonegreen Points Converter at Bournemouth

The Points Converters at Bournemouth are attached to existing hand points on the approach to the paint shed. They are operated from a control panel inside the facility, which now offers positive feedback to indicate that the points have been switched successfully. The panel has also been integrated with existing warning beacons to alert staff that the road is open for train movements.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: “Four-car trains move in and out of Bournemouth’s paint shed regularly, so safety is paramount in such a busy location. We were really pleased to be invited back by SWR to overhaul the existing converter system and equip the depot with our most sophisticated Points Converters yet. Our technology not only protects staff from injuries related to handling points, but also increases the ease of operations, eliminating many stops and starts.”

Some traditional hand points require up to 103kg of force to operate, posing a significant risk of musculoskeletal injuries. They can also be situated on uneven terrain or close to a third rail, increasing the dangers associated with manual operation.