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Zonegreen improves rail depot safety on Emerald Isle

July 2022

Rail safety specialists, Sheffield-based Zonegreen, are enhancing the protection offered to maintenance workers across Ireland, as part of an extensive programme of depot upgrades.

So far, the firm has completed safety improvements at four Irish Rail facilities and is designing bespoke protection systems for a further two.

Zonegreen has installed its flagship Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) on four roads at Irish Rail’s principal carriage works facility, Inchicore in Dublin. Staff log on via contactless RFID panels that initiate Network Rail approved derailers on the roads where work is taking place. Visual and audible warnings are also activated to ensure vehicles can be moved safely and effectively around the depot.

Warning System at Connolly Depot


Train movement warning systems have been added at Connolly Valeting Plant and updated at Fairview Electrical Multiple Unit Depot, both also in Dublin. They are used to alert personnel working on or near tracks of imminent train movements, allowing them time to reach a position of safety. At Connolly, the system has been interfaced with the depot doors, so they open automatically when it is activated. The Fairview installation has been in place since 2020, but has been modified to include new pit beacons, providing extra visual warnings.

Laois Traincare Depot in Portlaoise was the first facility in Ireland to benefit from DPPS, which has been in place since 2008. Zonegreen has now returned to add state-of-the-art train detection lasers – a standard feature on the current system. The lasers recognise when a train passes over a lowered derailer and prevent it from being raised accidently, eliminating the risk of derailment caused by human error.

Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: “It is really encouraging to see Irish Rail investing so heavily in the safety of its workforce and recognising the role technology can play in reducing risk in depots. We have worked together closely to implement these upgrades and look forward to continuing our long and successful relationship through the next two DPPS installations.”