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Traincare centre will ease the strain

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Passengers using east Kent to London train services will soon benefit from a significant reduction in journey times on a new fleet of trains serviced and maintained at a new traincare centre.

The £40M state-of-the-art rail maintenance and servicing centre is under construction adjacent to Ashford International Station.

Conder Structures has supplied and erected more than 800t of steel for the project as part of its contract which it won from Fitzpatrick Contractors, part of the DEPCO consortium.

The facility, which is 185m-long x 38m wide, comprises a five-road, light maintenance centre and a connected two-storey office block. The structure is a two-span portal frame with a full-width curved roof, which has a valley line that follows the divide between the workshops and office.

Gordon Ridley, Conder Structures’ Managing Director, said the entire steelwork was erected in only three and half weeks, beating the main contractor’s programme.

“This was achieved by detailed design and full off-site checking at our factory before despatch, enabling the site team to proceed with the plan to minimise the erection time,” he added.

Inside the facility Conder installed some complex steelwork for a suspended 2t gantry crane on the bogie change road, where carriages are lifted off for their running gear to be replaced.

The project is on schedule for hand-over in early July 2007.

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