Everything running to schedule

September 2015

Wabtec Rail in Doncaster is a place steeped in history and renowned for building the Flying Scotsman – arguably the most famous locomotive in the world. The Flying Scotsman was purchased for the nation in 2004, using money donated by the general public, and is currently being restored to it’s full mainline running condition so that it can pull trains around the UK once again.
The building that we refurbished for Wabtec was built in 1840, and was one of the main centres for trains and manufacturing – specialising in refurbishing wheels and carriages, and is now owned by an American company.

Our initial order was in excess of 5,000 metres with a value of around £430,000 – this has now turned into an ongoing task with more and more projects to complete for them coming our way.
The areas of refurbishment we were first asked to work on were the wheel refurbishment shops. Although structurally sound (due to the original concrete installed being almost 2 feet thick), the condition of the substrate, as you can appreciate with a building of that age, was completely shot due to heavy wear as a result of the nature of industry at that period of time. The floor surface in general had a very poor appearance and was very worn and tired, with a considerable amount of surface irregularities and potholes in different levels. We were required to remove a number of old rail tracks that were in the floor slab, and the majority of the areas were also heavily impregnated with oil and grease.
It’s taken all of Respol’s skill, knowledge and expertise to undertake this project, particularly in such a short period of time and with each phase being completed alongside the company still being in production. All processes had to be completely dust-free and we invested heavily in some of the most up-to-date vacuum systems on the market in order to complete the task successfully.

We had to chemically prepare the area with biological, penetrating degreasing solvents, and mechanically plane off the weak surface by diamond grinding. Once we’d achieved a thorough degree of cleanliness and returned the slab to something structurally sound and clean, we then applied an oil tolerant penetrating primer. We made good, areas of indifferent levels with Reetop 003 Epoxy Resin Screed, and we used a scraping mortar to even out the surface irregularities on 80% of the area. Finally, we installed our 5mm Reeflor EL005 self-smoothing screed system in a two-colour combination with demarcation lines.

Wabtec has previously had a ‘trial area’ for quite some time due to the heavy, extreme use other areas are subjected to, which convinced them that the system we were proposing was the right one, and we were able to give the client a 10 year warranty on it’s performance. Of all the projects we have undertaken, this was one of the more involved with regards to surface condition, the environment, the extent of the repairs and the standard of finish, and the standard of finish we achieved is quite remarkable. All of the management team are amazed by the quality of the results and it is a credit to all concerned.

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