HS2 safety doors

Progress has been made on the manufacturing of the safety doors for HS2 tunnels, as Booth Industries opens a new purpose-built manufacturing factory, where the doors will be built

The £36m 10-year contract between HS2 and Booth Industries has enabled the manufacturer to increase its workforce, with new apprenticeships up for grabs.

The company employed its first female apprentice earlier this year adding to its 130 staff based in Greater Manchester.

The new purpose built factory is adjacent to the main factory in the heart of Bolton, and will increase the capacity on the production line, enabling the company to fulfil the HS2 contract whilst delivering other work.

The initial phase of the HS2 contract will focus on developing and testing, and then manufacturing of the cast-in sub-frames.

Great benefits for SME’s

CEO Mark Thurston commented: “There are businesses across the UK with the expertise and ability to help us build HS2 and Booth Industries is just one of over 2,000 that are already helping us do that.

“It is great to see the benefit the project is bringing to an SME in Bolton, as well as the onward economic impact through the local supply chain.

“As progress to build HS2 continues, there will be thousands of contract opportunities for UK companies to become part of this exciting national endeavour.”

The construction of HS2’s safety doors will play a crucial role in the operation of the railway, sealing off the cross passageways between the separate north and southbound tunnels and giving access in the event of an emergency.

A new benchmark for the industry

As the new trains are capable of travelling at speeds of up to 250Mph and passing within metres of the doors, they will not only need to provide fire integrity and insulation for up to two hours but will also have to withstand a wide-range of challenging day-to-day environmental and fatigue pressures.

The doors will be capable of withstanding constant 14Kpa pressure cycles, along with 2hr Integrity and 2hr Insulation against fire, which is a ‘world first’ and will set a new benchmark within the construction industry.

The doors will be manufactured using mostly UK-made steel and fitted across the 32 miles of tunnel between London and Crewe.

Since the contract was awarded in 2020, Booth Industries has made progress in its journey to becoming a carbon-neutral company. Having implemented a carbon zero roadmap, the business is already operating as a carbon neutral and will continue to progress to reach Net Zero by 2025.

‘A state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, manufacturing facility’

Mike Jenkinson, managing director of Booth Industries, stated: “We’re proud to welcome HS2 to our primary site in Bolton, where our new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, manufacturing facility has just been built. The new facility provides valuable additional capacity to facilitate the delivery of several key public sector contracts, including our work for HS2.

“The skills required to deliver this project are highly specialised, including modelling the effect of a 200mph wind load created by trains as they pass the doors at high speed, destructive testing for fatigue and fire-testing in furnaces, reaching temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius.

“Delivering on this means pairing decades of knowledge and unique I.P. with new innovative techniques and designs.

“Securing the contract has also enabled us to create new jobs, including apprenticeships and graduate positions, and many more will come once we move into the manufacturing and installation phases.

“We are delighted to be part of this key infrastructure project and looking forward to delivering a program of great British engineering and manufacturing we can all be proud of.”

The manufacturing and installation of the doors is expected to start around 2025.

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