London Luton Airport continues to grow in popularity, hosting 18 million passengers in 2019 alone. In 2018, Luton Rising announced that a joint venture between VolkerFitzpatrick and Kier Infrastructure would begin construction work on the Direct Air-Rail Transit (Luton DART).
Reducing traffic around Luton, and the journey between central London and the airport to around 30 minutes by the fastest trains, the ambitious project is a 2.2km state-of-the-art cable-hauled rail system that links the airport terminal and Luton Airport Parkway train station.
An experienced contractor in rail and transport applications, the appointed M&E contractor, NG Bailey, required cable management systems for the two stations to withstand frequent passenger transfers. Having specified Legrand previously for similar projects, the contractor selected systems from its Cable Management business unit for use throughout the station.
Variety of needs
As with most transport applications, there were different types of cable management that would be required for the project. In the stations, cable trays and ladders were required through the front of house and platform areas, as well as the dedicated maintenance area. Typical of transport applications, underfloor duct trunking was required for cabling to the ticket barriers and Salamandre IP55 rated trunking in areas where water and debris ingress are likely to cause issues.
With such an eagerly awaited project, NG Bailey was under pressure to install the M&E solutions to tight deadlines for this phase of the project to be finished by December 2021, ahead of opening in 2022. Working with its trusted wholesalers, the contractor chose Legrand’s Salamandre IP4X and IP55 trunking, Swifts cable ladder and screed floor trunking for the project, as Thomas Gray, Project Engineer at NG Bailey, explains:
“The specified Legrand solutions were familiar systems for us. Thanks to a strong rapport with our wholesalers in addition to technical assistance and discussions with Legrand’s dedicated teams, we were able to get a regular supply of materials to complete the job quickly. The product codes are also well thought out to be able to identify which of the specified systems to order and to discern which parts needed to be installed in their correct location.”
One of the challenges of the project was the need for bespoke trunking for both the ticket gates and the station platforms. In addition, design requirements can alter once a project of this nature is in its building stage and obstacles arise, meaning a flexible approach was required. As Paul Moore, Area Development Manager at Legrand, explains:
“Bespoke systems are often needed on rail projects, as they each offer unique characteristics. This is particularly the case with trunking, as they need to maintain the required capacity, while meeting the design parameters which often change from the original plans once on site. In this instance, Salamandre IP55 trunking was required for the gate lines at each terminal, an ingress protection rating that is often needed for areas more susceptible to debris and corrosion. With required IP ratings available and the ability to produce exact measurements of trunking, our team’s extensive rail expertise and experience meant we could provide exactly what the project required.”
Quality assurance matters
With NG Bailey’s pedigree in the rail field, it is important that they maintain the highest quality installation on every project. As such, the specified building services must pass the stringent quality assessments when the project is handed over to ensure the installation exceeds expectation in terms of its life expectancy.
For this reason, the contractor has to ensure consistency within the quality of solutions they integrate, and so often use the same suppliers for elements like cable management systems.
Thomas explains: “We tend to see Legrand cable management systems specified by our senior buyer team because it is known to be able to pass our tests before handing projects over. Legrand’s products are tried and tested within rail applications and we know that we can quickly and easily get all the systems in place to the standard that is expected.
“Being able to fit the solution and hand over the project safe in the knowledge that we shouldn’t need to do any replacement work later down the line is important, particularly during this busy time. As difficulties often surface with cabling and networking commissioning afterwards, it is absolutely vital that we can install systems as quickly as possible.”
Paul adds: “We know electrical contractors are always under pressure to meet tight deadlines and ensure they hand over projects when they say they will. Our ‘Faster by Design’ cable management systems are quickly and easily installed and we aim to provide contractors with a solution that can be done so correctly and effectively first time. Working closely with NG Bailey, we were able to always ensure our cable management solutions solve the challenges the project faced.”
With a multitude of cable management requirements to fulfil, NG Bailey was able to work with Legrand to install suitable systems across the entire Luton DART transport system. With trusted and familiar systems, the high level of quality and reliability for what will become a busy route will ensure the safe passage of all passengers for years to come.
For more information about Legrand UK and Ireland’s cable management solutions, click here