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Creation of modular building for shotblasting and painting ballast wagons


The UK's rail infrastructure is being enhanced to deliver a 24/7 railway that can support the growth of the UK economy. By 2020 the country is expected to have the capacity for 400 million more passenger journeys and 30% more freight.

Almost 6,250 companies are involved in this work. Emtrade is one of them. Sub-contracted to Plasser UK, the market leader in modern track maintenance, Emtrade is painting rolling stock necessary to create a network without which none of the country's rail aspirations can become reality.

The Building

Emtrade believes the best paint finishes are created through scrupulous attention to every detail in preparation. To facilitate the highest-possible standards, the company has developed a robust modular building system, allowing the creation of a protected atmosphere in which painting can take place.

The finished modular building is ready to start work.

The system consists of buildings created using a series of 5m solid-wall sections on a substantial base of re-usable prestressed concrete panels with tongue and groove interlocks. These panels have been developed with the help of concrete panel engineers, and are of four types. Each weighs 2500kg, and is designed for use in a specific location in the structure.

Ready for shotblasting

The floor is installed

All have integral lifting points, and are substantial enough to withstand wind uplift. They are laid around an appropriate section of track.

In spite of the weight involved, the elements of the modular building system are relatively quick to install. This means that a purpose-built shotblasting and painting facility, as good as any permanent structure, can be taken to any suitable location and be in service in as little as 10 working days. Such a high degree of flexibility delivers significant savings in terms of time and cost.

All finished buildings incorporate appropriate lighting, heating power and storage, personnel access doors. They can be fitted with subdivisions and all necessary equipment to create
discrete weathertight areas for shotblasting, preparation and spraying, allowing work to continue completely unaffected by inclement weather.

The building's protected environment allows work to continue even in bad weather
  Depending on the length of the contract, it may even be possible to erect an Emtrade modular building without the need for planning permission.The Plasser UK installation, at Ealing in London, was created for a contract lasting 12 months. It uses two buildings in tandem, one for shotblasting/ preparation, the other for painting. The contract involves 45 MFS ballast wagons that will be key to delivering network enhancements. The wagons' bogies are being refurbished in the adjacent Plasser premises.

Customer verdict

A Plasser spokesman said: "Emtrade's modular building is proving invaluable to us. Having it alongside our workshops means we can mechanically overhaul rolling stock and have it painted to very high standards on the one site, reducing cost and disruption, and improving the quality of service we are able to deliver."

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What We Do

Emtrade operates in the rail infrastructure sector. We undertake civil engineering projects directly for TOC’s refurbishing and enhancing rail platforms.

The company provides superior quality repainting and rebranding services to all type of rail vehicles (passenger, freight, infrastructure) as well as designing and installing quality modular paintshops in situ to facilitate repainting.


Client Testimonials

  • Installation of cycle parking at Waterloo station

  • Upgrading cycle facilities at Salisbury station

  • Installing security bollards at the London Olympics

  • Modular painting booth for rail vehicles

  • Rail vehicle repainting and rebranding service

  • Vehicle security barrier work at Stanstead airport

  • Installation of HVM security barriers

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