Catering for change
A recent collaboration with TransPennine Express for an onboard catering area showcases Birley’s turnkey design, manufacturing and installation expertise
The recent TransPennine Express Class 185 refurbishment project demonstrates the turnkey service customers can expect from Birley. Working in partnership with Siemens in the UK, Birley was tasked with the design, manufacture and installation of a catering area for the trains.
The objective was to develop the first class carriage’s existing catering area into a chilled food catering facility, within the same footprint. The new area was to include a chiller cabinet for pre-chilled products, an Atlas cart cupboard to store retail products, a spare urn cupboard, a workspace to prepare drinks and snacks, charging facilities for mobile devices and EPOS equipment, a shelving facility for product storage, and a trolley park.
Birley made a visual appraisal of the vehicle before producing concepts for Siemens to review. Throughout the detailed design stage, 3D models were produced in Solid Edge, with particular focus given to the bespoke designed chiller unit. In-house finite element analysis was then carried out, before manufacturing and installation drawings were produced. Before production roll-out, a prototype of the catering unit was produced for evaluation, trial fit and sign-off by the client.
Focus on design
The successful evolution of the design was a credit to Birley’s design engineers, who collaborated with stakeholders at all stages of the project. One of many clever design solutions that Birley implemented is the stainless-steel shelving for the chiller, which incorporates specially designed slots to optimize airflow within the confined space of the unit.
Within the same space as the old catering storage area, there was a need for extra storage. Birley’s solution was to change the orientation of the trolley by 90°, creating space for a spare urn, Atlas chilled food trolley and additional storage space for commercial products. This also allowed space for the new trolley to be secured between the unit and a supporting frame, which features secure restraints to prevent the trolley moving.
TransPennine Express wanted a design that would accommodate both the slightly narrower existing trolley and the new trolley, pending the phasing out of the older design. Birley devised a bump stopper to retain the existing trolley, which could be removed easily from the unit during planned maintenance. With Siemens carriages having slightly different fixing points, a key feature of the unit is an adjustable back bracket, designed to allow for any intolerances and enable easy installation.
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Article published by kind permission of Railway Interiors International, Annual Showcase 2018