Ezi Klamp – a Bristol based supplier to the rail industry – has seen a surge in demand for its bespoke GRP driver walkways, GRP embankment steps and other products, with the roll out of electrification. Stringent safety requirements associated with electrification mean that GRP – a non-conductive material – is a highly effective solution.
GRP – glass reinforced plastic – to give its full name – is not new to the rail industry. EziKlamp have been supplying GRP fencing and handrailing to the sector for over fifteen years. The product has always been popular because it meets safety requirements but it is also light, enabling easier manhandling on site. As electrification rolled out, GRP’s use increased because of the requirement that any structure within three metres of the track cannot be made of a conductive material, like steel unless earth bonded, of which can have its own costs and challenges.
As a result of requests from maintenance depots and site managers, Ezi Klamp developed a bespoke design service, creating structures, including driver walkways, hop ups and signal maintenance platforms. As well as maintenance depots, bespoke GRP is also popular in the general trackside environment, where it has found popularity as embankments steps, switch platforms and bank retention. Traditionally, these were made of concrete, but maintenance was costly and GRP’s lightweight and flexible properties became evident as a solution to replace old or cracking concrete structures.
Simon Botterill, EziKlamp’s Technical Sales Manager, says: “Health and Safety has always been the primary driver for the use of GRP and the bespoke structures have become really popular recently.
“As a business, we work with other sectors like health and education, providing specialist barrier solutions from drawings, so transferring our skills to the rail industry was a natural step.
“A lot of the site managers I speak to are keen to use GRP because it is relatively lightweight and much easier to transport and fit. Some people are pleased also to find out that the systems we design and can often be reconfigured or added to, for examples to extend a platform, add steps, or whatever the requirement is.”
EziKlamp is a Bristol-based company, founded in 1998 and supplies a range of barrier solutions to health, rail and education and general construction sectors. As well as direct supply, the company also operates its own installation division.
Photo credit: EziKlamp