DCA delivers six metre Crossrail training mock-up

Published on: 25th September 2018

The Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) is a purpose-built facility providing training in the key skills required to work in railway engineering, tunnel excavation and underground construction. Established by Crossrail Limited in 2011, the TUCA has trained over 15,000 contractors and apprentices. Crossrail is Europe’s largest infrastructure project and is perhaps best known as a major tunnelling project despite 75% of the 100km route running above ground from Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The Elizabeth line, which is the official name for Crossrail, is currently scheduled to open in December 2019.

The Crossrail programme is now over 90 per cent complete and the TUCA training facility has now transferred to TfL to support future tunneling and infrastructure projects and will be home to the Elizabeth line maintenance and station staff training centre.

To support the ongoing training at the TUCA, DCA was commissioned in February 2018 to design and produce a six metre exterior and interior visually representative training mock-up. The mock-up layout is based around a standard vestibule with two sets of bi-parting doors. It includes internal partitions, the multi-purpose area for wheelchairs, two opposing bays of three fixed seats and three tip up seats. As a training tool, the mock-up has been designed and built to be durable and long lasting, reflecting the quality present in the production vehicles.

The team at DCA designed and built this mock-up at our facilities in Warwick around a steel support frame which provides fixing positions for all the interior and exterior components. The interior is fully finished in fire retardant GRP panels, aluminium ceiling panels, production lighting, handrails and flooring. The exterior is clad in high quality composite materials with vinyls applied to reflect the current Crossrail livery.

DCA designed, engineered and produced two sets of functioning plug and slide doors which can be mechanically released and opened using replicas of the production emergency controls to allow evacuation training to be carried out. The door mechanisms were built and tested as separate standalone assemblies and then located within the main frame of the mock-up.

After successful sign off in Warwick, the mock-up was delivered to the TUCA in July 2018 and is currently sitting in pride of place on production tracks within a purpose built tunnel and platform environment complete with platform edge doors. It is supported at a representative height above the track on bespoke flanged wheel assemblies designed and built by DCA. These, in combination with a manually controlled braking system also developed by DCA’s engineers, mean that the mock up can be moved within the TUCA site to suit particular training needs.