Taylor Woodrow, the Civil Engineering division of Vinci and main contractor for the Network Rail Great Western rail upgrade, chose Asset’s M.A.S.S., Multi Application Safety System, to be track-side with them to help meet and improve rail side work safety.

The Filton Bank section between Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads is now well underway with work being undertaken at various sites along the five-mile route in preparation to increase the number of rail lines from two to four, and eventually, include electrification. New Hitachi Super Express bi-mode electro-diesel trains are being introduced between London, South Wales and the South West increasing passenger capacity by an estimated 15% at peak times, whilst reducing travel times to these regions. The infrastructure project will also enable track maintenance to be carried out without disrupting services.

Vinci Taylor Woodrow has a strict health and safety strategy where all staff and contractors are encouraged to ‘Step Up’ to improve site safety through everyone’s participation. Committed to improving work performance through preventative health and safety management, all works from designs to implementation, are thoroughly planned to identify and minimise risks. With staff and plant machinery working close to high-speed trains on this stretch of rail, line side segregation of trains, people and plant was required. The introduction of M.A.S.S. barrier with the added steel Pedestrian Guard, two metres from the rail line, enabled the creation of a high street environment with a designated walkway segregating pedestrian movement from plant works and the rail line. Taylor Woodrow required extra hauling road space alongside the track due to the complexities of the job and narrow work area. M.A.S.S. easily provided this extra safety working width. The M.A.S.S. steel base unit is 150cm long x 50cm wide and weighs 55kg with each unit being linked together via the Pedestrian Guard extended panel pins. Galvanized and white powder coated, the units are extremely quick and easy to install due to its plug-in sections.


Pedestrian Guard panels are secured together with simple clamp plates to create a continuous safety barrier. The free-standing steel base units and Pedestrian Guard barrier are wind resistant, remaining solid and secure from the constant blast of high-speed trains passing close by. The nature of its design allows M.A.S.S. to incorporate sweeping curves and works access points to be clearly visible.

Requiring only two men to lift and install each base unit, short lengths of M.A.S.S. are easily repositioned to new sites as work progresses, ensuring it plays a pivotal role in the ‘Step Up’ health and safety strategy.

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