Booth welcomes HS2 CEO for site visit

Booth Industries was delighted to welcome HS2 CEO Mark Thurston yesterday, to view its new purpose-built facility for the manufacture of safety doors for HS2 tunnels and meet staff working on the project.

The £36.5million 10-year contract was awarded in September 2020 has enabled Booth to expand its facility in Bolton and increase its workforce, including offering new apprenticeships.

HS2 CEO Mark Thurston said: “There are businesses across the UK with the expertise and ability to help us build HS2 and Booth Industries is just one of over 2,000 that are already helping us do that.

“It is great to see the benefit the project is bringing to an SME in Bolton, as well as the onward economic impact through the local supply chain.”

The safety doors play a crucial role in the operation of the railway, sealing off the cross passageways between the separate north and southbound tunnels and giving access in the event of an emergency.

With trains capable of travelling at speeds of up to 250mph passing within metres of the doors, the doors will not only need to provide fire integrity and insulation for up to two hours but will also have to withstand a wide-range of challenging day-to-day environmental and fatigue pressures. 

Mike Jenkinson, managing director of Booth Industries, said: “We were proud to welcome Mark and his team to Bolton and show them round our new facility, which provides valuable additional capacity to facilitate the delivery of several key public sector contracts, including our work for HS2. 

“The skills required to deliver this project are highly specialised, including modelling the effect of a 300mph wind load created by trains as they pass the doors at high speed, destructive testing for fatigue and fire-testing in furnaces reaching temperatures of around 1000 degrees Celsius. Delivering on this means pairing decades of knowledge and unique I.P, with new innovative techniques and designs. 

“Securing the contract has also enabled us to create new jobs, including apprenticeships and graduate positions, and many more will come once we move into the manufacturing and installation phases.”

Austen Adams, managing director of Avingtrans Plc (LON:AVG) Process Solutions and Rotating Equipment division, which is home to Booth, added: “The doors Booth are delivering for HS2 will set a new benchmark for the industry, being capable of withstanding constant 14Kpa pressure cycles, along with 2hr Integrity and 2hr Insulation against fire – a world first. We are delighted to be part of this key infrastructure project and looking forward to delivering a programme of great British engineering and manufacturing we can all be proud of.”

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