Location: Eurostar e300 trains
Finish: High performance polyester powder coatings, Axalta, six custom colours.
When the first refurbished Eurostar e300 train set forth from London to Brussels in September 2015 one of the passengers was rail travel expert Mark Smith of seat61.com train travellers’ website. He tweeted “Internally it’s unrecognisable – most passengers will think it’s a brand new train. Superb job”.
Alongside introducing new Siemens e320 trains, the first of which began operating in commercial service on November 20th 2015, Eurostar is carrying out a complete re-modelling of its original trains, the Class 373s, which are being rebranded as e300s. The complete and complex refurbishment of the interior and exterior of the trains is being carried out in SNCF’s Hellemmes Technicentre in Lille.
Eurostar required a powder coater that could deal with the high demands of the refurbishment programme. Twenty one year’s of grease and grime needed removing from the metal not to mention carpet and carpet glue from many of the sections. There were also complex operational logistics involved in ensuring that each individual part was coated in the correct colour (of six ) and kept in separate sets for re-assembly on the correct carriage and train.
The interior parts were shipped to Powdertech Corby Ltd, in Northamptonshire for stripping and powder coating. Accurate tagging and identification of the parts was absolutely critical as there are dimensional variations between components & carriages. This was taken care of by a unique identification involving a grid of dots, similar to a QR code, imprinted on to the metal. The coding system would ensure that every part went back to the right place in the right carriage on the right train.
We used a variety of paint stripping and surface cleaning methods including blasting with glass beading, orbital sanding and metal polishing.
The various components were divided into sets for six different paint colours, custom made for Eurostar by Axalta. Once coated, the pieces were re-assembled in the UK and sent back to Lille for re-installation into the original carriages.
Smoke emission: BS6853:5.2 Toxic fume emission: L.U.L standard 2-01001-002.
Flame spread: BS476 Part 7. Class 1 pass Heat release: BS476 Part 6. Pass.
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