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Bolton-based Booth Industries wins HS2 tunnel safety doors contract

HS2 today awarded a major contract to Bolton-based Booth Industries to provide high-pressure safety doors for the internal passages linking the high speed rail project’s tunnels.

The contract – worth £36m – will see more than 300 units manufactured at a new purpose-built facility in the town, and create up to fifty jobs over the next ten years.

The safety doors will 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 travelling at speeds of up to 360km/h, the doors need to be engineered to the highest standard to withstand the pressure waves caused by trains passing through the tunnel. In total 303 doors and frames will be designed, manufactured and installed by Booth, using majority UK made steel, across the 32 miles of tunnel between London and Crewe.

Welcoming the award, HS2 Ltd’s Procurement and Commercial Director, David Poole said:

“As well as being one the world’s most reliable high-speed railways, HS2 also needs to be the safest. That’s why we’re delighted to be awarding this major contract to Booth Industries. Their impressive experience of delivering the highest quality in terms of safety and performance will play a vital role in delivering this crucial part of the HS2 project.

“This award also goes to show how HS2 is already supporting companies across the UK, creating jobs and helping the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Booth Industries, which is owned by Avingtrans PLC, was established in 1873 and is now one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of high-performance safety and security doors, blast windows, modular wall systems and blast relief panels.

From their three sites in Bolton, they have provided equipment for projects across the defence, infrastructure and industrial sectors – including similar safety doors for HS1 (the Channel Tunnel rail link) and Crossrail.

Mike Jenkinson, managing director of Booth Industries, said:

“This is a landmark contract with a new customer, which recognises the extensive experience we have developed over years’ supplying high-integrity door sets for a range of infrastructure projects.

“Our designs are based on existing Booth IP and will be manufactured at a new, purpose-built facility in Bolton, creating up to fifty skilled jobs in the area over the next decade.”

Austen Adams, Divisional Managing Director of the PSRE division of Avingtrans, said:

“This is great news for Booth. The business has enjoyed a promising 12 months since we acquired it, following the collapse of its previous owner and the team has worked exceptionally hard to modernise its approach.

“This contract recognises Booth’s vast experience and capabilities in the sector, along with the strides it has made to deliver a high-quality end-to-end service. It marks the beginning of another exciting chapter for the Booth team and we look forward to working closely with HS2 to deliver another high-profile infrastructure project.”

The initial phase of the contract will focus on developing and testing door and frame designs. The first frames are expected to be delivered to contractors before the end of 2021 with manufacturing and installation expected around 2025.

Early engagement with Booths is critical to ensure that frames for the cross passage doors are available to be cast into the tunnel bores by HS2 Civils Contractors.

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