Laira Water Tank, Plymouth

Taziker was contracted by Great Western Railway (GWR) to conduct vital repairs to the water tower feeding Laira Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot in Plymouth, Devon, which houses GWR’s fleet of high-speed trains.

The challenge

The water tower feeding the Laira Depot sidings, train shed, and cleaning pit had fallen into disrepair, with significant breakdown of the existing coatings and corrosion of the supporting steel structure. The grillage beams and valance surrounding the base of the water tank were also found to be beyond repair and required replacement.

The solution

To remove the failing paint system, our experienced teams mechanically prepared the water tower structure before applying new protective coatings, consisting of an aluminium primer, intermediate and topcoat.

Through collaboration with our client, it was agreed that the grillage beams and valance would be replaced in galvanised sections to prevent rusting and promote longevity. The tank itself is constructed from galvanised Braithwaite panels that were in a good condition despite being installed in the 1960s. With the new grillage beams being galvanised, it removed the issue of applying coatings to the hard to reach top flange once the beams were installed. Attempting to effectively apply a paint system in this area would have been challenging and may have caused future maintenance issues, therefore by working closely with the client we were able to provide a more effective solution.

The valance was disassembled by either cutting bolted connections or by cutting the panels and frame to remove it in manageable sections. The beams were then replaced like for like and on a one in, one out basis using two tonne capacity bottle jacks to locally lift the water tank, allowing for the existing beams to be removed and the new beams fitted.

Following installation of the beams, the new valance was installed by connecting new galvanised steel sheets to previously installed cleats on the ends of the beams, followed by the installation of the galvanised RSA frame to give the valance rigidity.

We also recoated 250 metres of tanking and offloading pipes across the depot floor and gantries. The pipes were mechanically prepared to remove corrosion locally, areas of sound coatings were then hand prepared. Following this, aluminium primer was applied to the areas of bare metal, followed by the specified protective coatings.

The result

The water tank and pipe work at Laira Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot has been fully refurbished, which includes the application of a brand-new coating system, and the replacement of grillage beams and valance.

The work that Taziker completed on this important structure means that it will be in a fantastic condition for many years to come and will continue to provide essential support to the depot.

May 2023 - Jul 2023

The scope of the works included:

  • Mechanical preparation and application of M24 protective coatings system.
  • Replacement of grillage beams and valance.
  • Scaffolding access.
  • Recoating of 250 metres of tanking and offloading pipes.

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