Safe Tea trolley is ready for rollout

Safe Tea trolley is ready for rollout

By Administrator

15th Feb 2016

The Track Safety Alliance (TSA) has approved the design and rollout of a refreshment trolley, which will allow front line people to get hot and cold drinks while they are out on track.

Track workers trialled the prototype at an industry event at Grange Sidings, Stoke-on-Trent, on June 2015 and their feedback was taken into consideration to make improvements to the original design.

The safe tea trolley was approved on January 2016 and teams will be able to purchase or lease a unit depending on their specific needs.

More welfare facilities

Besides providing hot and cold water for drinks, the trolley has storage to accommodate an optional first aid kit if required and an emergency eye wash station. The TSA led workstream on Occupational Health is considering the possibility of having a defibrillator fitted to the trolley as well.

Adrian Fricker, safety improvement specialist, Infrastructure Projects, said: “The safe tea trolley has been designed for track workers with track-side safety and anti-fatigue measures in mind. The flexible choice of drink options including an optional water chiller facility reflects the importance of trackside welfare.

“These stations do not replace any other welfare facilities. The trolleys are an enhancement of facilities available on site. They move with the team so that people can take regular breaks safely and effectively without having to return to the main welfare facilities.

“The fact that we tested the prototype trackside and we received feedback means we now have a product with modern, robust design with additional features to support trackside teams during their shift.”

Darren Walter, senior supervisor S&C Northern Alliance, said: “It’s great to see that an idea generated from the TSA and especially the hard work of Dave Sowter form ameysersa for coming up with the original concept has gone all the way to Product Approval. For the guys on site to be able to have a cup a tea is a massive morale boost and cannot be under estimated.”

Requesting a trolley

Safe tea trolleys are made of a 9mm polymer material to make them light and strong, with a rail approved generator and water boiler, carry handles and storage access to accommodate a 12v water cooler or first aid kit.

The current model was improved from the first prototype to include extended carry handles, a generator drip-tray and an alternative venting to aid generator cooling and efficiency.

Tea trolleys will have to be loaded on to a van or pick-up to be delivered to sites. The Safe tea trolley weighs approximately 80 kilos have handles that allow them to be lifted – by four people for a straight back lift– and placed on to a standard rail Trolley which is a straight back lift the generator and water must be removed before any lift takes place. . Once in the correct position, the Safe Tea trolley is secured in place using toggle catches designed to fit on all rail-mounted hand trolleys.

Adrian added: “We have worked closely with AJC Retail Solutions on developing this product. The cost of each tea trolley is £5,600 +VAT and to TSA member organisations this has been reduced to £5,300 + VAT.

“We have discussed with National Supply Chain (NSC) and IP-Track Procurement and looking at the cost-benefit and value for money of the trolleys, going forward it would be better to hire the Safe Tea welfare unit. We are working with our framework Hire Partners to make the Safe Tea welfare unit available.

“We need to see what the demand is from within Network Rail in order to proceed with the rollout. We’ve had previous interest from some of the routes, mostly from works delivery and Over Head Conditional Renewals (OCR), teams should contact me directly so we can look at the demand.”

Next destination

Safe Tea trolley is now ready for sale and can be purchased from AJC Retail Solutions. Contact them on 01582 727 760 or email

Speedy Hire, Torrent Hire and A Plant are already in negotiations with AJC Retail Solutions and hope to have the products ready soon. 

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