big winner from train fleet modernisation since the turn of the Millennium has been Siemens Transportation Systems. After gaining a toehold in the UK a decade ago with its Class 332 Heathrow Express stock, Siemens won a series of orders, mostly for Desiro units.
A developing trend towards manufacturer servicing at purpose-built depots accelerated in mid-2006 when Siemens opened traincare centres in Northampton and Manchester for Silverlink/Central Trains and First TransPennine Express, mirroring its facility in Southampton for South West Trains, completed in 2003.
Siemens holds long-term maintenance contracts for Desiros supplied to Silverlink/Central, TransPennine and SWT and is committed to stringent maintenance standards. The contracts demand high availability, with rapid daily servicing and equally efficient heavy maintenance, such as bogie changes inside two hours.
Sheffield-based heavy-lift specialist Mechan was selected to supply a 10-tonne scissor-type bogie drop for Southampton (Northam). Orders followed for Mechan drop systems at Manchester (Ardwick), where diesel Desiros may require underfloor engine removal, and Northampton (Kings Heath). For these two locations Siemens specified Mechan’s ‘intelligent’ screw-jack bogie drops. This equipment requires half the depth of hydraulic drops, under 3 metres, giving substantial construction cost savings.
Accurate and manageable in operation with their high-tech control systems, these latest bogie drops bring further advantages. Design and operation of the pit floor are ingenious, with provision for forklifts and similar traffic to cross when the pit is not in use and creation of a safety barrier when it is.
Having supplied lifting equipment to heavy industry since 1969, Mechan says rail is now a major customer. It is working hard to develop yet more specialist equipment for the rail industry and sophisticated control systems for their safe and effective operation.
Further information available from Richard Carr Managing Director 0114 257 0563 or click here to email us.