Eurostar trains that pull into the brand new CTRL maintenance facility in east London will receive daily servicing and even wheelset changes that are the railway equivalent of a motor racing pit-stop. Streamlined removal and exchange of wheelsets and bogies at the £400-million Temple Mills depot is enabled by a state-of-the-art double bogie drop manufactured and installed by Sheffield-based heavy-handling specialist Mechan Limited.
Incorporating Mechan’s ‘intelligent’ screw jack system and compatible with European gauging, the Temple Mills bogie drop is a self-contained assembly that enables traction motor/gearbox units and air conditioning equipment, as well as wheelsets and bogies, to be switched without lifting or splitting the formation. Installed beneath two depot roads and an exchange road, the assembly has two bridges, one of which can pass beneath the other whilst conveying a bogie without interrupting alternative use of the other road. Sophisticated interlocking systems and other safety measures help to safeguard depot personnel.
“This prestige depot for Eurostar trains plying the new CTRL route to St Pancras was planned and constructed to deliver exceptional standards of traincare, so we feel that the specifying of a Mechan bogie drop system was recognition of the quality of our heavy-handling equipment as well as competitive pricing,” comments Mechan’s Managing Director, Richard Carr. “We have also been privileged to equip several locations for Siemens’ Desiro trains and our other customers include Bombardier, Alstom, First Great Western and Ireland’s Iarnrod Eireann. Rail operators in the UK, across Europe and worldwide are now using our equipment on a daily basis.”