May 9th, 2012

Rail Pioneer Catches Last Train From Mechan

Sales and technical director, Graham Cofield, is retiring after 23 years with the Sheffield manufacturer, during which time he played a key role in shaping the firm’s current direction.

When Graham joined Mechan in 1989 as a design engineer, the firm was trading almost completely in the material handling market. Having spent 26 years in mechanical handling roles at British Rail, he was asked to create a set of railway jacks that paved the way for the firm’s transformation into the UK’s leading depot maintenance equipment manufacturer. This area of business now accounts for almost 90% of turnover.

New engineering director, Martin Berry, will be taking over Graham’s duties. Martin has worked for Mechan as design manager for nine years and will be responsible for shaping the firm’s future product portfolio, using the latest 3D modelling and fatigue analysis software to build on its increasing popularity in the international rail industry.

Graham said: “I have seen many changes during my career, at Mechan and in the transport sector. After taking those first tentative steps to design a set of jacks for the rail industry, I am enormously proud to have been part of a team that has built up such a huge range of depot equipment. We have gained a reputation across the world for engineering excellence and customer service that is second to none and I know that these principles will ensure the firm’s success continues well into the future.”

From his home in Doncaster, Graham now intends to spend more time on the golf course, as well as indulging in his other pastimes, which include gardening and walking his dog.

Richard Carr, Mechan’s managing director, added: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Graham – his professionalism and technical knowledge is unsurpassed. Thanks to his excellent design work, the firm has been involved in some landmark moments for the UK rail industry, including the first and largest multi-road bogie exchanging system and most recently, the largest single system of rail jacks ever produced. We wish Graham a long and happy retirement and we have every confidence that Martin will continue his good work.”

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