Mechan Facilitates Innovation Centre for New High-Speed Trains


Heavy lifting specialists, Mechan, recently obtained two orders from the Rail Innovation Development Centre, where the new high-speed IEP trains are being trialled, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

The Sheffield-based supplier has stationed equipment ready for use at a fifth site in connection with the Department for Transport’s flagship Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

Mechan Lifting Jacks for IEP trains
Mechan’s jacks, similar to those supplied to Network Rail, undergoing factory testing © Mechan

Mechan worked closely with civil engineers, Construction Marine, to design and install a bespoke bogie bridge that covers the width of a bogie drop pitch, to improve vehicle access into the rail shed.

The contract comes after a comparable project was undertaken at the site in 2008, where a bridge was needed to cover a pit that was no longer in use.

Mechan also supplied eight 25-tonne mobile lifting jacks with moving anvils to operators of the centre, Network Rail, enabling the arriving IEP trains to be fully assessed. The jacks will work simultaneously, giving the facility extra space to house longer vehicles and again, this follows a previous order, for four 15-tonne jacks, which are still in use.
Mechan’s equipment and expertise have proved highly sought after across all areas of the IEP, with the firm having already provided lifting jacks and equipment drops to the Stoke Gifford and North Pole maintenance centres. A three-road equipment drop, 40 lifting jacks and two bogie turntables are currently in production for another new depot being constructed in Doncaster.
Lee Pitts, Mechan’s Sales Engineer, said: 

“The Rail Innovation Development Centre is an historic site that has been given a new lease of life by Network Rail and we worked closely with our clients to ensure the equipment supplied met the current and future needs of the facility. Its role is to promote innovation and we believe our products are a great example of inventive engineering in practise.”

The facility in Ashfordby is one of two Network Rail Innovation and Development Centres endorsing the project, which will introduce high-speed electric and bi-mode trains on the Great Western and East Coast mainlines. It will run off of the Leicester to Peterborough line and incorporates all the qualities and characteristics associated with a modern rail network.

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