Rail maintenance equipment specialist, Mechan, has reinvented one of its most enduring products, saving depot operators time and money during installation.
The Sheffield-based manufacturer has launched a new turntable design, following 18 months’ research and development into ways to overcome common problems with pit construction.
Turntables sit in a pit at track level and are used to transfer rail bogies between roads or turn wheelsets around. They connect with the track so complete trains and other vehicles can roll over them at low speeds, keeping the area open for other maintenance when they are not in use.
David Blagg, Mechan’s service engineer, said: “As turntable pits need to be round, they are difficult to cast and don’t always end up level. This made installing our previous equipment very time consuming, as it had wheels attached to a separate frame that was fitted after the table itself.”
Mechan has now developed a turntable with integrated wheels affixed to the bottom of the structure. This allows the height of the table to be adjusted to counteract any discrepancies in the level of the pit, resulting in significant time and cost savings.
David added: “On the face of it, our new turntables look much the same as the old ones, however, the changes we have made ensure they are not only quicker to install, but also easier to use. This means we can now offer manual versions with a higher capacity than before, again saving some users the expense of adding power.”
The first depot to benefit from Mechan’s new turntables is in Panama City, where four units were installed in January. The new build facility is part of a major project to construct a second metro line.