Sheffield-based rail depot equipment experts, Mechan, have secured a major contract with the public transport arm of the Welsh government.
The specialist manufacturer will be designing, building and installing a bespoke bogie drop at the Canton rail depot in Cardiff, on behalf of Transport for Wales (TfWRL).
The custom-made unit enables bogies to be changed without decoupling trains, saving valuable maintenance time. It will be used to remove underframe equipment, including bogies, wheelsets, transformers and cooling units, from the diesel and tri-mode class 231/756 Stadler Flirt vehicles that are being introduced on South Wales Metro services. It will also accommodate all of TfWRL’s existing rolling stock.
Lindsey Mills, Mechan’s sales director, said: “We are really pleased our tender was acceptable and we are now looking forward to seeing our design come alive during the manufacturing process. Installing a bogie drop in an operational depot environment is a mammoth undertaking and we will be working closely with TfWRL to ensure we deliver the project efficiently and with minimum disruption.”
The Canton bogie drop will enable underfloor units to be changed at track level, whilst allowing traffic to move freely when it is not in use. It has a rollover capacity of 60 tonnes and incorporates mini jacks that act as car body supports, to accommodate Stadler’s articulated bogies.
Daniel Harper, TfWRL infrastructure project manager, said: “We look forward to working with Mechan on the installation of this vital equipment, as we continue to upgrade our Canton depot.
“We’re investing more than £800 million in new trains for the Wales and Borders network and the Stadler-built class 231s are a key part of the transformation of our fleet. This equipment will allow us to maintain our full fleet more efficiently, helping to keep trains in service for our customers.”