UK: The Hitachi Rail rolling stock plant at Newton Aycliffe, which was officially opened by Prime Minister David Cameron on September 3, has two 80 tonne traversers designed and built by Sheffield-based company Mechan to move vehicles between 33 tracks inside the facility and out to the test area.

The internal traverser has a bespoke low-profile design with 4 m long hydraulic ramps which allows traffic to pass through the traverser pit when it is not in use. The external installation is of more conventional construction, and is fitted with a canopy to protect new vehicles from the weather.

‘No two traversers are ever the same and their design and implementation is always a challenge due to their sheer size’, according to Mechan CEO Richard Carr. ‘We have worked closely with the project team at Newton Aycliffe to ensure these behemoths perform efficiently and everyone is very pleased with the result.’

The traversers are part of a series of orders Mechan has won to equip the depots which will maintain the trainsets which Hitachi is to produce under the Intercity Express Programme. Mechan has supplied a set of 40 lifting jacks and an equipment drop for North Pole depot in west London, and a further two equipment drops for Stoke Gifford near Bristol. It is currently working on a three-road equipment drop, 40 lifting jacks and two bogie turntables for the depot being constructed in Doncaster.