Heathrow Airport contract win lifts Sheffield rail depot specialist

A Sheffield rail depot equipment specialist is flying high after securing a contract to supply its flagship lifting jacks to London’s Heathrow Airport.

Mechan has been commissioned to design and build 10 bespoke mobile jacks, to speed up the maintenance of vehicles used on the airport’s Track Transit System.

The manufacturer is working with aviation construction specialist, Mace, to design jacks that will operate in conjunction with an existing wheel change unit.

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It will allow the large, tyred wheels on Heathrow’s new two-car automated passenger vehicles to be removed and replaced without decoupling, dramatically reducing servicing times.

Lindsey Mills, sales manager for the Davy Industrial Park firm, said: “We are very pleased to be working on our first project with Mace, following a personal recommendation, and relish this opportunity to demonstrate our skills to the aviation industry.

“The unusual location of the airport’s maintenance bay – under the runway – has put our designers to the test, with cabling having to be suspended from the ceiling. As always, they’ve risen to the challenge and produced an excellent solution that will enhance the current operation considerably.”

Heathrow’s Track Transit System is used to transport airside passengers around Terminal Five – the largest free-standing structure in the UK when it opened 14 years ago.

The South Heavy Maintenance Bay is being upgraded by Mace to cater for the 20 new cars and using the new Mechan jacks, two coupled Alstom cars can be maintained.

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