Civils and stations

08.04.08

Pfaff upgrades Etches Park Depot

It was an extraordinary order from the UK which gave Pfaff-silberblau Verkehrstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, based in Kissing, Germany, the chal-lenge and opportunity once again to prove how they can easily cope with stringent time constraints.

In order to fulfil all requirements of their franchise agreement, Maintrain Limited needed a state of the art 5-car lift installed in its Etches Park Depot in Derby by the middle of November 2007 when the new franchise period began and they became East Midlands Trains (Stagecoach). The order was placed with Pfaff-silberblau in August 2007 which not only meant a very short delivery period but also required a smooth cooperation between the two partners.

Altogether, East Midlands Trains ordered twenty 20-ton-capacity HD lifting jacks with floor travel gear for their maintenance facility. Pfaff-silberblau Verkehrstechnik installed a system which is capable of lifting 5-car coupled vehicles with a weight of up to 400 tons spanning a distance of approxi-mately 120 metres on the centre track of the depot. Adjustable load arms with a specially modified design make sure that the system is able to adapt to different train types while the user benefits from its highly comfortable handling.

Each load arm starts at 1,751 mm above floor level and is able to lift a rail-car to a height of 3,751 mm or respectively 2,000 mm from track level. The entire jacking system is being operated through a synchronization control with a maximum ±3mm deviation amongst the 20 jacks. The control cabinet was installed at the far end of the track but workers plug in a mobile control console with state of the art touch screen panel at three different positions along the rail car to be lifted.

As always with Pfaff-silberblau, security was top priority for the jacking sys-tem. All components have been tested for their operability and reliability during heavy usage. To ensure a safe and secure operation, the lifting sys-tem in Derby was equipped with a confirmation pendent on the opposite side of the track for observing the lift of the train.

The jacks arrived in Derby by end of October 2007 and were placed in po-sition by Pfaff-silberblau’s engineers in cooperation with the depot team in record time. Just on schedule, on 9 November 2007, a Meridian Train was successfully lifted and proved the reliability of the lifting jacks. Since then, the system already has a total operating time of 24 hours, with two trains being lifted and serviced per day.

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