Govia Thameslink Railway Collaborates with Wilmat for Bespoke Lifting Beam Solution

June 27 2023
Hornsey is a train depot situated in North London with two classes of train, 387 and 717.
Govia had a requirement for a bespoke Lifting Beam to handle a coupler and safely remove it from the train and so contacted Wilmat as we have previously manufactured a similar Lifting Beam as well as other Materials Handling Equipment.
Danny Wood, Govia’s Heavy Maintenance Cover Team Leader said, “Our department is heavy maintenance which deals with all major work that is required on the class 387 train. The next overhaul that we are soon to do is a B5 overhaul. This overhaul has a lot of major component changes, the bogies, which are the structure that holds the wheels that the train rolls on, the intermediate couplers which are what holds the four individual coaches together and then the main coupler.
The main coupler is what allows more than one 387 to be linked together to increase the capacity of the train running in service. It is operated using mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic systems. This will be the first time that we have changed a main coupler as part of any of our overhauls.
The Wilmat Lifting Beam will be connected to the coupler and used to safely remove it from the train. As there is limited access to the front of the train at this depot, we use an A-frame that spans the road and the tracks that the train runs on. The A-frame has a winch attached to it that can lift the Wilmat Lifting Beam and then be moved into position to couple up to the coupler on the train.  Once all the connections and securing bolts have been removed, we will be able to move the A-frame with the lifting beam and coupler suspended on the winch which will allow us to replace old for new.
The A-frame is the best and safest equipment to use in our particular depot that meets all of our site constraints. Obviously from this we needed a suitable lifting beam to safely remove the coupler which is why we approached Wilmat.
We have used Wilmat before to manufacture another bespoke lifting beam to remove the intermediate couplers from the train. They are of the same design as the coupler lifting beam but have a different attachment on the front to suit the intermediate coupler.
I had the opportunity to visit Wilmat during the planning stages of the lifting beam. We were greeted with positive and constructive comments and attitudes towards what we needed to achieve and were treated professionally throughout the visit. I have only positive feedback to give to Wilmat due to the fact that they achieved everything we required and even managed to do it ahead of the schedule that had been set.
We are delighted to be working with Govia again and continuing our long-standing relationship.