Costain fast-tracks steelwork installation with specialist machine

18 November 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Costain

Costain has developed an innovative new way of installing offsite-manufactured pieces of steel needed for rail overhead line electrification (OLE), using what it calls a “steel manipulator”.

The solution for landing steel structures has been developed alongside rail track maintenance products firm Thomson Engineering.

The steel manipulator has been used on the Stirling, Dunblane & Alloa (SDA) electrification project - a major extension to the wider Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme, electrifying the major commuter routes to the north.

During the project, Costain had to install 1,800 steel structures and their associated supports. The manipulator can install the pieces of steel that make up the OLE without the need for additional plant. Costain and Thomson Engineering claimed that it “eliminates significant safety, health and environmental harm” in the process.

Among the benefits of installing off-site manufactured steel pieces, using just one piece of plant, Costain listed:

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