November 10, 2014—Progress Rail Services U.K. Limited recently celebrated the official opening of its Precision Engineering Cell (PEC) to mark commencement of production for Tubular Stretcher Bar in collaboration with Network Rail. The Network Rail designed product is intended to reduce maintenance requirements and maintain integrity for this key component of track infrastructure and requires high quality manufacturing.
Member of Parliament (MP) Jessica Lee visited the Nottingham location to officially open the cell, and His Worship the Mayor of Erewash Borough Council Councilor Kewal Singh Athwal also attended the event, along with representatives from Network Rail and a number of invited guests.
As one of three suppliers chosen by Network Rail to produce the new design of Tubular Stretcher Bar, Progress Rail began making preparations over a year ago to develop the new Precision Engineering Cell and implemented a £1million investment into the facility and new machinery.
Steeped in heritage, the railway company was first founded as John Taylor Co. on the Sandiacre site in 1858, and the Iron Foundry is still operational and instrumental on site today. The company is now owned by Progress Rail Services Corporation, a Caterpillar Company, headquartered in Alabama, in the United States.
The event began with a formal welcome from Progress Rail U.K. Managing Director Tim Fenemore and was followed by Principal Engineer Morven Harrison, delivering an animated tour of the various products made by Progress Rail in the U.K., Germany, Italy and the United States, including a switch panel, cast crossings, security bollards (the type found in Westminster), buffer stops and others.
Guests were then invited into the cell, where operatives on shift were introduced by Head of Plant and Rail Products Leigh Woodside. PEC Section Manager Paul Kelly explained the company’s journey to reach this opening stage, and everyone waited in anticipation of the official switching on of the new plant. MP Jessica Lee powered the machine, and guests took a closer look at the machine in action.
“The event was the first of its type for Progress Rail U.K. in modern times and was a great success, bringing together key stakeholders in the business to celebrate the hard work and positive happenings at this growing engineering company,” Fenemore said.
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About Progress Rail
Progress Rail Services Corporation (Progress Rail), a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., is a leading supplier of remanufactured locomotive and railcar products and services to the railroad industry, operating one of the most extensive rail service and supply networks in North America. More than 8,000 employees serve customers in a network of more than 165 locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Progress Rail is headquartered in Albertville, Ala. For more information, visit www.progressrail.com.