Pro Rail Services is a family owned and run rail project management business, established in 2012, based in Rudgwick, located in the heart of the West Sussex countryside. Richard Rowell is the company’s Operations Manager, who is responsible for looking after the Plant & Haulage Division which includes RRV’s (Road Rail Vehicles), Civils Plant Equipment, OTP (On Track Plant) operators, purchasing, haulage and logistics planning for all projects.
The company has recently invested over £2.5million in new kit. Richard Rowell said, “We have recently ordered four new Doosan machines – the first two machines, Doosan DX140 parallel offset RRV’s specifically designed for excavating on track drainage. All the RRV’s we have ordered are fitted with the GKD 3RCi + Space Guard rated capacity indicator system. The machines, and the GKD systems, were supplied by G.O.S Engineering, who specialise in road/rail conversions, as well as civil conversions.”
Richard added, “We currently have two Kobelco SK-135 RRV’s which have two years left of their seven-year life span on the ECC’s. Both are fitted with the older versions of the GKD 3RCi, which are non ALO (adjacent line operation) compliant. In the many years of using the 3RCi’s we have found them to be reliable and prefer the GKD brand over competitors’ systems – I really think that GKD has the leading edge.
With the GKD system there’s more leniency and capability to lift more and with more accuracy when working on cant’s and not restricted using sectors. The new 3RCi with Space Guard, fitted on the new Doosan’s, will allow us to work adjacent line open and travel under live overhead wires, we are very much looking forward to putting these machines to work.”
Colin Sim is one of Pro Rail Services lift planners / RRV Operators. Colin has been using the GKD range of safety systems for many years and he feels that GKD are the best available on the market. Colin said, “GKD’s systems are user friendly and very straight forward, where others are too complicated – I really can’t fault the systems. They also have far more options, which include a lift planner, where you are able to go online and download the guidance for weight and stability for your specific machine, as it’s not a case of ‘one size fits all’ – all models of machine have different capabilities and set-up.”
GKD also offer a really good back-up service and their screens are very reliable. The data record option is also very useful as you are able to tell exactly what the machine has been doing and in what mode – which should an accident occur it’s good for evidence purposes. The Space Guard feature which has dual sensing allows for more accuracy, sensor malfunction and electronic failures will also help productivity.”
The Pro Rail Services new Doosan fleet will comprise two Doosan DX140 tracked parallel offset RRV’s and two wheeled heavy-lift Doosan DX270 RRV’s, which also come with the optional 5.5m long reach dipper arm. The company is also investing in a range of attachments which include vegetation management attachments i.e Mulcher/Flails, Log Grabs, Chippers, as well as the two brand new Pladdet suction units from Holland which is currently undertaking it’s PA (Product Acceptance) for rail use. The suction unit is fully remote-control and is used for safely excavating ballast, carrying out drainage clearance works within catchpits as well as working alongside their jetting units. Richard reported that there is already a job in the pipeline for this machine – no pun intended!
Pro Rail Services customers include Bam Nuttall, Network Rail, Balfour Beatty and Keltbray Rail to name a few. Due to UK Network Rail Standards, all machines working on any rail infrastructure project with OTP, must have an approved safety system installed which is where the GKD system comes into its own.
GKD is the market leader with the vast majority of the machines operating on Network Rail fitted with a GKD system. Many civil companies, such as Skanska, are now insisting on height and slew monitors and other safety systems are installed on machines working on their projects.
Richard said, “Despite all the safety systems on machines, as soon as you use an excavator for lifting, it then falls into the ‘crane category, therefore as well as machines, we are required to supply a competent/certificated specialist personnel (Crane Controllers) including PTS OTP operators. All of operators are experienced with multi attachment competencies, which include, excavator, crane, grab, clamshell, trailer, piling, auger, and tandem lift licences and other rail safety critical resources. It’s another aspect to Pro Rail’s business which also includes haulage and rail project management.”
Richard added, “Since gaining our POS licence, our clients are often calling on our expertise to carry out their projects as we take pride in our work and ensure we act as more of a partner to complete works rather than just a supplier. We are often called out to cover the emergency ‘reactive work’, which the most recent was a landslip on nearby Ockley station, where the bank had fallen on the track. We mobilised quickly with our client Bam Nuttall and got the job completed safely and effectively allowing commuters to get to work in the morning. Therefore, we need reliable equipment to work with – and the GKD systems provides just that.”
Pro Rail Services has an ongoing investment plan to grow the business further, Richard concluded, “We are continuing to invest in our RRV fleet as well as future plans to invest in some smaller plant for specialist rail projects – ranging from 1.5 to 8 tonne civils machines fitted with the GKD systems to enable us to carry out possible future ALO restricted projects.”