Mechan reduces rail depot’s impact on environment

The Mechan supplied Rotrac shunter in action at DRS' Motherwell depot.

Sheffield-based Mechan is helping to reduce carbon emissions at a Scottish rail depot after introducing an electric shunter.

The rail depot equipment specialists are supplying a Rotrac E2 shunter to Direct Rail Services’ (DRS) Motherwell facility, following a 14-month trial to prove it can replace a diesel-powered locomotive.

The battery powered shunter, manufactured by Mechan’s German partner, Zwiehoff, is being used by DRS to move flatbed wagons in and out of the depot at all times of the day and night. It replaces a diesel shunter that was louder, more polluting and could only be operated by a train driver. The Rotrac, however, can be controlled by maintenance personnel, offering greater flexibility.

Lindsey Mills, Mechan’s sales manager, said: “We have a longstanding relationship with DRS, having supplied them with lifting jacks and other equipment, which is why they approached us for advice on emission-free shunting options.

“We were pleased to receive an order for the Rotrac shunter, after it performed so efficiently and reliably during the trial period. We believe it is the perfect solution for this depot and feedback from the client has been very positive.”

Mechan is the sole UK and Irish supplier of the award-winning, Zwiehoff shunters. They use innovative battery technology to provide the necessary drive to move up to 500 tonnes and have a compact, simple design making them easy to manoeuvre and extremely robust.

Steve Wilkinson, DRS’s head of engineering, added: “We’re always looking for innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint and this new electric shunter demonstrates our ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions wherever possible. It has proved itself to be as useful as a traditional diesel shunter and has been a hit with our engineers, offering more flexibility and zero exhaust emissions.”

For more information about the Rotrac road and rail shunters or Mechan’s wide range of depot maintenance equipment, telephone (0114) 257 0563, visit www.mechan.co.uk or follow the firm on Twitter, @mechanuk.