Storming Response to Storm Damage

When Storm Babet caused massive disruption across the country in October 2023, flooding near Derby meant that 32 points machines were rendered inoperable due to damage to different parts in each.

Network Rail turned to Unipart Rail with a long list of requirements as they knew we are experts in point machine overhaul, and had a supply chain reach that could spring into action.

With a requirement covering:

  • 16 Motor control contact
  • 16 Assembly motor control contact
  • 48 N&R detector contacts
  • 12 N&R bridge contacts
  • 12 finger contacts (clutch control)
  • 6 HW 200 point motor
  • 2 HW 2000 clutch assembly

as well as heater elements. It was no small list of materials – especially as some of them exist only in State 3 condition (not usable).

Bringing together our supply chain, inventory and manufacturing skills, we had the motors through final test, consolidated with the other materials and despatched to Derby within 6 hours of the original order.

Tara Scott, Infrastructure Director, East Midlands said; I have just heard of the speedy work you and your team have done. Getting us spare parts in 6 hours has been very helpful in getting our railway operational again and really appreciate the support. We have minimised the impact on the travelling public in the face of widespread damage, which wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you!”

Chris Boyle, Unipart Rail Production Manager said; “Planned maintenance of equipment is one thing we’re good at, but responding to storm damage to get the infrastructure back in service at short notice is a very rewarding challenge!”

He continued; “We use the skills of the team across departments in Unipart Rail to bring together the solution quickly. I think we’re possibly the only partner to Network Rail that could do this, and I’m very proud of our team.”