Tarmac is celebrating after winning a prestigious rail industry award for the successful UK-first introduction of giant off-loading machinery which is driving productivity and efficiency.
The company was recognised in the ‘Innovation and Technical Development’ category at the Rail Freight Group (RFG) Awards for the site redesign at its Battersea concrete depot, which included the installation of the first Liebherr LH80C ‘Supergrab’ Gantry Materials Handler in the country.
Collaboration and creative thinking enabled the stocking area at the site, one of the busiest in the country, to more than double in size thanks to the ‘Supergrab’s’ design sitting on top of the train being discharged. This means that space normally reserved for grab operations is now utilised for storage.
Chris Swan, head of rail at Tarmac, said: “We’re focused on embracing innovation and driving continuous improvements to boost efficiency and productivity, not just of Tarmac operations but the performance of the construction industry as a whole. We’re really proud to receive this accolade from RFG, it’s a fantastic achievement and reflects the commitment to collaboration and innovation from the Tarmac team and our colleagues in the wider supply chain.”
The increased stocking area has also enabled Tarmac to make a significant reduction in the number of HGV movements in the capital as more material can be distributed via the rail network to serve the demands of local infrastructure projects.
Mr Swan added: “We’re continually enhancing our rail capabilities as part of an ongoing commitment to move more material by rail and contribute to a lower carbon built environment. We’re therefore really pleased that the innovation at Battersea has had a significant impact on the local road network.”
The Battersea site receives sand and gravel from Greenwich Wharf and limestone from Tunstead and is part of Tarmac’s national network of rail connected facilities. The company is one of the UK’s largest users of rail freight and currently transports more than nine million tonnes of construction materials by rail across the UK each year.