Tuesday, October 13, 2015

News: Eadon Consulting on the up

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Design experts at Eadon Consulting have played a key part in the roller-coaster journey to get the historic scenic railway back up and running at Dreamland in Margate.

The scenic railway was one of the oldest roller-coasters in the country until it burnt down in 2008. Now the centre piece of a wider, £18m redevelopment, the new railway, based on the same layout and design as the original, is set to re-open this week.

Rapidly expanding engineering design consultancy, Eadon Consulting works across a number of sectors, with expertise in mechanical, control, hydraulic and structural design and has moved office four times in six years within the AMP Technology Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham due to the growing nature of the business.

Eadon secured the contract from specialists, WGH in Doncaster and had to come up with new mechanisms that satisfied modern safety standards and English Heritage. The wooden-tracked railway with steel rails is supported by a wooden structure, a brakeman slows the ride down at certain points on the track. It is one of only eight scenic railways in the world and has Grade II* listed status.

Eadon started its involvement with the project looking at the reconditioned drive shafts of the rope haulage mechanism which lifts the train up the various inclines on the ride. It then looked at the manufacture of bogies for two new trains, the assembly that fixes the wheels to the carriages. The bogies were to be manufactured from timber which Eadon has previous design experience of in the waterway and bridge structure sectors.

The complexities of the design soon became apparent. The original design would not meet modern safety standards and the outward appearance of the bogie could not be changed for heritage reasons. The outer space envelope available for the bogie could not change as this was already set by the rail gauge and dimensions of the main structure.

Eadon designed an internal box chassis which could utilise steel for connections and composite sections, strengthening the assembly without it affecting the outward appearance of the bogie, which would still be timber in appearance and still include connection bolts even though they were now redundant.

Piers Turnbull, design engineer at Eadon Consulting, said: "The bogie design was a fascinating job to work on with several unique aspects. It was a great opportunity to put knowledge gained on other timber structures to use on quite a unique project. Additionally, the historic nature of the job meant that implementing the design changes required for meeting the modern code were an extremely challenging and rewarding part of the project.

"I am very much looking forward to going to see it up and running."

Over the last few months Eadon Consulting has seen an influx of diverse and notable projects landing on its doorstep. From a number of international inquiries to large nuclear jobs and bridging projects in London and Europe. As a result the firm is looking to boost its team of design engineers.

Eadon has also worked with the RISE project since it launched in 2012, taking on graduates and employing some of them on a permanent basis. The graduate recruitment and internship initiative was established by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield to connect businesses with graduates.

The eighth round of RISE is underway with potential interns undergoing assessments and interviews this month.

James Hill, director at Eadon Consulting, said: "It's always really exciting to see our plans for growth play out beyond our expectations and new and bigger projects get underway around the office. It's also great that as part of this we are able to look at further expanding our team. 2016 is looking really busy for Eadon and as such we are currently looking for talented staff to join us and get involved with our ever expanding portfolio of work."

Eadon Consulting website

Images: Dreamland

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