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Rocla Boosts Productivity with Sleeper Factory Upgrades

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Rocla has recently completed upgrades to both its NSW sleeper factories at Grafton and Mittagong, to fulfil the supply of sleepers for the 1.35 million sleeper contract to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

ARTC entered into a contract worth overA$115 million with Rocla Sleepers in May 2006 to supply 1.35 million concrete sleepers for the upgrading of the Melbourne-Brisbane-Sydney railway.

Due to the flexibility of Rocla's production methods we were able to produce within days of being awarded the contract, and most significantly, continued with supply all through the upgrade program with the cooperation of the builders and workers.

Approximately 40% of the sleepers have been produced and we are well on our way to the 1.35 million target. Rocla has also been able to supply to its long term customer RailCorp during this period.

Rocla's proven design process for the manufacture of prestressed concrete sleepers has been operating at both locations for more than 15 years, and the system has proven that it can be extended to meet the high volume demand of the ARTC contract.

Using the Rocla design process we have been able to simultaneously make Medium duty and Heavy duty sleepers utilising two different types of Pandrol Fastclip and eclip fastening systems.

The number of staff at the factories has increased three fold, bringing significant employment to both local regions.

The decision to expand both plants rather than building new facilities means that the sleepers are supplied to the areas where they are needed, thus reducing the cost of the sleepers to the customer and utilising existing staff skills and supply chains.

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