CABLE support mechanisms designed and manufactured in Rillington have been installed by the US Army on a dam in South Dakota and an £800 million UK rail upgrade project.

Cable cleat manufacturer Ellis was specified by the US Army Corpos of Engineers (USACE)to supply its cleats for the Fort Randall dam in Pickstown.

The dam’s pipe cable system replacement project is being overseen by the USACE and involves the removal of 48,000ft of copper cable, eight oil filled pipe cables and 8,000ft of steel pipe; and the subsequent installation of 48,000ft of single-conductor copper cable.

Tony Conroy, global sales director of Ellis, said: “The US Army Corps of Engineers had heard of our Centaur cable saddle, knew of our expertise in developing innovative project specific solutions, and contacted our US distributor, NASCO with a view to discussing the development of a bespoke solution for this particular project.

“The job itself proved extremely challenging, not least because of the tight constraints of the existing support structure. But by working together, the combined experience of the USACE engineers and our in-house design team meant we were able to arrive at and then deliver the perfect solution for the project.”

The original idea for the Fort Randall project was to use a fixed cable tray/roller system, but the cable movement caused by thermodynamic forces meant a snaked system was more appropriate.

“The scale of the project needs to be seen to be believed,” added Mr Conroy.

“For example, the eight oil filled pipe cables removed contained 24,000 gallons of insulating oil; and some of the circuits were an astonishing 1,500ft long.”

In another example of Ellis’ innovative approach to problem solving, the firm’s No Bolts cleat, which was specially designed in response to maintenance issues causing Network Rail health and safety issues, have been installed for the very first time in the Wessex Rail Alliance’s Waterloo and Southwest upgrade project.

The Ellis No Bolts cleat is an all polymeric stackable product that is the first ever cable cleat to be granted PADS approval by Network Rail.

Mr Conroy said: “The Ellis No Bolts cleat is a product we’re exceptionally proud of as it perfectly demonstrates our innovative approach to product development.

“It was initially developed to meet a specific customer requirement; tackles and addresses a significant installation and maintenance issue; was then developed into a full range; and is now being specified for major projects by industry leading names.”

The Waterloo and Southwest upgrade project is an £800 million investment by Network Rail and the Department for Transport aimed at significantly increasing the capacity for trains and passengers on that part of the rail network. The Wessex Rail Alliance, which is overseeing the work, is a partnership comprising Network Rail, Aecom, Mott Macdonald and Skanska.

Mr Conroy said: “This is an absolutely enormous project and one that requires a complete new cable infrastructure to support the huge increase in trains operating on the network.

“Therefore, to see the Ellis No Bolts cleats specified for the very first time for it says a great deal about the quality of the product, the faith these major companies have in Ellis, and the great work being done by our UK distributor, ETS Cable Components.”