The UK’s leading rail freight operator DB Cargo UK turned again to Pickersgill-Kaye’s engineering capabilities for the rail industry when its original fleet of Class 66 locomotives needed new cab door locks.

Pickersgill-Kaye, a trading division of ASSA ABLOY the global leader of door opening solutions, has a proven track record for supplying robust and reliable door locks for the rail industry and was well-known by DB Cargo UK following locks supplied for Class 67s and earlier work carried out on Class 66s.

This order is for the first-build diesel electric Class 66 locomotives, which initially went into service with cab door locks from another supplier. After 20 years’ service the original locks needed modifying. The replacement locks from Pickersgill-Kaye bring the refurbished trains into line with the other Class 66s in the fleet, which were subsequently fitted with Pickersgill-Kaye’s cab door locks as standard.

This project followed the successful completion of the upgrade the Leeds-based lock manufacturer had undertaken on DB Cargo UK’s Class 67 diesel-electric locomotives, supplying internal cab door locks during a major overhaul of the 30-strong fleet.

Andy Hewitt, Pickersgill-Kaye’s rail products Sales Manager, said: "We took a sample of the lock to replace those in cab two of the Class 66 locos. We modified our standard product to the customer’s specification for retro fitting to the vehicles.

"If a cab door lock on a freight locomotive fails the driver is entitled not to take the train out, which causes serious delay, a potential financial cost to the operator and could trigger penalty clauses. We produce a perfect fitting lock that will last for its design life of at least 30 years."

There is a move towards higher quality, more robust products – which is where Pickersgill-Kaye’s strengths lie. Its locks work in sub-zero temperatures and can last the lifetime of the locomotive so many operators are now specifying the company’s locks to the train manufacturers in order to guarantee the standards they need.

With over 150 years’ experience supplying the rail industry and tram systems with door locks, including custom-built products to match exact specifications, Pickersgill-Kaye’s manufacturing flexibility and commitment, backed up by excellent levels of service, has helped the company win new business against often tough overseas competition.

It is also set to become a specialist production base for the rail industry following the announcement of significant new investment in the Yorkshire business by ASSA ABLOY.

A dedicated R&D facility and rail centre of excellence will be created as part of an overhaul of Pickersgill-Kaye’s Leeds plant to help drive opportunities for the company in the rail sector through innovation and improved service levels for its emergency override mechanisms, safety critical solutions and locking equipment.

The company’s products are used by train companies worldwide. Its customers include Hitachi, Siemens, Bombardier, Alstom, Irish Rail, CAF, Hyundai-Rotem and Ocean Eagle to name but a few.