Sheffield-based Tinsley Bridge Group is celebrating a business milestone with the shipping of the first products from its new rail division - as part of a contract worth up to £10m.
Tinsley Bridge Rail is one of just three suppliers selected by Network Rail to manufacture a new design of stretcher bar which is being rolled out across the UK network.
The bars keep points in position as a train passes and have been developed to give greater safety, last longer and be easier to fit.
The contract is set to last up to five years and has created several new jobs, eight people work in the new department.
Mark Webber, managing director of Tinsley Bridge Group, said: “This is the first time we have successfully broken into the rail infrastructure market, but with our proven experience in the high-risk, zero-tolerance environment of truck suspensions, we have the perfect skillset to transfer to the safety critical rail project.”
The contract follows a follows a rigorous process to ensure the safety-critical equipment can be introduced onto the passenger carrying railway.
The engineering group which is over 150 years old, originally manufactured vehicle suspension springs and has developed to make anti-roll bars for truck producers such as Volvo and Renault, rolling stock parts for railways and suspension components for military vehicles.
It has a turnover of £16m and employs 180 people.
Earlier this year, the group announced a £5m investment in redeveloping its manufacturing facilities in the city, boosted by a Regional Growth Fund grant secured with the help of Creative Sheffield. Work on phase one of the new factory and offices at the Shepcote Lane site started in May.
Grant Thornton has been employed by the group since 2002. It is currently working with the directors to ensure Tinsley Bridge gets the maximum benefit from capital allowances in relation to its new factory.
Grant Thornton director, Peter Edwards, said: “This is a great example of a Yorkshire manufacturer diversifying. It is vital companies are fleet of foot.”