Barnsley-based train weighing firm right on track

Paul Horsfall, managing director of Weighwell Engineering.
Paul Horsfall, managing director of Weighwell Engineering.

An engineering company, which developed the world’s first ever portable train weighing system, is on track to expand since a move to new premises in Barnsley.

Weighwell Engineering, which moved to a new factory in Darton in February, first developed its train weighing technology in 1995.

It now provides equipment and software to freight companies and train manufacturers as far afield as the USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy and Malaysia.

The company’s new premises, at 11,000 sq ft, is twice the size of its old factory in Sheffield.

Since the move to Darton, Weighwell has employed two new staff. Turnover has also doubled in the last year and there are plans to expand the factory further and invest in new equipment and technologies.

Most of the company’s work is with major companies like Hitachi, Bombardier, Siemens and SNCF. The versatility of the system is such that they can weigh anything from passenger and freight trains to trams, underground trains and even snowploughs – in fact anything which runs on a track.

Over the years the company has received some unusual commissions, including being asked to weigh the Royal Train, used by the Queen and other members of the royal family, and the Orient Express.

Managing director Paul Horsfall, who developed the train weighing technology, said: “Wherever there’s a piece of track, we can install our system, so we export all over the world.

“A lot of what we do is first and foremost about safety. Our system measures the balance of a vehicle, whether it is overloaded and whether the weight distribution is symmetrical, so ultimately we help to prevent accidents.”