The Caledonian Canal is one of the foremost tourist attractions in Scotland, incorporating the iconic waters of Loch Ness and stunning natural scenery. Constructed in the 19th century to offer shipping an easier trade route than the North Sea, the canal also has a rich history rooted in the industrial revolution. Fort Augustus is located to the west of Loch Ness, with its gates controlling water levels upstream. The challenge for the fabrication team at ECS was to produce gates to the required size and quality, while preserving the historical heritage of the original design.
Matt Enright, Production Manager at ECS, was heavily involved in the project: “As a framework contractor for Scottish Canals, we have prior experience in delivering fabrication projects of this scale. Our fabrications team recently delivered two sets of gates for Kytra Lock on the same stretch of water, so it was a case of scaling up our approach. At our facility in Sutton-in-Ashfield, we operate design offices in close proximity to the fabrications department, which ensures a seamless transition of information between both, reducing project lead times.”
Working in conjunction with water control design partner KGAL, ECS Engineering Services drew up plans for each of the six lock gate sets. Particular attention was paid to preserving the aesthetic of the original gates, blending modern fabrication standards with a historical outward appearance.
Matt continues: “A key concern before we could begin welding was how to safely turn and move these large gates during the fabrication process. Prior to work beginning, as a team, we reviewed the process for moving the gates inside the facility and were able to effectively minimise risk during the fabrication process. Once this was finalised, work could begin.
“We had to fabricate each steel lock gate to CE Marking BS EN Execution Class (EXC) 2, which ensured the steelwork was suitable for the challenging duty requirements of the lock gate application. ECS is accredited to EXC4 – the highest available – so this was well within our capability.”
The end result was six sets of lock gates that matched the project specifications and are highly durable. Fabrication work was conducted entirely in-house, allowing each completed gate to be transported to Fort Augustus completed for prompt installation. This served to minimise the disturbance caused by the project, especially important in a scenic tourist hotspot.
Matt concludes: “Our experience in similar fabrication projects means we have a highly competent workforce and suitable equipment that can take on projects of this scale. This capability ensured we could deliver this large order effectively, and exactly to the requirements of Scottish Canals.”
Image 1: Working in conjunction with water control design partner KGAL, ECS Engineering Services drew up plans for each of the six lock gate sets.
Image 2: ECS Engineering Services, has leveraged its fabrication capabilities to manufacture six sets of lock gates for the Fort Augustus flight on the Caledonian Canal.
Image 3: Fabrication work was conducted entirely in-house, allowing each completed gate to be transported to Fort Augustus completed for prompt installation.
ECS Engineering Services has over 30 years experience in delivering high quality, reliable and cost effective engineering solutions, specialising in bespoke design and construction of water, energy and environmental processing and management projects.
In conjunction with key supply partners, ECS has the expertise and capacity to design and install a wide range of water control engineering projects. With in-house fabrication services, which have CE Marking approval to EXC4, well equipped and highly skilled engineers can also complete structural steelwork, bespoke fabrication work and access metalwork to the highest standard.
With a complete range of site services available, ECS offers a full turnkey project managed service for mechanical and electrical installations including managing civils contractors and supplying pipework, control and automation work to ensure that every installation is installed and commissioned to the highest standard. Existing clients include the majority of the UK Water Utility companies, Government Agencies and Internal Drainage Boards.
Tel: +44 (0)1905 917477
Address: Progress House, Midland Road, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR5 1AQ, United KingdomReader Contact:
ECS Engineering Services: Steve Crapper
Tel: +44 (0)1773 860001
Address: Fulwood Road South, Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, NG17 2JZ, United Kingdom