tomahawk overhead train line

Company trip to the UK – Day 3: Tomahawk, Allied Insulators and Goodwin Steel Castings

Sandra Myrtue News

Or last day in the UK revolved around our Tomahawk project. We started the day at Allied Insulators in Stoke upon Trent, where a prototype of the pylon had been erected. The project is one of three finalist proposals in the design competition “Aesthetic overhead line structures” by the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA).

Our role in the Tomahawk project was engineering development including code-based load determination, structural design, 3D modelling, technical specifications and creation of a prototype structure with mechanical testing.

Jon Knapper, managing director at Allied Insulators, was nice enough to arrange for us not only to see the Tomahawk, but also their own workshop and a tour of the Goodwin Steel Castings foundry close by.


The first erected Tomahawk pylon outside Allied Insulators’ workshop.

tomahawk overhead line
Small pieces of wire were placed to represent the actual lines that will run over the trains.

Allied Insulators

Jon showed us different parts of the line system, and we even got demonstrations of how the mechanics worked.


Goodwin Steel Castings

At Goodwin Steel Castings we were met by Bernard Goodwin, process Director of manufacturing and production, who told us about their company and showed us around the foundry.

Goodwin Steel Castings is responsible for casting components for the Tomahawk, and for the first time, we could see the parts up close.


Bernard showed us how they take parts from drawing to casting, and how the cast parts were treated afterwards. He also had a lot of advice to offer on the design process when using cast parts. The foundry itself was very impressive and we got to see huge castings of several tons.


All in all, we had an amazing company trip, and came home with our heads full of new knowledge and our bellies full of great food. Also read about our visit to T-Pylon or Snetterton Renewable Power Station.