There was a degree of déjà vu at 7.10am 20th March on an obscure but vital stretch of the west coast line at Stromeferry.

The press and cameras were out in force to record the first convoy of cars driving along a 150 metres of rail as a diversion from the landslide prone A890.

It was back on 1 June 2006 that HoldFast first promoted the opportunity for lesser used railways to share their routes at critical times with road traffic by installing The HoldFast Rubber Highway solution.

On that day, their trial outside Corby attracted the attendance of BBC1 News, Channel Four News, Sky, BSB, Look East, BBC News 24, The Jeremy Vine Show and even Radio One’s Newsbeat!

Back then, Peter Coates Smith, then Managing Director of HoldFast, pushed his concept to an invited audience of 110 representatives from Government, interested local authorities, civil engineers, transport authorities and rail and public transport operators.

Popular launch

Peter’s son Mark, current Managing Director, remembers it well:

“Such was the media interest, I could not even leave the press room to see the first cars travel travelling the HoldFast Highway – I was doing interview after interview!

“What we have installed at Stromeferry really does underline how extended rubber platforms can provide affordable multi purpose traffic routes for emergencies and occasional diversions.

This project also shows how, when all parties involved work closely together (in this case TRAC, Network Rail, LCI, URS, HMRI and The Highland Council and Rosehill Polymers), we can solve problems beyond difficult level crossing situations for the better of all.”

A family of products

HoldFast has a long history of innovation in crossing platforms stretching back to the 1980s. The HoldFast Full Depth Rubber Modular System paved the way for the popularity of rubber installations in the UK and across the world, and a growing trend away from asphalt and concrete platforms.

Since then, HoldFast has supplied systems for every type of location and application, including heavy duty, pedestrian, agricultural and temporary crossings. There is even a tailor-made solution which is ideal for depots and complex switches.