I have never used Aldridge before but we had to use them this time and their work ethic pretty well blew me away. We had a final commissioning with a 12 day close down of the railway to get everything done and they were working weekends, modifying stuff for us, nothing was a problem. Unlike some others in the industry, the Aldridge CEO personally went out of his way on a weekend to arrange a signal lamp rewire for us. It wasn’t one of their lamps and it was 30 years old, but Aldridge made it work. The circuit book just said “Re use existing and modify” and that’s actually practically impossible to do. I think it was an old GEC model or something. They went above and beyond and I tell you people like that….incredible. They just provide outstanding service.
I prefer to deal with Aldridge because I get a higher level of service from them and their costs are highly competitive. The level of service is second to none. Because of the time lag between the tenders and issue of contracts, there were several changes in the signal profiles and this was no problem with Aldridge. They were very helpful in sorting out and resolving any problems. They also delivered a lot of signals at very short notice.
Aldridge has always given us fantastic service. Commissioning usually happen on weekends on a tight, round the clock schedule. One recent instance I can remember on a passing loop project that we built, was a wiring circuit design error and it just kept blowing modules for turnout repeaters. As we kept trying to fault find we ran out of these modules so we got on the phone to Aldridge and they got someone out and plucked off 5 or 6 of these other ones that they had in stock and said “here you can borrow these”. All this was arranged at the drop of a hat. And they’ve done that heaps of times. If we ever have a problem during commissioning, like when Track and Civil/Perway hit signal infrastructure a while back, we normally go straight to Aldridge to sort it out.
Aldridge has proven to be able to meet deadlines in terms of delivery because for us we need to be able to book possession three four months in advance to say we want to be able to close the railway, to do the commissioning. That means we need the kit on site at a date prior to that so it can be physically installed, connected and tested so when we come to the commissioning date we’re right to make the changeovers. That is another thing Aldridge has a proven record of doing in the past. Others (Aldridge competitors) could probably do it as well but they would again be tending to wanting to use their own supplied gear in terms of LED Modules and barrier machines and not only on this particular occasion were they (an Aldridge competitor) particularly more expensive but their lead times were longer as well. That kind of discounted them from a delivery point of view.
Aldridge’s strength is they’re pretty customer focussed it has to be said. And while we use standard layouts you can ring Aldridge and say I need a type F light standard with X branded LED modules and you don’t have to say anything more than that. Aldridge understands what the requirement is. They will make suggestions if they feel there is a new or better way we can do it and he’s also if there are any problems he’s very quick to get in contact with the project guys and work with the project guys.