28 March 2022France Elevator at Mecateameetings: rail machines in the spotlight

From September 22 to 24, France Élévateur was present at the Mecateameetings in Montceau-les-Mines. The visitors came in great numbers to this 5th edition. The exhibitors occupied 60 stands, of which we were part. 750 visitors came to the site; many of them attended our vehicle demonstrations. These are destined for railroad construction sites and more particularly of the catenary: the 4’Axe’T and the Vor’Axe.

The Mecateameetings gave us the opportunity to exhibit the 4’Axe’T for a second time. It is also the first time that the Vor’Axe enters the stage.

France Elevator has been recognized for many years for its light rail/road machines (less than 3.5 tons). They are ideal for quick maintenance and service work on catenaries. A part of the activity around these works requires heavier and more powerful machines; load performances in AWPs and reaches necessarily higher, in particular for the construction.

The 4’Axe’T : the harmonious alliance between the 4’Axe and the Topy

The 4’Axe’T is the latest model in the series.

Our 4’Axe’T prototype, for the first time exhibited in France, combines the practicality and sturdiness of a 4’AXE base with the telescopic arm already proven on the Topy elevator. First of all, with an E permit, the basic trailer of the 4’Axe can be transported to the construction site. A trailer with a GVW not exceeding 3.5 tons. Its 4×4 arms allow it to reach the derailment zone and to get on track autonomously. Its rail transmission allows it to reach the work area at a speed of 25 km/h. The lifting structure allows a working offset of 5 meters and a working height of 9.5 meters. Items that were previously difficult to reach, such as the feeder, are now within the operator’s reach.

The Vor’Axe: the all-terrain and adaptable vehicle

First of all, the Vor’Axe, with its 10.85 tons, is a machine designed to meet the requirements of rail construction sites. The Vor’Axe is powered by a latest-generation 55 kW diesel unit equipped with a combined particle filter/catalyst. It travels by road on a carrier. Its design also allows two of them to be carried on the same carrier.

The Vor’Axe is equipped with two units of two wheels with all-terrain tires, whose height is variable in relation to the main frame. The ensemble forms a 4-wheel drive and steering vehicle. Several steering modes are available (front axle steering, rear axle steering, crab steering or short turn carousel mode) to adapt to all access situations.

The sleepers forming the axles of the rail wheels are integral with the main frame and ensure a constant load distribution on the track. The flexibility of the chassis allows the machine to remain in contact with the rails at all times, even on steep slopes. In addition, thesleepers are adjustable to accommodate 1600 mm, 1435 mm or 1000 mm tracks.

Deux mâts télescopiques constituent la partie levage de personnel. They are mounted on a slewing ring extended by an articulated arm which is itself telescopic and supports a work platform for two people (supporting 265 kg). The platforms can be rotated 2 x 90° and are equipped with weighing systems to adapt the reaching performance. In addition, the maximum working height is 13 meters with a reach of 6 meters.

Finally, in rail mode, it is possible to control the advance from the AWPs deployed in line with the chassis and up to 8.5 m working height (EN 280 – category 3B).


The Mecateameetings presented a golden opportunity to highlight vehicles that are sometimes under-represented because they are very specialized. September is the month for model exhibitions. Many international trade fairs are actually held in September before the Mecateameetings, which are held every two years. We had already participated in the JDL, for example, but also in Matexpo and Platformers’ Days.

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