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  • Kristin Thompson

CREATURE COMFORTS - CTR Crane Systems for the U of C


Following the outbreak of Avian Flu and Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) traced to Alberta feedlots, the University of Calgary established the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) in 2005, making it only the fifth veterinary school in Canada.


The UCVM expanded in 2011 with the construction of the Veterinary Medical Clinical Skills Building (CSB), a fully equipped animal housing and research facility for a large variety of domesticated and exotic species. CSB functions today as a hands-on clinical and diagnostic learning facility, housing areas for surgery, imaging, laboratory, and diagnostic activities. This state-of-the-art facility earned a gold LEED certification for its energy-efficient and environmentally friendly design.


Image courtesy of GEC Architecture (https://gecarchitecture.com/)

This specialized facility was divided into three sections, a classroom/office area, laboratory, and a handling area. The animals at the CSB may range from small dogs and cats up to horses and livestock. With the larger of these animals weighing upwards of one ton, the building design had to take into consideration an efficient method to transport the animals to and from different areas of the CSB. When Kristian Electric was brought on board, we knew that Gorbel’s Cleveland Tramrail system was the perfect fit for this application.


Cleveland Tramrail and its patented Tarca® Track offers segments of straight or curved track that work together in conjunction with interlocks and switches to change the load direction. Cleveland Tramrail has long been a popular application choice for laboratories, foundries, and any facility where material must be moved through an entire production area.


The unique Tarca® Track has a special raised tread and high-carbon track, making it superior to I-beams in strength and durability. Cleveland Tramrail allows for underhung hoists and carriers to operate on a single-straight, curved, or inclined track, and even operation on two or more straight track runways.


Cleveland Tramrail also allows for both switches and gates at every junction. Both 2-way or 3-way switches can be utilized, permitting the load to move right, left, or straight. Gates can be installed in areas where the system needs to “open” to allow other facility movement. At the CSB Building, some areas needed to allow large doors to close. The gate segment of the monorail could be pulled aside to allow this and could be swung back into position once the doors opened again. Both switches and gates are operated manually.



With capacities anywhere between two to forty tons, an unlimited length of coverage area, and the ability to be powered, Kristian knew that a Cleveland Tramrail monorail crane system from Gorbel was the obvious choice for the lift and access requirements for the CSB Building.


Kristian technicians began installation of two new Cleveland Tramrail monorail crane systems at the Clinical Skills Building in 2009. The first Cleveland Tramrail monorail crane system included hundreds of feet of track, five switch points, two gates, and multiple curves; spanning much of the building with numerous junctions allowing the operator to enter separate rooms and laboratories.



The second Cleveland Tramrail monorail crane system was provided for a specialized laboratory and set up as a manually operated system which included two gates.

Both systems were outfitted with multiple Coffing LHH hand chain hoists and were completed in 2011.


Kristian Electric returned to the CSB in 2014. The second specialized lab Cleveland Tramrail monorail crane system was modified with an expansion and conversion to a powered system, which included a 1 Ton Coffing JLC electric chain hoist and electric motorized trolley.



Learn more about Cleveland Tramrail Systems here.

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