The revolutionary rail dropper from Gripple receives Network Rail approval

Gripple Rail Dropper close upAugust 2023 – The new Gripple Rail Dropper has now received Network Rail Product approval and it will be included in Network Rail’s ‘Master Series’, allowing it to be used on the rail infrastructure.

Unipart Rail and Gripple have signed a collaboration agreement, positioning Unipart Rail as the exclusive distribution partner for the Gripple Rail Dropper in the UK.

Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) installations can be completely streamlined by using the fail-safe and tool free Gripple Rail Dropper. Fully conductive catenary droppers can be installed up to eight times faster than traditional rail cable droppers, rapidly increasing the speed and efficiency of both installation and repair. 

Significant cost savings will be achieved as a result of a reduction in equipment and facilities hire, which also reduces carbon emissions, labour costs and overall possession time and costs. In addition, material waste is avoided as drop lengths can be pre-set to suit site conditions.

Project safety is increased as a result of the fully tool free system and reduction in the time spent working at height. 

The new Rail Dropper will be the first product in the new Gripple SwiftLine range of OLE solutions, designed by Gripple for fast, safe and efficient installation of overhead catenary lines.

Established in 1989, Gripple has grown to be recognised globally as the world-leading manufacturer of wire joining and tensioning systems, delivering innovative suspension systems across a variety of sectors including construction, geotechnics, agriculture, and seismic/blast protection.

By working in collaboration with Unipart Rail and utilising their position as the performance improvement partner for the global rail industry, Gripple will apply the same technology and engineering expertise which has allowed them to transform the building services suspension market, to OLE systems. Resulting in improved safety, installation speeds and efficiency. 

The launch of the Gripple Rail Dropper and the partnership with Unipart Rail is the first major step in Gripple’s diversification into the Rail industry and is the first solution in their Rail product portfolio. The official product launch will take place in September.

In addition to the new Gripple Rail Dropper, Unipart Rail provides a wide range of innovations and solutions for electrification, designed to increase efficiency and reduce time, labour and costs.

Watch a video here which shows how the Gripple Rail Dropper outperformed traditional methods when tested on-site with Network Rail.

If you would like more information about the Gripple Rail Dropper or are interested in arranging a trial, please contact

Nicola Kissaglis, Unipart Rail, Head of Product – Infrastructure, said: “Unipart Rail is at the forefront of innovation and we collaborate closely with the rail industry to understand the challenges faced by our customers, supporting them with products and services which deliver added value, reduced cost, carbon reduction, increased passenger enjoyment, increased safety and reliability, and improved efficiencies.

“The Gripple Rail Dropper is at the heart of these principles and perfectly complements our strategy for innovation by engaging with businesses outside of the industry to introduce new products into the rail sector.

“We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Gripple where together, we can provide additional benefits and savings to the rail industry by developing a suite of innovative OLE products.”

Harvey Hancock, Gripple, Product Manager – Rail & Utilities, said: “Following years in development we are delighted that our revolutionary new Gripple Rail Dropper has now received product approval from Network Rail.

“There is already a lot of excitement from the industry about this product and its potential to speed up electrification rollout across the UK, as well as helping contractors to do more in each possession window.

“At Gripple we are all looking forward to collaborating with the Unipart Rail team on the launch of this exciting new product, and working to get it into the hands of contractors and engineers up and down the country.”