Apparatus and method are disclosed for transporting discrete workpieces between the outside and inside of a pressure sealable chamber, such as a chamber under vacuum. At least one pressure lock is attached to the chamber and separated therefrom by a gate valve. The lock includes a door with associated means for receiving supporting and transporting a workpiece or a workpiece carrier. Means for conveying the workpiece between the lock and the chamber, as well as means for receiving and supporting the carrier in the chamber are disclosed. The apparatus allows a carrier to be mounted on the open door so that the carrier is automatically transported into the lock as the door is closed. The lock is evacuated while the door and the gate are closed and then the gate is opened to allow the carrier to be conveyed into the chamber.