February 26, 2015

Network Rail orders fifth ballast cleaner

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BRITISH infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) has placed a £50m order with Plasser & Theurer for a new ballast cleaning machine, taking its total to five. Dubbed BCS5, this is the first unit to utilise third-rail operation and is designed to enable the conductor rail to remain in place during operation.

NR says the new machine will boost its high-output track renewals team, which carries out regular ballast renewals and cleaning of debris, oil, and emissions. The new machine will benefit from reduced fuel consumption and emissions compared with existing units, and incorporates measures to reduce workforce exposure to ballast dust, including mist-based suppression systems.

Specifically the machine consists of:

• an RM900 high-output ballast cleaner

• a new ballast power wagon

• a spoil power wagon

• a consolidation machine which includes in-train tamping with a double bank dynamic action, and

• 44 MFS conveyor spoil and new ballast wagons.

In addition it includes a support plant comprising two 09-3x dynamic tampers, one third-rail-compatible 09-2X dynamic tamper, a USP5000 ballast regulator, and a third-rail ballast regulator.

The machine will be delivered to NR in 2016.

In addition, NR has announced plans to in-source more than 500 AmeyColas contractor staff into its high-output track renewals team, the largest since its phased in-sourcing of maintenance activities began in 2005.

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