AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has placed an order with Robel, Germany, for two Rorexs rail exchange systems. One will deliver 50 rails while the other will deliver and recover 32 rails. Each unit can handle 165m-long rails.

Robel will be responsible for delivery but says it will work in close collaboration with Rail First Asset Management (RFAM), Australia, which will supply 36 specially adapted container flat wagons onto which Robel will install its specialist on-board equipment. This includes rail clamps, roller support gates and a chute system.

The rail manipulator is at the heart of the system. Photo credit: Robel Bahnbaumaschinen

The rail handling system is automatic with remote control which eliminates the need for track workers to work at height and near moving rails. Robel says automation increases production rates whilst maintaining optimum rail condition at all times during the process.

The new rail transport systems will start delivery of new rail to worksites in spring 2025 from ARTC’s Bathurst and Port Augusta rail welding depots and scrap rail recovery throughout the 8500km ARTC standard-gauge network.