The two machines were ordered in 2013 at a cost of £7m and are part of a programme to upgrade and modernise LU civil engineering activities.

The tampers will enter service next month and are designed for use on points and crossings as well as plain line. The two machines can be used in parallel on adjacent tracks tamping in parallel with the two machines linked by communication cables.

LU says the new machines will enable track work to be conducted more quickly reducing line closures and passenger disruption.

By October 2017 LU will take delivery of two Kirow 250 rail mounted cranes (with 25-tonne lift capability) and eight tilt-deck wagons for moving complete points and crossings panels to work sites. This contract is worth around £15m.

LU plans to launch a tender in March for a new fleet of 86 bogie flat wagons plus specialist ISO containers to replace 110 older wagons used for spoil removal and other purposes. Development work with suppliers is planned in 2016-2017 for mechanised ballast removal/replacement trains for sub-surface lines and separate deep tube maintenance/works trains. In both cases an order of two to three complete trains is anticipated following the development work, for final delivery by 2020.