The self-propelled machine has a maximum transit speed of 100km/h and has an excavation chain for single-line working with a three-deck screening unit which grades the material for re-use or disposal. The unit can be operated using either an onboard automatic computer system or through an external input laser system.

Northern Ireland transport minister Mr Danny Kenny, pictured above with Translink infrastructure executive Mr Clive Bradbury and group chief executive Mrs Catherine Mason, has visited the worksite to see the system in action.

The trial is due to conclude on May 25.