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    Tamper

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•service update•

SAT 21 OCT

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Sunday 22 October

A strange looking machine is working along our track, beginning today and lasting for at least a week.

This is a tamper, hired in by us to line and level our track ahead of the main running season.   These machines can often be seen in sidings alongside the main rail network, as they can only work when a line is closed under an Engineering possession, overnight or for a day or several days, for track maintenance.

The tamper is a highly technical machine which levels the track, eliminating any dips (line and level), and restores the cant (camber) on curves to the appropriate level, and slews the track on curves to a very smooth transition.

Although we do maintain our track to a very high standard, using our own manpower and machine resources, numerous “dips” and flaws will develop over a long period, and although these may seem small to the naked eye, such minor irregularities do eventually lead to damage to rolling stock, especially springs and wheelsets. 

During the course of each year, we replace up to 500 sleepers, and although ballast is packed tightly under the sleepers to maintain support, the inevitable disturbance that sleeper changing creates to the surrounding ballast will create minor dips and misalignments.   Also, in common with all railways, we have a number of so called weak banks, where land settlement causes the track to subside.

Bringing in a tamper every five years or so, puts the “finesse” back into the final line and level which can only be achieved by such a machine, which exerts enormous pressure through its tines which go deep down into the ballast and compress it tightly under the sleepers.

The cost of hiring the machine, heavy haulage and the ferry crossing does make it an expensive exercise, the results of which are not apparent to our customers, but it is an essential part of the ongoing maintenance necessary to keep our track in a safe, high quality condition.


Line tamp

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