News From Around The World: Germany

Self-sufficient allrounder

Turnout renewal and extensive track tamping on the German island of Rügen: A track and turnout tamping machine that is also suited for ballasting was in operation the closed track.

16 tamping tines, 3-rail lifting and 4-rail tamping, profiling, stabilising and control measuring – these are the features of an all-rounder. But what makes the track and turnout maintenance machine Unimat 09-475/4S N-Dynamic stand out, is that it can also place ballast in the tamping zones. Thus, it combines the functions of three machines in one. The machine picks up and stores surplus ballast to use during tamping and consolidating, making maintenance work even more efficient. And yet there is more: If a transfer wagon and a material conveyor and hopper unit are coupled to the the Unimat 09-475/4S N-Dynamic, the machine is completely self-sufficient. In particular, this is a benefit on high-speed lines where it is not possible to pre-deposit ballast due to the risks of flying ballast. 

The Unimat 09-475/4S N-Dynamic places the supplementary ballast at the right spots.

Lothar Fielitz, machine operator, is highly satisfied with “his” machine. It places the supplementary ballast at the right spots. The belt system on top of the two-part vehicle makes the machine stand out from other tamping machines already from a distance. According to Fielitz, “sweeping ballast at the rear and placing it in front of the units is a clever principle.” The clearly arranged and logically designed operator’s desk located in the front of the quiet cabin on the left side is where Lothar Fielitz is to find: “The entire machine is how it should be.” The experienced operator is satisfied: “It works accurately to the millimetre.” Fielitz appreciates that the machine can place ballast flexibly between the rails or at the sleeper ends thanks to the distributing conveyor belts. The high level of flexibility is important, particularly in turnouts. There are no high-speed lines on the island of Rügen. Located only 400 m from the Baltic beach, Binz railway station was among the most comprehensive tamping tasks given the connecting tracks and the double diamond crossing.