I'm not sure we'll see a return to pots and powder just yet. I think the main reason NR are ending in-house flash-butt welding is that it's just too expensive, so outsourcing may be cheaper. We may even see a contractor acquiring some/all of these 10 machines...
Gosh! When we were being shown round York Holgate depot on 6/6/13 (IRS visit) these were said to be the "in-thing" that were going to cut possession times where joints needed welding. There's half a power station in that big box on the back of them! Of course, I exaggerate but I'm sure the power output was described in terms of fractions of a megawatt. Back to a pot of aluminum powder and rust (iron oxide) to be set on fire then? Maybe the traditional solutions can't be bettered.
This vehicle, plus accompanying rake had a rare outing in daylight (and social) hours through Sussex this morning, passing Burgess Hill slightly early at 10:20 to and tailed by 66592 and 66519. What is also notable is that the inbound working of this train last night terminated at Bognor Regis Platform 3, a station (plus branch) which generally sees nothing other than Southern class 313 and 377s, plus MPV's in Autumn and Winter months.
It is not a break down crane. It is used in engineering possessions to lift, predominantly, track panels and points. 6M78 is the daily Train from Doncaster to Toton that is used to move engineering wagons around the network. So this is not unusual. Although itís lifting capacity does mean it could be used to rerail stock in a derailment. I do believe either it or one of its sisters has been used to clear up accidents sites in the past.
I think I may finally have the answer to which machine this was. Checking up on what Bance trollies were battery powered, and which operators ran them, the only trolley that appears to fit the bill was 082/00 (083/00 - 085/00 were motor fitted). I was also told after making enquiries that the fluorescent tape was added for use by the Avon Fire Brigade in tunnels. Any thoughts by other correspondents ?