McCulloch Rail to NZ - On-Track Machines - Forum

McCulloch Rail to NZ

Ben Williams avatar

Ben Williams Editor

A post on LinkedIn this week shows two HDFLASS and two TRT (with ballast ploughs) heading off for work in New Zealand.

One is clearly numbered HDFLASS 3 but comparing the photos carefully with the UK HDFLASS 3 there are several differences in the labelling and fleet numbers. So I think these are new machines but any confirmation welcome.

Nick Tompkin avatar

Nick Tompkin

To expand on Ben's earlier post, McCulloch Rail have in recent years had significant success in introducing the TRT's to the North American market, successfully navigating Union concern over mechanisation (the American railroads remaining heavily reliant on manual labour) and protectionist trade policies. In early 2019 the international aspect was expanded by an agreement being reached with Unipart Rail whereby TRT's are now built by Unipart under licence at Crewe for export markets. As a consequence, McCulloch equipment has been introduced to several other countries around the world.

None of the export TRT's received UK style build/fleet numbers (although I believe at least some in North America do have fleet numbers) and post early 2019 have prominent Unipart branding. What is interesting about this New Zealand batch is that as well as two Unipart branded TRT's, the pair of HDFLASS's carried numbers HDFLASS 3 and 4 in the same place as the UK pair. It does seem odd if these numbers have been used for a second time, although it's entirely possible that an export numbering sequence may be used. At this stage it can't be ruled out that this is the pair used initially in the UK, but with their Starscream and Bumblebee names removed.

Jim Gillies

Jim Gillies

Indeed Nick it was the UK HDFLASS's 3 & 4 which left these shores.

Unsure as yet as to whether permanent or not.

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