Grant Rail commission new machines

29th December 2001 - thanks to David Barlow for this article

Grant Rail commission new machines

Grant Rail Ltd are commissioning their new Swiss-built Matisa ballast regulator and tamping machines on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway during Summer and Autumn 2000.

The machines are resident at the railway's Priors Lane depot, where a new siding has been laid with assistance from Grant Rail Ltd. Here static training and machine setting-up is taking place. The machines are the first supplied by Matisa to a major British Company for over 25 years.

The ballast regulator arrived at Priors Lane in August following acceptance trials at Derby. It was immediately put into use training Grant Rail Ltd Team Leaders. Matisa engineers are resident with the machines during commissioning to ensure trouble-free entry into service. The first tamper followed in early September with a further tamper at the end of September.

Over the course of the training the entire 5 miles of railway is being tamped, aligned and ballast regulated, free of charge, a tremendous boost to the ongoing permanent way effort on the heritage line.

E&BASR chairman David Barlow said, 'This is a great example of co-operation between a commercial railway company and a volunteer-run heritage line. Such co-operation is mutually beneficial and we look forward to similar ventures in the future. The very latest track-quality technology is playing a part in ensuring that heritage trains continue to operate in the Yorkshire Dales'.

Grant Rail hosted a staff 'day out' at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway during September featuring a train ride on the line, a picnic at Bolton Abbey and the opportunity to witness, from the safety of the station platform, the Grant Rail investment in action as the regulator and tamper worked on a recently-completed carriage siding.

77801 seen at the staff day
Technical details - Matisa B-45 tamping machine
  • Plain line and switch & crossing tamper for both Railtrack and LUL operation
  • Speed 60mph self-propelled or hauled
  • Output on plain line 600 metres/hour
  • 4 individual tamping banks with high frequency elliptical vibration
  • Outside tamping unit has lateral movement capability to reach 1.8m from track centre
  • Guidance computer for known or unknown track geometry
  • Electronic control system for levelling with minimum lift
  • Renewal measurement system allows 1st pass without measurement trolley - avoid damage by unevenly distributed ballast
  • Uses biodegradable hydraulic oil
Technical details - Matisa B24 ballast regulator
  • For both Railtrack and LUL operation
  • Speed 60mph self-propelled or hauled
  • 2 x side ploughs with bi-directional blades
  • 1 x bi-directional centre plough blade
  • 1 x rotating brush
  • 1 x silo/hopper
  • Uses biodegradable hydraulic oil

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