2 May 2012 - thanks to Nick Tompkin for this article
Infrarail, the railway infrastructure show returned to the Birmingam NEC at the start of May. Nick T brings us this report...
The much publicised "Yard" held just four items, one of which was not OTP. Firstly SES showed off brand new Atlas 1604 WL108. This was fitted with a combination attachment comprising a Ballast Tamper and a Dymax Rail Ballast Blaster (basically a ballast undercutter blade).
The second machine present was exhibited by LH Group/Zweiweg, his being a Zweiweg converted Mercedes Benz Actros 3346 6x4 lorry. Exhibited as a cab/chassis only without a module fitted, this is an impressive machine. Rather than having a rail bogie on the front like many road rail lorries, this features a double rail bogie (if that makes sense) mounted under the chassis behind the cab, with a second similar bogie on the rear. This layout (4 axles) being to enable a higher axle loading. Although not carrying any registrations yesterday, promotional material shows this at Barton-under-Needwood carrying German registration GL ZW 111. It is not yet registered for use on Network Rail but is with LH for use as a demonstrator.
The third machine present was Railway Drainage Gator Buggy DP270/031.
For completeness the fourth machine exhibited was a standard 12 reg hiab lorry owned by Keyline Builders Merchants, exhibited having won a Crossrail contract.
There was one other road railer present on a stand itself, although this may prove contenious from past messages on here! The machine in question being a Zagro E-Maxi, on the Schorling Rail Tech stand (which can be found at www.zagro.de/en/shunters700.asp). Although a battery powered shunter, interestingly this is being marketed as a multi-purpose machine, options including a Scissor Lift Platform, Access Boom and Loading Crane, as well as a driving seat! Currently I understand this is one of two machines in the UK, being a demonstrator. The other has been sold for shunting at a dockside location.
Also of interest was the Speedy Rail stand. Annoyingly their recently delivered Kubota RTV900 was not present. However large posters promoting this were accompanied by similar posters for Pandrol Mk IV Fastclippers. It appears they have acquired several, I suspect from Fastline. The machine depicted appears to carry "Plant Number 41538". If anyone has further information on which machines have been acquired this would be useful.
All in all, a very interesting event.