19 April 2010
The end of 2009 and start of 2010 saw several of Network Rail's new machines arrive into the UK.
At the end of 2009 we saw the third RM900RT ballast cleaner DR 76503 arrive at West Ealing along with power wagons DR 92431 & DR 92432. The intermediate wagons for this train had been in storage at MOD Bicester for a while. They underwent some testing at the NwR test site near Tuxford, as per the photo links above.
It has also been noted (April 2010) that DR 76701 (a P&T VM 80NR that works with the new HOBC set) and DR 76801 (a new P&T 09-16 CM NR tamping unit) have made their way up to Tuxford as well (without the usual stop at Plassers in West Ealing.) 76701 is apparently known as the "Hoover" - it is used to create the hole under the track into which the HOBC cutter bar is lowered. 76801 is a standard tamping unit but is unusual in that it has no cabs at either end because it will always work within the HOBC set.
More recently (weekend of April 17/18 2010) new tamper / liner / DTS DR 73116 arrived along with new ballast regulator DR 77906. They unusually travelled through to Didcot on Friday 16th April in 6V90 from Dollands Moor before returning to West Ealing on Saturday in the consist of 6O45 Didcot Yard to Dollands Moor. Works numbers - 73116 is 3428 and 77906 is 897 both of 2010. Unusually the plate on 73116 is mid-way down the bodyside. Of course this is the second use of the number 73116 which became the prototype for an early stoneblower.
Thanks to various people for the info and photos.
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