29 March 2009

KTMB Tamping Machine

Plasser & Theurer unit used by KTMB from: http://gallery.keretapi.com/

Over time the constant movement of traffic over the track causes gaps to form in the ballast structure known as 'voids'. Often, from the track side, sleepers can be clearly see bouncing up and down as the wheels pass over them. Excessive movement is dangerous, of course, so the voids need to be filled to give a firm base for each sleeper. This has been done in the past directly by manual labor but today is done by the tamping machine.

The tamping machine works by vibrating the ballast and forcing it under the sleeper. These combined actions cause the ballast to form a close matrix which can support the track effectively.

The original standard tamper was totally mechanical with screws providing the in and out movement of the tools and a cam mechanism providing the vibration. Over time some of these these functions were provided by hydraulics.

Tampering Example (not in KTMB mainline)

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