Network Rail orders third rail operation ballast cleaner

Network Rail has placed a £50 million order with Plasser & Theurer for the UK’s first third rail-compatible ballast cleaner.

The new vehicle, which will be delivered in 2016, will become the fifth ballast cleaner in Network Rail’s fleet.

Network Rail has said its new cleaner will reduce exposure to ballast dust and is equipped with third rail operation, which allows the conductor rail to remain in place during cleaning.

The announcement included news that more than 500 AmeyCOLAS contractor staff were being brought into Network Rail.

High output project director Ben Brooks said: “The move will give us greater opportunity to drive continuous improvement in both safety and performance on site.

“It is fundamental to delivering our cost efficiencies and also allows longer term investment in training and development for the high output workforce, our fleet and maintenance facilities.”

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