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Tamping Machine No. 346

Ex-Ford Tamping Machine in Down Yard Track

Andrew Bratton - Ex-Ford Tamping Machine in Down Yard Track

This machine is used as part of the track maintenance process to ensure that correct alignment is achieved, contributing to a smoother and steadier train ride. There are two hydraulic tamping subsystems, each equipped with four tines. The subsystems can be operated separately or together, to pack the ballast under each sleeper, on both sides of each rail. To assist the packing process, a vibrating mechanism is available on each tamping subsystem to help 'lock' the ballast material together.

The machine is fitted with a hydraulically powered 'turntable' to enable the machine to be turned around, if required, or to be removed from the track and 'sidelined'.

Purchased new by Ford Motor Company, Dagenham, Essex, for track maintenance on their internal railway system, No. 346 originally cost a little over £9,000. She was originally equipped with an hydraulic track lifting and slewing mechanism. This was managed through an early form of electronic optical track alignment technology, using photoelectric cells. The system also included remote controls, including an optional radio control unit for some functions! In 1968, this machine was probably considered 'state of art'. She has a maximum speed of 28 k.p.h.

In 1994, Ford sent the tamper to Yorkshire Engine Co. for overhaul and modification. This included removal of the jacking / slewing equipment, which was probably too worn to repair and scrapping of the electronics, which were by then obsolete and presumably considered un-repairable. To ensure that the machine remained balanced when raised on its turntable, additional steel weight was welded on in place of the slewing / jacking components.

In May 2002, Ford accepted delivery of a new Plasser & Theurer ' Minima 1' Tamper, and then kindly donated the Matisa Tamper to the Quainton Railway Society, the machine arriving on 25 May 2002. The maintenance of our tracks will be made much easier with the use of this machine.

Tamping Machine in use in Down Yard Track

Gavin Hamilton - Tamping Machine in use in Down Yard Track

Origin :- Ford Motor Company Date Built :- 1968 Number :- Serial No. 346
Ford Asset No. 1584PC
Type :- LCR 03 Tamping Machine Builder :- Material Industriel S.A. (Matisa), Lausanne, Switzerland Engine :- Diesel Deutz 3 Cyl
Type F3L-812D
Hydraulic Transmission
Owner :- QRS Status :- Operational, minor works required Location :- Down Yard
Accession No.: W/0124 Arrival Date :- 2003    

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Page Updated: 18 November 2017