The Elizabeth line’s purple is getting a splash of yellow, as three bright yellow maintenance engines start testing ahead of arriving in London later this year.
A new rail milling train and two multi-purpose engineering trains with bespoke machinery attachments will be delivered to London later this year, following testing in Austria.
A 48 metre long rail milling train is the first of its kind to be used in the UK rail industry. It is able to scan the rails using electromagnetic crack detection, looking for any defects. If it identifies any issues with the track, it can mill the surface of the rail to remove defects and cracks, reducing wear on the new Elizabeth line train wheels and the tracks. Metal chips will be collected in a container on the train and later recycled as scrap metal.
The milling process eliminates the problems of sparks, fire and dust created by traditional rail grinding trains, leaving a smoother surface that will provide a quieter, more comfortable ride for passengers. Using this new locomotive machine will reduce the need for major track maintenance, meaning less disruption for customers.
Manufactured by Austrian company Linsinger in Steyrermühl in Austria, it has two drivers’ cabs and space for up to four members of staff as well as a welfare facility.
The two multi-purpose engineering trains, supplied by Plasser UK can be configured to be between 40 and 80 metres long, depending on the task, with a number of modular attachments. The trains’ unique gantry system, provides the capability to change a five tonne, 35 metre switch rail within the short overnight engineering hours. The trains can also be configured for different purposes using cranes, a scissor lift for working on overhead line equipment or cabling, and a water tank and jet for drainage clearance and tunnel cleaning.
These trains will also be the main way to transport new rail, platform screen doors, station transformers and more, through the central section of the Elizabeth line once stations are complete.
They will be transported to London through the Channel Tunnel later this year.