AFM Week

This week we’ve got the AFM in carrying out some works – a quieter week in terms of workload but also an introduction for me to an on track machine I’ve never used before!

The AFM (or Automatic Finishing Machine) is an on-track machine capable of travelling on NR managed infrastructure (it’s one you can spot). It consists of a ballast hopper which allows for stone to be replenished, a set of ballast ploughs for profiling the ballast to the correct height and width, a ballast brush which picks up any excess stone and loads it into the hopper, and a Dynamic Track Stabiliser (DTS) unit. This train will undertake runs across the site all week to enable us to carry out stressing works more easily, but will also make an appearance closer to the end of overall track works to ensure that the completed track and ballast are compliant with their appropriate standards.
It can cover a lot of track in one shift, with today’s run covering around 6000m total.

(I decided to give the DTS module its own small paragraph as I couldn’t sim it up in a short set of words – it’s an asset normally seen on some larger tampers that exerts pressure on the track laterally and vertically as the vehicle passes over to consolidate the ballast better than tamping alone.)



Timelapse of the ballast plough unit bringing in and profiling ballast



Timelapse of a completed (fully brushed/profiled) section

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