Tamping Week!

This week sees me back in my increasingly regular groove of surveying alongside one of the VolkerRail road-rail plain line tampers.

The VolkerRail “Beaver” tamper fleet are possession tampers (they do not run on open lines at all) that are delivered to site by lorry to an offloading point such as a level crossing or RRAP. It’ll be staying on site for a week or two while we tamp to prepare the site for stressing works.

I’ve spent a couple of days prior to its arrival carrying out track surveys with our Gedo trolley – this equipment, similar to a total station, allows us to ascertain what lifts and slues are required to get our track towards its final design level (using installed survey control points to determine its exact position periodically). The data obtained from these surveys is analysed and then run through software to create tamper files – these will essentially tell the tamper as it works what lifts and slues are needed at whatever chainage it’s positioned at.
The completed tamper files are uploaded onto the tamper’s computer at the start of each shift and the tamper crew does the rest!

The bulk of my workload for tamping weeks consists of tailing the tamper carrying out post-tamp surveys, so we can identify what the tamper has achieved (and any areas needing work prior to the next pass) and then creating files for any additional passes.

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