VolkerRail contracts Matisa to commission two new B 66 UC tampers

VolkerRail is expanding its fleet of On Track Machines (OTMs), having commissioned Matisa to build two new B 66 UC tampers.


The new machines, being built in Switzerland, will assist VolkerRail in its delivery of Network Rail’s National OTM contract. This seven-year contract, which commenced in 2018, sees VolkerRail supply up to 12 OTMs, for the provision of plain line and switch and crossing renewals, and maintenance tamping across the UK.

This is the latest in a long and significant investment by VolkerRail to expand and upgrade its tamper fleet following the delivery of two B66 UC tampers in 2019 and 2020.

In addition to an already impressive technical specification, the new machines will have full S&C capability with a tamping-shuttle, for high-output plain line working. Each tamper introduces further technical innovations including duplex traction, a ballast comb and tandem tamping capabilities, which will help the delivery team to improve safety, reduce environmental impact (including the reduction of CO2 emissions, ballast dust, and noise) and increase operational efficiency.

With the duplex traction capabilities these new machines will have the capability to be coupled together, both electrically and pneumatically. This allows the pair of tampers to run at the permitted line speed as one train, whilst still providing the necessary train safety systems.

The tandem tamping system will also allow both machines to work through switches and crossing together, providing improved track quality for both maintenance and renewal S&C tamping.

Niall McCreanor, specialist businesses director, VolkerRail, said: “This latest phase of investment will allow us to provide more support to Network Rail, along with the wider rail sector, strengthening our standing as a market leader in rail plant supply.”

Paul Milner, managing director, Matisa - UK, said: “The investment of two additional tamping machines by VolkerRail, further strengthens the working relationship between both businesses, and enhances VolkerRail’s already impressive fleet, within its Plant division.”

The new machines are set to arrive in the UK in March 2023, and will be brought into operation in Summer 2023.