Tamping Technology Panopticon

From the outset in the service of the railway

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In the early 1950s, there were only tamping machines using mechanical squeezing of the vibrating tamping tines.
The disadvantage was that the ballast was not compacted uniformly.
Then I had the idea to introduce hydraulics.

Dr. Josef Theurer, founder Plasser & Theurer

Start of series production

The VKR 01 was the first series-produced Plasser & Theurer machine. The first tamping machine that was exported was delivered to the Federal Republic of Germany.

The design office

This is where Plasser & Theurer track maintenance machines are developed. The company’s success mainly depended on the fast application of ideas in practice.

The first 2-sleeper tamping machine in the world

The first Duomatic 2-sleeper tamping machine enabled cost-efficient operation during short track possessions. It was followed by the first combined levelling, tamping and lining machine.

The research and testing department

This department maintains contacts with research institutes and universities, performs basic research, assists the design office by taking on development tasks, calculation programmes, trials and tests of new developments.
The following projects serve as examples:

  • Computer methods for the calculation of correction values on tamping machines
  • Analysis systems for track treatment
  • Developing on-board computers for track rehabilitation machines and measuring trolleys

Field study on infrared levelling device

The track is lifted and fixed using the screw-shaped worms which are shown in a lifted state in the background. Initially, infrared levelling was problematic due to the extensive scattering. That is why the VKR 04 was equipped with a chord levelling device. In 1965, the VKR 05 and the Duomatic were fitted with an infrared levelling system. The light was shaded at the transmitter with tubes to reduce scattering.

Continuos action