Below rail maintenance provider Loram says new shoulder ballast cleaning technology is making major efficiency gains for its customers.
Loram says its fourth-generation shoulder ballast cleaner, SBC2400, is the world’s most productive, revolutionising the best-practice for speed, power and productivity in shoulder ballast cleaning.
“With railroads facing ever-changing challenges today, it requires us to continue to develop and integrate technologies in order to optimize their programs,” a Loram Marketing Director Brandon Riddering tells Rail Express. “Loram has been working to further optimise the operation and production of the SBC2400, and it is conceivably the world’s most productive shoulder ballast cleaner.”
The self-propelled SBC2400 features synchronised 30-inch wide digging wheels to excavate ballast from the tie ends outwards, to the edge of the ballast section. It uses dual scarifer teeth to undercut the tie ends to five inches, helping break up mud pockets and restore drainage. It features exclusive elliptical throw agitation separators and variable screen levelling, like Loram’s market-leading High Performance Shoulder Ballast Cleaner (HP SBC).
The SBC2400 is designed to handle 2,400 cubic metres of ballast each hour, at speeds up to 6km/h at typical digging depths of eight inches below the bottom of the tie.
“The increased speeds of the SBC2400 have resulted in customers recognizing reduced unit costs and higher work volume completion while Loram delivers unmatched reliability,” Riddering says.
Outside of ballast cleaning operations it can travel self-propelled at up to 80km/h, and can be towed in-train at up to 95km/h.
“The increased traffic capabilities for the railroad’s remediation investment demonstrates a Loram shoulder ballast cleaning program ensures a healthy, robust railroad infrastructure while delivering maximum return on investment.”
The SBC2400 is capable of discharging separated fines up to 8.5 metres from the centreline of the track, and comes fit with a waste conveyor obstacle avoidance system.
Loram says it also has the ability to partner with customers to develop new machine deployment methods which can deliver further speed, performance and reliability improvements.
“For instance, railroads are including a shoulder ballast cleaner into a surfacing gang arrangement for consistent and increased productivity,” Riddering says. “Coordinating ballast equipment with gangs has proven to exceed individual machine deployment production and reduce overall costs for our customers.”
A global company, Loram has more than 1,000 employees and 230 machines spread across 16 countries. It was founded in 1954 in Minnesota, United States, and over 60 years has grown into an industry leader helping railways preserve their lines, from heavy haul, freight, transit, and commuter to short line railroads. The company is looking to advance technology and automation on its range of ballast maintenance equipment, allowing customers to accomplish preventative programs at minimal cost.
In addition to the SBC2400 and other shoulder ballast cleaners, Loram ballast maintenance program offerings include undercutting, high speed track lifting, and spot undercutting/excavating/trenching.
In Australia, where it has worked with companies like Aurizon, the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and Fortescue Metals Group, Loram says it boasts some of the most technologically advanced rail grinding equipment on the planet.