Plasser American

Leading Authority in North America

in Ballast Cleaning Services

Plasser America has a long history in manufacturing undercutting machines in North America and also offers a variety of services for ballast bed cleaning. Our contracting team has several decades of experience supporting the major railroads and transits in North America

Ballast is a critical component of the track structure; it needs to be clean and in the proper location and quantity to perform its job. The ballast bed distributes the loads of the trains uniformly onto the track substructure and assures a firm, unshifting position of the ties. To withstand dynamic impacts the ballast bed has to be very elastic. The proper function depends on the depth of the ballast bed, the size of the ballast stones and the degree of fouling. Ballast fouling has a negative effect on its functions. Increases in fine particles reduce the inner friction angle of the ballast material. This reduces the resistance to shearing and lowers the load-bearing capacity. Moreover, the water permeability and durability of the track geometry are negatively affected.

Plasser American

Scheduled ballast undercutting-cleaning to create proper drainage and removing fouled material from the track is the first step to long lasting track. Plasser American supplies various high production machines to maintain ballast. The workhorse of this fleet of machines is the RM80, which can undercut and clean plain track, as well as switches. Additionally, there are high capacity double screening units such as the RM2003 and the RM802 High Speed Undercutter-Cleaner with performance values up to 2,000 feet per hour.

For more than 30 years Plasser American has been operating several undercutters in North America with an incomparable average machine availability of 98%. In combination with our fleet of tamping machines, ballast ploughs and stabilizers we offer an all in one solution for our customers.

Plasser American

To produce a perfect, straight ballast formation, Plasser American ballast cleaning machines are equipped with a transverse cutter bar to guide the excavating chain. Pivoted to hydraulic cylinders positioned horizontally and vertically, the cutter bar can be adapted exactly to the required excavating depth and formation crossfall. Moreover, it can be adjusted as necessary during operation. The optimal guidance ensures an exact and straight cut of the formation in longitudinal and transverse direction. Crib knockers help to crack very consolidated ballast structure in between the ties, and allow maximum performance in tough situations.

Plasser American

The shaker box size, mesh size, screen vibration and direction of vibration and angle of the screens are essential for optimizing the quality and output of a ballast cleaning machine’s screening unit. When working on superelevated track, it should be possible to place the screen in horizontal position. Guide mechanisms at the base of the screens control the ballast flow. They make it possible to provide more ballast when there are differences in superelevation.

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Information Courtesy of Plasser American