This month’s delving into Network Rail’s files of freshly-approved products has revealed some highly interesting entries. Some have been covered in The Rail Engineer before, but all fill a need on the railways.

So here they are, fresh from Network Rail’s technology introduction team….

Magbox class II FSP switchgear – composite enclosures

PA05/05428Class II Hybrid Signalling Transformer- PA0505067

This is a class II doubled insulated FSP arrangement providing switch isolation, fuse and surge protection covering a range of single and three phase voltages. It helps to manage incoming and outgoing power supplies within signalling installations where a Class II installation is required, such as location cases, REB’s, Signal Boxes and Relay rooms etc.

This Electrical product is manufactured by MGB Engineering Ltd and was issued with a full certificate of acceptance on 10 May 2013.

CRAB 2100E Electrically-driven road-rail shunter


The Zephir CRAB is a road/rail shunter designed to be used in the confined spaces found in rail vehicle maintenance depots. Its compact dimensions and tight turning circle make it easy to manoeuvre within the depot and it is able to enter and leave the tracks at 90 degrees.

The shunter has the following rail performance specifications:

• Drawbar pull: 26 kn

• Towing/pulling capacity: 520 tonnes maximum

• Electric motor: 12 kw, 80 v

• Battery: 520 ah, 80 v

• Speed: 7 km/h maximum

• Weight: 5.2 tonnes

Two separate chargers are provided with the equipment. The on-board charger allows the CRAB to be plugged into any suitable three-phase mains socket for recharging. The wall mounted charger is used to charge the spare CRAB battery.

This vehicle is manufactured by Zephir S.P.A and has been issued with a full product acceptance certificate.

RA7 ballast vacuum excavation system


The Railvac RA7-UK transports material from the rail head through a hose system by vacuum. Dry material such as sand, earth, cement, fly ash, ore, catalyst material, steel sand, as well as slurry or liquid substances can be transported, depending on their consistency and grain size. Site surveys are mandated prior to any work being undertaken to ensure that all excavations are within the safety scope of the Railvac Machine.

Railvac RA7-UK[online]The machine comprises of a flexible suction hose mounted on a manipulator arm, a spoil storage hopper and air mover unit.

This Railvac RA7-UK had been undergoing a trial phase for a couple of months and has now been issued a full acceptance certificate, allowing it to be used on Network rail infrastructure. It is manufactured by RailCare in Sweden.

URS Automated ballast sampling trolley


This product is a significant improvement on the method used by URS for track bed investigation which did not have Product Acceptance. This product acceptance application follows PA05/05065 Automatic Ballast Sampler submitted by NWR Maintenance in October 2011. It follows all the safety requirements specified in PA05/05065 and takes it a stage further by making the system fully automatic.

It further reduces the man power required to deliver the site investigation work (window sampling) and the need for a man to stand on the p/way trolley to operate the kit. There is a requirement for this equipment under the Track Bed Investigation Framework Contract recently awarded to URS It will operate along side the NWR ABS already approved through the Product Acceptance Process. It will reduce the time taken for track bed investigation by 15% – this has been reflected in a 30% reduction in URS’ rates for Trackbed investigation works.

The automated ballast sampling trolley is manufactured by URS infrastructure and Environment UK Ltd and has recently been accepted for full use on network rail infrastructure.

Solar-powered adapter


The solar paddle is a robust solar powered adapter that can be retro-fitted to existing road and track sign posts in order to provide illumination of signs independent of power. The LED lighting arm is aesthetically designed to illuminate a variety of sign sizes depending on the specified lens.

Eurosigns 20120713_163406[online]The solar paddle uses 20W of patented solar panel with shade tolerant design. It also has custom extruded paddle designed to house solar panels and electronic controller and is proven to operate 365 days a year – even in UK Weather.

This very useful and energy efficient product was manufactured by Eurosigns UK Ltd and was recently issued a full certificate of acceptance.

Trough Tec outdoor polymer cable route


These are ground level polymer cable troughs and lids for protection and management of cables at trackside. They conform to NR/L2/TEL/00013 and a full product acceptance certificate was issued after successfully undergoing a series of acceptance tests and meeting the set acceptance requirements.

This product is manufactured by Furukawa, Japan.

Class II hybrid signalling transformer


This is a class II hybrid signalling transformer for 400V or 650V signalling power supplies. The continuous output is equal to the traditional Type C points units and can simultaneously operate up to four Point Drive Mechanisms or similar performance point mechanisms, two High Performance Switching System (Point Mechanism) mechanisms or a single Hydraulic Drive (point Mechanism) twin pump mechanism. This unit is suitable for, but not restricted to, Solid State Interlocking applications.

This product is manufactured by Invensys Rail Ltd and is fully accepted for use on Network rail infrastructure.