Over 2,000 people have now registered to attend the first National Track Plant Exhibition held at the Rail Alliance site at Long Marston Business Park in Warwickshire on July 24-25.

With more than 140 exhibitors, this free-to-attend event will allow visitors to see the latest innovations in track and plant.

The rail engineer caught up with the Network Rail Track Innovation and Engineering team who are keen to make sure that improvements projects they have been working on are visible at the exhibition.

Uma Shanker, who heads up the innovation and engineering team, said: “We have been working on a number of initiatives in collaboration with small innovative manufacturers and our supply partners.

“The innovation peer group is a cross industry group that comes together to prioritise, develop and deliver on the ground the changes that we need to make to become more productive, use less access and hand back track at higher line speeds.”MMS

Some of the innovations you will be able to see in action at the event are; Plug & Play rapid commissioning using plug couplers which simplify and speed up signal testing on site during switch and crossing renewals through factory commissioning and pre-fabrication. Network Rail is working with iLECSYS, and Park Signalling Ltd to deliver this.

You can find out how Network Rail is working with Trimble, GEDO and Amberg to explore a range of modern measurement systems to improve the quality of installation, tighten up assurance and hand the track back at higher line speeds – minimising the disruption to train operators.

As we have become more mechanised, plant reliability is a key issue for the track delivery team. We will have some of our latest thinking on improving reliability and safety of plant.

Kevin Percival, Network Rail’s business improvement specialist, said: “The next financial year sees the commencement of the new requirement, by our route client colleagues, for Heavy Refurbishment of Switches & Crossing.

“To minimise the disruption to the rail network and to deliver this work at an affordable cost, business improvement colleagues of both AmeyCOLAS, IP Track Wales, Wessex & Western and our key sub-contractors, have developed a method of meeting the heavy refurbishment re-ballasting requirements. This has been successfully trialled at Ladbrook Grove Paddington.

“AmeyCOLAS will be conducting a track re-ballasting demonstration compatible for Adjacent Line Opening ALO worksite conditions with collaborative working from Bridgeway Railcare LLP and using their advanced RailVac air/vacuum excavator, whilst TXM Plant Ltd demonstrates their space guarded RRV with virtual walls.

NR Safety 365 Truck“As we have become more mechanised, plant reliability is a key issue for the track delivery team. We will have some of our latest thinking on improving reliability and safety of plant. Our four areas of focus are High Output systems, RRV’s, tampers and small tools like fast clippers.

“You will also have a fantastic opportunity to experience the latest innovations we are exploring to take and give back possessions making it safer and faster with devices such as the ZKL RC – remotely operated track circuit device provided by Dual Inventive and used widely in Holland.”

The Network Rail Safety 365 Truck will be on site and you can learn more about the Life Saving Rules.

Invitation to the National Plant Exhibition has been extended to all rail professionals interested in track delivery, including Network Rail Track Delivery and their supply chain.

You will also have the opportunity to meet and network with the new ‘On Track Plant Specialist’s’ – unique to maintenance.

Due to the nature of the live exhibition, demonstrations and moving plant, there is no entry to the event without a ticket (Register for free) or PPE: Either a Hi-viz t-shirt/vest/jacket and hi-viz trousers, boots and hard hat (To order your PPE, please click here)