UK companies developed battery-powered rail handling machine
Unipart Rail and McCulloch Group have launched the first prototype of a battery-powered rail handling machine. The TRT-e is a zero emission version of the Trac Rail Transposer, which can remove and install all profiles of rail.
The new machinery uses an electric motor and battery power pack instead of the traditional diesel engine. It runs via an electronic control system with remote condition monitoring enabling it to be worked more extensively on the rail infrastructure where diesel emissions and noise pollution are a major issue. According to the companies, the TRT-e will eliminate up to 80 kilograms of CO2 on a typical operating shift, equating to an annual saving of 650,000kg of CO2 within McCulloch’s UK operations.
The launch took place during our demonstration events which were held last month at the Network Rail Innovation and Development Centre in Tuxford. Customers had the opportunity to see the TRT-e demonstrated live within a test track environment which demonstrated the capabilities of the equipment.
The funding for the TRT-e project was provided by the UK Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK as part of the 2020 First of a Kind competition. The race awarded funding to innovative projects that will make railways cleaner, greener and more passenger-friendly. Unipart Rail was selected as the winner in the Environmental sustainability category, receiving a share of the total of around 11 million euros that was awarded to 25 pioneering projects.
Manufactured at the Unipart Rail site in Crewe, the TRT-e was developed in partnership with expert partners including McCulloch Group, Hyperbat, Williams Advanced Engineering, Advanced Electric Machines and SR Technology.