Wongm's Rail Gallery » Track machines

Track machines

Pictures of ballast tampers, ballast plows, sleeper wagons, rail layers, overhead wiring trucks, rail grinders and other trackwork machinery and trains

'Tommy the Tank'

'Tommy the Tank' was a rail tractor operated by John Holland, numbered 34173. It was built for the Warnambool line flashbutt rail welding project, and used to carry short lengths of rail. The last usage was to shunt rail wagons around the Anzac Sidings at Spotswood.

Ballast cleaners

Ballast cleaners are used to remove spoil from the trackbed

Ballast ploughs

Placed on the end of ballast train, they level off the dropped gravel

Ballast regulators

A smaller track machine used to level out and shape ballast after a tamper has packed it down

Ballast tampers

Use tines to pick ballast under and around the sleepers - 'lift and 'line' the track, correcting faults by packing 'tamping' under the sleepers

Ex-V/Line equipment from South Dynon freight terminal

Two doodads marked for scrap at South Dynon:

In V/Line orange is an internal transfer vehicle, purchased in 1989/1990 to shift containers around at the South Dynon Container Terminal. Unlike normal trailers it doesn't have twistlocks, the containers are just dropped into place. It has the number '6-61-001' on the side, which puts it with various other Victorian track machines that have numbers in the format.

In yellow are two Malcolm Moore lifting units that were part of the original container cranes at South Dynon. Each unit was secured to the lifting shaft on the gantry by chains, the lifting unit went up, down, sideways and could turn at least 180 degrees. The crane ran on the crane rails the total length on the operating area being around 700 metres. Either 20', 30' or 40' containers could be top lifted. Also four calliper lifting arms can be swung out and down to line up with the lifting pockets on 'bottom' lift units. Originally 6 'yellow cranes' were built for NSW in the 1970's for the Enfield container terminal, which was later cancelled, hence a pair were bought by the PTC.

Hi-rail excavators

Various excavators fitted with rail wheels for operation on railway lines, often with specialised equipment on the ends of their booms

Hi-rail weed spraying

Hi-rail trucks and utes are used for weed control along railway lines.


4x4s and other motor vehicles used for track inspection and maintenance

MVM Rail track layer

Used to lay new track on a prepared base, the machine lays down concrete sleepers as it moves along

Overhead line maintenance

Various hi-rail trucks are used to get works crews close enough to the overhead lines for maintenance.

Rail grinder HRR8-4A

Speno turnout grinder HRR8-4A is a hi-rail equipped unit able to move on road and rail

Rail grinder MMY032

MMY032 is a Loram LRG11 24 stone rail grinder operated by Aurizon across the Australian standard gauge rail network

Rail grinder MMY034

MMY034 is a Loram RG331 rail grinder operated by Aurizon across the Australian standard gauge rail network

Rail grinder RG2

RG2 is a Speno operated RR24M-T2A rail grinder that has been used on both broad and standard gauges

Rail grinder RG7

RG7 is a John Holland operated rail grinder assembled at Port Hedland and numbered in series with the rest of the Loram fleet of rail grinders

Rail grinder RG8

RG7 is a John Holland operated gauge convertible rail grinder assembled in Australia from a locally sourced prime mover and two imported Loram switch grinding carts

Rail grinder RG9

RG9 is a John Holland operated Loram rail grinder used across the standard gauge network of Australia

Rail grinder RR24M24

Speno rail grinder RR24M24 is used to restore the profile and remove irregularities from worn rails

Rail grinder RR24M30

Operated by Speno, it is a gauge convertible 24 wheel grinder. I found at North Geelong Yard on the broad gauge, it has been working over the Melbourne suburban network in late 2009 and again in mid 2010. It has also run on narrow gauge. I have numbered the bits from the power / generator unit end

Rail miller SF02-W-FS

The Linsinger Austria SF02-W-FS rail milling machine is used across the broad gauge rail network in Victoria, often to correct rail profile issues that result in level crossings not activating

Rail threader wagon CFCF 1

Coded CFCF 1 with John Holland stickers on the side, this wagon is used on the end of rail trains in order to discharge long lengths of new rail from the flat wagons onto the ground. It was originally built as a TT van way back in 1890 numbered TT3, before eventually becoming QD1, then sleeper discharge wagon VZCA 1.

Rail welding

Thermite welding is used to join rails together in the field. Everything comes in a kit, with packing up around the joint, then the crucible or pot put above the joint, and lit up. Molten metal flows out the bottom, which is left to cool. The packing is removed, and then the joint is ground smooth.

Sleeper discharge

Wagons used to transport sleepers to where they are required. Some wagons use a small tractor to discharge the sleepers onto the ground.

Speno ultrasonic rail flaw detector

Operated by Speno Australia, this hi-rail Unimog truck uses ultrasound to examine rails to find any flaws in them. The operator sits in the back, looking out over the sensor unit towed behind. It is usually escorted by a hi-rail escort in front and behind

Tie cranes

Excuse the Americanism, these are small rail mounted cranes used to lift and place replacement sleepers into existing lines. They often have a small trolley that goes along for the ride to carry the actual sleepers

Tube Cube

The 'Tube Cube' is a vacuum excavator mounted to road-rail excavator, designed to excavate between and below sleepers without moving or disturbing track components.

VR crane 31

Stored at Spotswood for years pending eventual preservation, due to the cost of moving it elsewhere, the crane was scrapped in March 2009


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