Exact placement of the track

Uniformity is crucial to ensure the high track quality. Therefore, the ballast cleaning machine needs to guide the excavating chain exactly to ensure the right excavating depth and crossfall. Compliance with all cleaning parameters is important to allow the machine to leave behind a good track geometry quality.

Measuring equipment for the control of the work sequences and the recording of the work are proven developments by Plasser & Theurer. They are also used on our ballast cleaning machines.


All ballast bed cleaning machines made by Plasser & Theurer are equipped with a track geometry measuring system, which measures and stores the old and the new track geometry. The Plasser Intelligent Control automatically controls the excavating chain in height and direction, ensuring the exact cut of the formation and monitoring the cleaning depth.

Track lifting and slewing devices located at the excavating chain make it possible to displace the track laterally. The devices are positioned directly in the area of the excavating chain and are equipped with two roller clamps for each rail. These clamps grip the rails at the rail head and guide the skeleton track continuously in longitudinal level and alignment.


  • Lifting and slewing device
  • Controlled positioning of the track – Plasser Intelligent Control
  • DRP Electronic recording, evaluation and display system
  • ALC automatic guiding computer
  • Distance measurement of the adjacent track using laser


The integrated surveying system measures the track geometry before cleaning. During the work process, the stored surveying data and the manually entered correction values control the positioning of the track. If the ALC is used, target parameters can be specified and processed optionally. This is useful in countries which do not have a track data record.

• Copying the old track geometry before cleaning
Placing the track according to the track geometry


• Entering target values (if the target track geometry exists) into the ALC
Guiding the machine and placing the track according to these values


The optimal formation design can no longer be seen once the ballast has been placed on top. This makes it particularly important to document the quality of work, work sequences and the formation. The recording unit records all parameters that are required for exact quality control.

During operation, the DRP measurement recording system provides information on important machine parameters and the track geometry parameters. The system can be installed on all of our cleaning machines.

Recorded parameters (examples):

  • Alignment
  • Superelevation of the track before and after cleaning
  • Twist
  • Actual track settlement
  • Excavating depth
  • Crossfall of the excavating chain
  • Working speed
  • Load on the dynamic track stabilizer (left and right hand rail)

Safe workplaces

A safe working environment for the operators of Plasser & Theurer machines is important to us. That is why we position operating desks out of danger zones, in the cabins or at safe locations on the machine, and ensure optimum view onto the working area. Cameras help the operator monitor relevant working areas.

Based on the feedback from practical operation, we continuously improve the operating controls, ensuring compliance with the specific regulations.

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