Ploughing the ballast shoulders

Ploughing the ballast shoulders

Over the course of time the embankment angle of the ballast shoulder flattens due to environmental influences and rail traffic. During maintenance work the specified ballast profile is restored with the correct shoulder angle. Due to differences in the shoulder angle the ballast can be reclaimed and used in other areas. The ballast in the standardised ballast cross-section is therefore managed in an extremely cost-efficient manner.

Drawing up and ploughing ballast from the shoulder into the ballast crown enables new, sharp-edged ballast to be placed in the tamping area. As a result, high ­quality ballast is available for the next tamping pass, increasing the durability of the tamped track.

Our shoulder ploughs consist of several plough plates which are linked by articulated coupling. The flexible design of these ploughs enables working in two directions, setting up a “ballast box” along the shoulders for transporting small amounts of ballast or avoiding an overflow at the tip of the plate.

All settings of the shoulder ploughs are controlled hydraulically from the driver’s desk and during working travel. Depending on the width of the ballast bed, the ploughs are extended and retracted. Any shoulder angle up to 45 degrees can be set (additional horizontal adjustment of approx. 10 degrees is possible for work in the station platform area – see diagram below). If there are obstacles in the ballast bed, the shoulder ploughs can be slewed in along the plane of the shoulder without creating heaps of ballast.

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