Ploughing the ballast crown

The ballast collected by the shoulder ploughs is picked up and distributed in the area of the ballast crown.

As a result, the tamping area is well filled with ballast. Height adjustments ensure the correct depth of ballast above top of sleeper.

The ballast crown plough consists of fixed and adjustable baffles and plates, which are distributed across the ballast crown.

This enables a flow of ballast crosswise to the track axis in any direction required. Due to the positioning of the plough on the machine it is usually referred to as a centre plough. On compact machines, the crown plough can also be designed as a frontal plough.

Thanks to clearly laid out controls the individual baffle plates and plough plates can be adjusted quickly, thereby controlling the direction of the ballast flow. It is possible to plough and place the ballast in one pass.

Baffle plates positioned in the middle of the plough, which are longitudinally displaceable parallel to the track axis, achieve better ballasting of the tamping area while preventing the flow of ballast onto the line conductor.

Rail fastening channels protect the rails and rail fastenings from damage. They cover these areas without hindering the flow of ballast.

An additional front plough – located at the front end of the ballast regulating ­machine – allows preliminary distribution of the ballast. This plough is used specially for working on newly laid track and can be lifted and lowered hydraulically. It also allows easier access to the worksite for the machine when there are heaps of ballast.

Possible movements of ballast using the centre plough

The ballast can be moved in one of the following ways:

  • crosswise across the entire ballast bed profile, from one shoulder to the other
  • from the shoulder to the centre section
  • from the centre section to the shoulder

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