BOMAG set to revolutionize ‘track-out’ rail maintenance


BOMAG, a leading supplier of milling paving and compaction equipment, is set to revolutionize the rail infrastructure sector with a truly unique machine, a road/rail self-propelled single drum vibrating roller.

Based on a production BOMAG BW 213 BVC 4i single drum roller, and developed in conjunction with road/rail engineering experts Rexquote, the new BOMAG machine can mount and de-mount, under its own power, from the permanent way and operate away from the rails compacting soil or stone. Weighing in at 16 tonnes the BW 213 BVC 4i is a powerful and productive machine capable of tackling the toughest production jobs in civil engineering. Equally at home compacting soil, gravel, sand or crushed rock the machine can compact up to 1,400 m3 of material per hour at a layer depth of up to 1.2 metres. In the ballast laying application the machine can easily compact 50mm granite ballast, in 300mm thick layers, to a stiffness of more than 80N/mm2 a level well above the minimum required by Network Rail.

The BW 213 BVC 4i is a sophisticated machine fitted with integrated BOMAG proprietary technology to maximise productivity and minimise operating costs. Powered by a ‘Stage 3B’ 119 kW Deutz engine, and fitted with BOMAG ECOMODE that automatically adjusts engine power to match the machine’s demand for power, the BW 213 BVC 4i is powerful yet frugal. Fuel savings of up to 30%, with fewer engine emissions, compared to conventional machines are delivered on-site in ‘real world’ applications.

Rail ballast is prone to failure through operation and environmental factors. Ballast degrades due to the creation of fines, ingress of fines from trains and windborne material, ingress of water and vegetable matter and ingress of material from the sub-ballast and sub-grade. Ballast is cleaned and relayed using a number of well proven processes. The Bomag road/rail single drum roller has been designed and developed for the ‘track-out’ process which uses an array of modified earthmoving and materials handling equipment including excavators, tracked ‘dozers’, cranes and dump-trucks. The Rexquote developed Bomag is the first ‘heavy-weight’ compaction machine equipped for the application in the world. The ‘track-out’ process is usually used to replace both track and ballast but occasionally it is used for ballast renewal only. In this process a length of track and ballast is completely removed using modified earthmoving equipment and cranes. The exposed formation layers are replaced or re-graded and blanketing or geotextiles are placed in position. New ballast is then delivered to site, spread and graded with a dozer and compacted with a dipper mounted compaction plate or hand guided compaction plates. These plates are relatively small and low powered devices compared to the new Bomag. The sleepers and tracks are then replaced and the ballast is brushed using a dipper mounted sweeping brush.

The new Bomag road/rail single drum roller has 3 tricks up its sleeve!

Firstly, the machine can travel to site efficiently and safely. It can access the permanent way from any permanent or temporary road rail access point (RRAP) and travel on the rails using the 4 steel wheels, 2 of which are powered hydraulically. The machine’s operator uses the standard joy-stick control, as though he was travelling on the road, to drive the machine forwards or in reverse. The machine has a foot operated service brake for safety. Once at the job-site the machine demounts the rails using special ramps, which it carries with it, to protect the rails.

Secondly, the Bomag can compact soil and stone with fine control of compaction forces on any layer of the track structure, from the natural ground, through the sub-grade, a blanket if used, the sub-ballast and finally the ballast. With a 16 tonne dead weight, a 2,270mm drum width, 365 kN of compaction force at 28Hz frequency and with a variable amplitude between 0-2.5mm the BW 213 BVC 4i is a formidable performer which can tackle any compaction job during a track-out job. The BW 213 BVC 4i is fitted with the BOMAG Terrameter (BTM) and VARIOCONTROL. These systems measure the dynamic material stiffness under the machine, in real-time, and then automatically optimise both the compaction energy and direction of compaction to suit the conditions under the machine and to maximise production. The result is outstanding productivity and total assurance that the job is complete with no soft-spots or areas of over compaction. Grades can be maintained as the machine optimizes compaction forces and direction to achieve the required stiffness level.

Thirdly, using the unique benefits of the sophisticated ‘intelligent compaction’ system the complete compaction performance can be recorded, analysed and stored for posterity using the BOMAG compaction management (BCM) 05 system. BCM 05 includes an in-cab tablet computer that is intuitive in operation and it gives the operator a ‘real-time’ indication of the compaction process, the material stiffness under the machine and the number of passes. In this way detailed prescribed compaction processes can be replicated on different job-sites and the results recorded for quality assurance purposes.

This new Bomag machine is set revolutionize the rail infrastructure sector. For the first time the industry has access to a sophisticated road/rail self-propelled single drum vibrating roller that offers safety, performance, assurance and cost-effectiveness.

For more information:

For sales enquiries contact Rexquote T: 01823 433 398 E: