Pakistan Railways Introduces Hi-Tech Machines for Track Maintenance

Pakistan Railways is slowly but surely doing its bit to improve its services and operations in the country. After introducing electronic ticketing system earlier in June, the national railway service has turned towards investing in better ways to keep its tracks running.

One of those measures include getting ballast cleaning machines, which as you can see below, requires little labor to operate and is swift.

The result is that tracks can be cleaned automatically with minimal human involvement. The ballast (little rocks) on the railway tracks are cleared out, making way for new ones. These rocks are responsible for keeping the wooden cross ties on the tracks stable and right.

The machine also populates the cleared tracks with new ballast, significantly saving time, effort and costs to keep the railway tracks smooth as intended.

It takes one hour for the new machines to clear out 300 meters of ballast and repopulate. It used to take a day for a man to take care of 5 railway sleepers (where a sleeper is a rectangular support for rails in the tracks).

This is important because over time, the old ballast tends to get worn out given the heat expansion and contraction, vibrations and ground movement, precipitation from weather conditions, and more. The ballast cleaning machine gets rid of the worn out rocks, paving the way for new set of materials resultantly.

Safety ratings for Pakistani tracks are also enhanced as a consequence, since there are few chances of encountering a haphazard railroad track.


When ballasts don’t do their job

Where are these Cleaning Machines Being Deployed?

Judging by the tweet above, it is assumed that the new cleaning machines are being used in Punjab initially on a trial basis. Seeing their success, we hope that railway lines in other provinces can also benefit from these machines, given its savings and benefits.