Videos: Tamper Outburst


It was Tamper Time for the Morningside to Kingsland line this afternoon as the track was straightened and balanced as part of the big weekend of pre-electrification works there.

Morningside Drive at the New North Rd was closed to motorists so that workers could make use of the level crossing area without interruption of motorists.

A major sleeper lay is planned for the period between November 10 and 20




  1. Chris says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but what does a Tamper machine do?

  2. Matt L says:

    Chris - from wikipedia …. used to pack (or tamp) the track ballast under railway tracks to make the tracks more durable….

    …. also correct the alignment of the rails to make them parallel and level, in order to achieve a more comfortable ride for passengers and freight and to reduce the mechanical strain applied to the rails by passing trains.

  3. Jon C says:

    @ Chris Good question. It’s to get the lowered tracks all nice and tidy and make sure they are safely “installed” and balanced. You may see these at places where new tracks or tracks have been laid or lowered.
    The tamping machine works by vibrating the ballast and forcing it under the sleeper. These combined actions cause the ballast to form a close matrix which can support the track effectively.

  4. Chris says:

    Ahh, thanks very much for that…it’s always interesting to find out about how our transport systems are constructed.

  5. suntha says:

    I watched the video with the digher machine and am asking how the digher moves along when the tracks on the digher do not turn
    Suntha Kumaranama

  6. Nick R says:

    It’s fitted with railway wheels underneath, the digger’s engine is driving those rather than the tracks.

  7. Jon C says:

    @ Suntha An earlier video of track work I put up here


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