Main contractor for the Chiltern Line Capacity Works, GrantRail, has been using Pandrol's Fastclip system on two phases of the double tracking of the Princes Risborough to Bicester section.
With Fastclip the clips, pads and insulators are delivered to site pre- assembled on the prestressed concrete sleepers. Because the clips are already in a parked position on the shoulders they can easily be pushed into the locked position automatically.
Track laying started in January 1998 and Pandrol's Mk I clipping machine was used until the contract was completed in August that year. When a second front was opened at the northern end of the line Pandrol's Mk II clipping machine was used. This is a modular design unit with one set of equipment for clipping up and one for unclipping. The machine is remotely controlled and can clip 13 lengths per hour or more than six sleepers a minute.
This is four times faster than conventional clipping up, according to GrantRail's assistant contract manager Mike Bevis. It also has the advantage of requiring just one operator, compared with the six men normally needed.
Pandrol UK (01909) 476101