Engineer Steve showcases the High Output Ballast Cleaner
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Engineer Steve showcases the High Output Ballast Cleaner

September 10, 2019

I tell you what, I am so excited tonight
possibly because of this stuff. This is ballast. This is the foundation of the
railway. The railway that in the UK is 200 percent more busy than it was just a
few years ago. Yes – this stuff is getting worn out. How did you replace it? With a
sexy system like this. This is the High Output Ballast System. Let me show you
how amazing this is. Alright, that engineering train behind
you is over half a mile long. Why? Because it replaces the length of four football pitches a night in a few hours. This stuff, new ballast keep our trains
running on time. This takes three years worth of planning. Why? Because while this track is being replaced that line over there is open at line speed. It’s like
taking the M1 and taking a centre lane of the M1 and running all of the traffic
at full speed around it. This is no simple task. This is complicated and keeps the passengers running. Let me show you even more! It’s the team that make this really good
because we use the same systems in France and in Holland; but in Holland
they take 52 hours to do renewals like this and in Paris in France they do the same
thing but they open the line at 35 kilometres an hour. Not this British team,
not this High Output Team because they open at “high-speed hand back” – 90 miles an hour. What does that do? It allows us as passengers to get there quicker. That’s
what we want! That’s a railway fit for the future – and that’s what this team are
doing right now!


  • Reply 73A Photography February 18, 2019 at 5:02 pm


  • Reply colin mann February 18, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Impressive but there was no proper explanation of how it works or what it actually did

  • Reply Trainmania100 February 18, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Here's my video of the HOBC at Tonbridge, you can see how long it is

    The HOBC sucks up the old ballast, and moves it to the back of the train, whilst fresh ballast is carried along a conveyor and put in its place

  • Reply Andrew Gwilt February 18, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    This is on the Great Eastern Main Line somewhere in East London. As a TfL Rail Class 315 passes by which are being replaced by the Class 345. Must be near Forest Gate, Ilford or Romford. Or near Brentwood.

  • Reply TankShell Productions February 18, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Engineer Steve is the best

  • Reply Christopher Smith February 18, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    What happens to all the cables around the track, are they removed before hand and replaced afterward?

  • Reply Oli February 18, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Surprised that guy isn’t here moaning about the bushes at the side of the tracks.

  • Reply Scottish NS Rail Fan February 19, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Good to see Steve again. Such an extrovert. Great to watch.

  • Reply digger evans February 19, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    holy moses !

  • Reply ian taf February 20, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    A rather pointless video since we did not see it in action

  • Reply Stevie Nicholson February 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I need to see it in action

  • Reply Eurocoded February 21, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    I would like to see more of actual works in the video. Love the energy of the engineer.

  • Reply Delta Australia February 22, 2019 at 6:11 pm


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