USA: Harsco Rail has received orders totalling US$6m for its Drone Tamper, which uses two-way wireless ethernet technology to follow a conventional lead tamper as an unmanned, fully-automated chase vehicle that can tamp track roadbed without an operator onboard.

A radar-controlled warning system mounted on the Drone alerts trackworkers when they enter the unit's safety zone. Parts are interchangeable between the lead tamper and the Drone.

The Drones will be constructed at Harsco Rail's US production facilities for delivery in three batches in 2010-12.