TRT-e 1

UK: Unipart Rail and McCulloch Group have launched a prototype zero-emissions version of the Trac Rail Transposer rail handling machine, which can be used to remove and install bullhead, flat bottom and conductor rail in lengths from 6 m to 425 m, as well as switches and crossings.

The TRT-e a uses a battery powerpack and electric motor instead of the traditional diesel engine, with an electronic control system and remote condition monitoring enabling it to be worked more extensively in places where diesel emissions and noise pollution are a major issue.

The existing diesel-powered TRT uses an EU Stage IV engine, and the TRT-e will eliminate up to 80 kg of CO2 on a typical operating shift.


The prototype TRT-e was manufactured at the Unipart Rail site in Crewe. The Hyperbat joint venture of Unipart and Williams Advanced Engineering designed and manufactured a bespoke battery which it is now looking to commercialise, while Advanced Electric Machines supplied the motor and SR Technology Innovations developed the monitoring and control systems.

Funding was provided by the Department for Transport and Innovate UK through the environmental sustainability category of the 2020 First of a Kind competition.

The rubber-tracked machine is 2·5 m long, 1·8 m wide and 1·6 m high, making it easily transportable to locations with limited access. It is fully approved to work under live overhead line equipment, and can cross multiple tracks including areas with conductor rails.

‘McCulloch’s innovative and patented methodology of lifting and manipulating rail within the footprint of the TRT machine optimises efficiency, requiring far lower power requirements when compared to equivalent traditional rail plant which is often converted construction plant’, said McCulloch Group CEO David Girdler.

‘This principle has enabled the development of a battery equivalent which builds on the hugely successful and already efficient diesel powered TRT without compromising on operational performance or reliability.’