NIR Tamper 7

At a glance:

Builder:Plasser & Theurer (Austria)
Build date:1978
Original company:Northern Ireland Railways
Withdrawal date:2008
Final company:Northern Ireland Railways
Arrived at DCDR:2008
Current status:Operational
Current owner:DCDR

Tamper 7 (officially 7007) was built in 1978 by Plasser & Theurer for Northern Ireland Railways. Its job is to pack ballast underneath sleepers (tamping) and to correct the alignment of the rails to ensure they are as parallel and flat as possible – this is called ‘lining’. Previously, before the advent of tampers, tamping and lining had to be carried out by hand and was back-breaking work. Tampers speed this process up considerably and ensure the track is as smooth, safe and comfortable as possible for passengers.

We acquired Tamper 7 in May 2008 when it was withdrawn by NIR, and it has been in near-constant use on our railway ever since. Though over 40 years old at this point, it is as reliable as ever; indeed, NIR still have one built to an identical design in 1976 on their books today.