The Downpatrick &Co. Down Railway has taken delivery of a specialised excavator. Not only can this machine work, like a normal digger, on the road, but this beast can mount the track and run along it too!
This is a Daewoo 170 rail/road excavator, and is a very modern track machine. Although 5 years old it has only done 2850 hrs, and is in excellent condition.
It was involved in an (non-fatal or serious!) accident while working part of the “proper”rail network, sustaining damage to the drivers cab. However, as the cab is a standard design this can be easily repaired, and the machine itself is in excellent order.
As a specialised machine, they don’t come on the market too often and we were keen to secure it to improve the speed and safety of our track maintenance – and indeed in the future track extension programme – all of which is done by volunteers in-house. It came with 2 buckets, and a matching trailer will follow this coming Wednesday.
The real advantage for us is that we now have a machine which can cover all of our terrain, without running the JCB up accommodation crossings at 5am in the morning!
Additionally the Daewoo can lift rail and sleepers easily, making it a very versatile addition to the DCDR.