At a glance:
Builder: Atlas Weyhausen GMBH (Ganderkesee, Germany)
Build date: 1992
Original company: Northern Ireland Railways
Withdrawal date: 2010
Final company: Northern Ireland Railways
Arrived at DCDR: 2010
Current status: Operational
Current owner: DCDR

The Atlas has been a Permanent Way team stalwart since it arrived at Downpatrick in 2010. Though it may be almost 30 years old, it’s still an incredibly useful piece of kit and one that we’d be very lost without! One of two 1304KZW model excavators built for NIR in 1992, the Atlas is just at home on road as it is on the rails thanks to its rail wheels, which can be lowered beneath the tyres as the terrain demands. NIR’s pair were also the first road/rail excavators in the UK to be equipped with two-man cabs. Although at 17 tonnes it’s slightly smaller than our other excavator, the Komatsu, the Atlas can frequently be seen or hard at work during our civil engineering projects alongside the Dumper and our more recent addition, the Bruff. We’ve also acquired a hydraulic hedgecutting attachment for the excavator to replace the now-scrapped HC1.