At a glance:
Builder: Deutsche Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen (Germany)
Build date: 1978
Original company: Northern Ireland Railways
Withdrawal date: 2010
Final company: Northern Ireland Railways
Arrived at DCDR: 2010
Current status: Operational
Current owner: DCDR

The Ballast Regulator was built in 1978 by Deutsche Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH (a subsidiary of Plasser & Theurer) for Northern Ireland Railways. It shapes and evenly distributes the ballast beneath and around the sleepers, and is typically used in conjunction with a tamping and lining machine. Of the USP3000C design, it is numbered 315. Despite an incident in 2006 when it jumped off the tracks at Trooperslane, 315 remained in service with NIR until 2010.

NIR offered 315 to us after it was withdrawn, and we didn’t need asked twice! The Ballast Regulator has saved our track team from so much backache over the years that it has more than paid its way at our railway. Whilst our goal is to preserve the past, we think perhaps the Victorian trackwork methods are best left confined to the history books!