A NEW underfloor wheel lathe with a $5.5m price tag has joined TasRail’s equipment stocks.
The lathe is expected to reduce the time and costs involved in re-profiling wheel sets on locomotives and rollingstock.
Speaking at the South Burnie Wheel Management Centre, TasRail chief executive Damien White said it was an exciting day as they commissioned one of the world’s “most innovative pieces of railway technology”.
“There is no doubt that the installation of this precision German technology is a reflection of TasRail’s commitment to environmental and safety excellence,” Mr White said.
The 25-tonne underfloor wheel lathe, engineered by Hegenscheidt, allows locos and wagons to be moved over the lathe pit by a remote-controlled electric shunter.
This allows the wheels to remain on the rollingstock throughout the re-profiling process, reducing the time the locomotive is out of operation from six days to one, resulting in better efficiency, enhanced service reliability and reduced maintenance costs.
“This underfloor Wheel Lathe replaces the old above ground lathe located at East Tamar, which is more than 40 years old,” said Mr White.
Mr White acknowledged the money for the project which came from the state and federal governments.