Plasser American Corporation provides technology and know-how. Working in partnership with our customers, we address the industry’s most pressing Maintenance of Way challenges. From a small operation with five employees in 1960, Plasser American now has more than 250 employees headquartered in a modern 170,000+ square foot facility in Chesapeake, Virginia. Plasser American Corporation has been actively delivering Track Maintenance Machinery to major Railroads, Commuter Rail and Transit Agencies for over 50 years. Plasser’s expertise lies in high capacity and customized equipment in all areas of track maintenance including Tamping, Ballast Management, Ballast Undercutting/ Cleaning, Dynamic Track Stabilization, etc.; and, together with our affiliates, have manufactured more than 16,000 machines in 109 countries worldwide since 1953.
One of the biggest challenges today, caused by increased rail traffic, is limited track time to perform maintenance. Due to early recognition of the demands for increased performance, Plasser has continuously improved its machines. Using the assembly line approach of designing multiple machines with the same production capacity and multi-functional machines allowing for the continuous flow of complete maintenance functions, Plasser also began to design multiple maintenance systems installed on one machine; e.g. tamping machines combined with track stabilizers; tamping machines with ballast plows; track stabilizers with ballast plows; complete tie and or rail replacement machines; undercutter/cleaners combined with track stabilizing, undercutter/cleaners combined with waste material loading, new ballast unloading and tamping. These systems quickly became the industry standard for many railways. Some examples of technological improvements to maximize maintenance work during limited track time are:
The first tamping machines were small, simple machines capable of tamping one tie at a time at a production rate of up to 1,500 ft/hr. Today, the fastest continuous action tamping machines are equipped with multiple computers and a plethora of electronics such as GPS and automatic tie detection. Some of these machines are capable of tamping two, three and even four ties at a time with production rates as high as 7,400 ft/hr.
Dynamic Track Stabilization
One of Plasser’s most innovative machines is the Dynamic Track Stabilizer. This machine is used directly behind a tamping machine. It settles the disturbed track bed in a controlled environment; thus reducing the need for slow orders and allowing trains to run across maintained track at scheduled speeds, as well as extends track maintenance cycles.
Conventional Ballast Regulators move the ballast back-and-forth along the track and have difficulty working on track with very restricted clearance and powered third rail. With today’s high production tamping machines, these Ballast Regulators cannot keep pace and are not as economical. Plasser’s high capacity, custom designed Ballast Management Systems and Ballast Regulators are designed with the capacity to easily keep pace with the high production tampers and comply with the customer’s specifications, restricted clearance and working parameters, and the ballast regulating work can be performed in one single pass. Excess ballast left on the track may be loaded into a ballast hopper on the machine and distributed as required.
Track Recording Vehicles
Plasser has manufactured more than 150 track recording cars worldwide. Every new car Plasser builds incorporates the tremendous experience derived from producing so many cars for such a variety of customers requesting different specifications.
Innovations like these increase productivity and more importantly track quality, allowing goods and the every day commuter to be transported safely and ensuring they arrive on time. A well maintained track is a cost effective way to keep America’s Railways moving.