The Empire strikes back(ish)

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Where: Unknown

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When: 07 April 1963

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In 1963, this machine must have appeared like something from another galaxy out there somewhere, when it was deployed on the permanent way. O’Dea’s cataloguing of the demise of the railways in Ireland was also an opportunity to celebrate new ideas and inventions. What did an “8 tool tamper” do for a living?

Photographer: James P. O’Dea

Collection: O’Dea Photograph Collection

Date: Sunday, 7 April 1963

NLI Ref.: ODEA 35/91

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie


Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8866
jamespo’dea o’deaphotographiccollection nationallibraryofireland permanentway railroad machine cie corasiompaireireann irishrail 8tooltamper tamper railways railroads trains sunday april 1963 1960s ireland tampingmachine plasser theurer 20thcentury

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 23/Jun/2020 07:55:03

    7 April 1963 was a Sunday ...

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    Foxglove

    • 23/Jun/2020 07:58:49

    One definition of a tamper is a "neutron reflector in nuclear weapons" ... which could fit with the "other galaxy" appearance. but as we all should know , ramping is a measure of compaction. it's a fine looking bit of kit

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 23/Jun/2020 08:00:07

    remarkable!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 23/Jun/2020 08:03:09

    There's more to this than meets the eye, and Inspector O'Mahony is on to it! - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000306313 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamping_machine

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    jonestowne

    • 23/Jun/2020 08:05:49

    😲😆...😍👏

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    suckindeesel

    • 23/Jun/2020 08:43:54

    Tamped the ballast

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    abandoned railways

    • 23/Jun/2020 08:49:19

    Bright yellow, for visibility.

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    cargeofg

    • 23/Jun/2020 09:24:24

    It had a set of spikes that could be inserted into the ballast by hydraulic rams. It then agitated the ballast to ensure it was settled/tamped under the sleepers. The Austrian company called Plasser and Theurer still make machines for PW maintenance.

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    cargeofg

    • 23/Jun/2020 09:34:55

    catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000307486

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    suckindeesel

    • 23/Jun/2020 15:04:29

    This type of tamper performs two functions, compacting the ballast (the stones) and aligning the track. The "eight tool" refers to the number of hydraulically operated "tines" which are forced into the ballast and vibrate at a low frequency to settle and compact the ballast. A hydraulic ram lifts the track to make it level and tha ballast is compacted around and underneath the sleeper. The second function is best understood in conjunction with the other tamper photo catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000306313 The trolley being pushed in front, note the bar between, is a target. An optical device on the tamper reads the target in front and can determine if the track is in alignment, I.e. straight and level. If not, then the tamper adjusts the ballast for vertical alignment. Horizontal alignment is achieved by other rams pushing the track sideways. Modern machines use laser instead of optical alignment. You have to be near one of these machines in operation to appreciate the strength of vibration involved. I could even feel the vibrations while sitting in an adjacent DART. The location of the track maintenance machines was in Barrow St., now the site of Google HQ. PS. I can see from the companion photos that a separate machine was used to straighten the track. However, modern machines can combine the two functions. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasser_%26_Theurer

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    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 23/Jun/2020 15:28:36

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Cows seem undisturbed - or was it time for a cuppa tae?

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    suckindeesel

    • 23/Jun/2020 17:03:47

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Typical day to carry out such work

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 23/Jun/2020 21:35:27

    Simplified explanation on YouTube - youtu.be/6gIv_o0LR4k . It must have been tedious hard work before these things were invented.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 23/Jun/2020 21:40:17

    keeps the ballast (rocks) under the tracks tight, prevents the rails from moving, holds the ties (sleepers) in place. Also allows for drainage away from the rails.

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    suckindeesel

    • 23/Jun/2020 22:01:57

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Yes, when you consider that each rail weighs over 100lbs/yd, never mind the weight of each sleeper. The modern concrete version is heavier than the older wooden type. Mechanisation has removed some of the hard labour as involved, but is still tough work carried out in all weathers under a time constraint.

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    jamica1

    • 30/Jun/2020 23:33:15

    Wonderful piece of equipment