Lean Tamping implemented in maintenance operation

Strukton has achieved a major milestone with the new tamping method ‘Lean Tamping’. After multiple tests in recent years, lean tamping has now been brought into the performance-driven maintenance practice in the Zeeland region (Netherlands).

In the lean tamping process, the tamping machine is directly controlled using the data acquired by the Eurailscout UFM 120 inspection train. This way, we make use of the wealth of data produced by the inspection train to carry out our maintenance tamping work as efficiently as possible.


Lean tamping has many benefits. First, prior manual inspections are no longer necessary. The inspection train’s data is directly used by the tamping machine. This means that you can tell far more precisely where there is a deviation. The work can then be performed with much greater accuracy. Another benefit is that the UFM supplies measurements taken under load. This means that the deviation can be corrected even more effectively. All the tamping machine’s operator now has to do is to ensure that the right data has been loaded and that the machine is located at the right position.

Less time, fewer mistakes

Precision is the key word when it comes to tamping work. The tamping machine must exactly know where the deviation on the track is located and what is wrong. The UFM 120 inspection train is perfectly capable of supplying that information without the need for taking the line out of service. The UFM 120 takes measurements of the track’s geometry, the rail’s profile and the overhead lines at speeds of up to 120 km/h. If there is a deviation in the track’s geometry, for example, you can virtually automatically send a maintenance machine to the right spot on the basis of the measured data. This saves time and prevents errors.

Innovation thanks to Shift2Rail

Lean tamping is an innovation that in part came about thanks to the European Shift2Rail partnership project. This has made it possible for us to test this solution together with our technical colleagues at Deutsche Bahn. An international partnership for more efficient maintenance and better track availability.