Unipart Rail, along with McCulloch Group, has unveiled the first prototype of the new Trac Rail Transposer (TRT), named TRT-e, which is the zero-emissions variety of TRT.

This is said to be the ‘safest and most versatile’ rail handling machine.

TRT is a rubber-tracked machine utilised on rail infrastructures, underground track, and light rail networks.

Instead of the traditional diesel engine, this new solution features an electric motor and battery power pack.

The low carbon, low emission solution operates through an electronic control system with distant condition monitoring that allows it to run more extensively on the rail infrastructure.

Compared to the current diesel-powered TRT, the TRT-e will cut down nearly 80kg of CO₂ on a typical operating shift.

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This new solution was launched in July at the Network Rail RIDC (Rail Innovation and Development Centre) in Tuxford.

During the demonstration, the solution’s capabilities were showcased within a test track environment.

The TRT-e has been manufactured at the Unipart Rail site in Crewe and developed in collaboration with partners, including McCulloch Group, Hyperbat, Williams Advanced Engineering, Advanced Electric Machines, and SR Technology.

Unipart Rail managing director Neil McNicholas said: “The collaboration between Unipart Rail and McCulloch and our combined knowledge, technical expertise and manufacturing capability, provides us with the opportunity to offer a unique solution to customers. This enables them to reduce their operational costs, enhance safety and improve productivity.”

As part of the 2020 First of a Kind (FOAK) competition, the TRT-e project received funding from The Department for Transport and was delivered in collaboration with Innovate UK.

Unipart Rail was named the winner in the environmental sustainability category and secured a share of $12.93m (£9.4m), which was presented to 25 winning projects.

McCulloch Group CEO David Girdler said: “McCulloch’s innovative and patented methodology of lifting and manipulating rail within the footprint of the TRT machine optimises efficiency, requiring far lower power requirements when compared to equivalent traditional rail plant, which is often converted construction plant.

“This principle has enabled the development of a battery equivalent, the TRT-e, which builds on the hugely successful and already efficient diesel-powered TRT without compromising on operational performance or reliability.”