Hydrema 912 Rail Dump Truck converted into a rail dust control unit
According to Zembla, railroad workers have been exposed to excessively high levels of carcinogenic quartz dust for at least a decade. Quartz dust can be released when working with crushed stone.
A broadcast on the dutch investigative journalistic television program Zembla in April 2021 about excessive concentrations of carcinogenic quartz dust during work on the railway stirred up the necessary dust in the railway sector. Berende Spoor- en Grondwerken from Oosterhout took measures after the broadcast with the development of a new machine to prevent the formation of dust during rail work. Director Jan-Hein Schoot explained how it works on the SpoorProTV show.
One and a half months development time
Schoot praises everyone involved in the inspection process. "Before the vehicle arrived in the Netherlands, we had already informed the TÜV about the truck, so the control and approval process could begin upon arrival. This meant that upon arrival, the inspector could do a pre-inspection, after which the post-inspection went just as smoothly. The TÜV gave us fantastic support". In the meantime, Berende has received several inquiries. Among others from the railway companies Dura Vermeer and van Swietelsky, who want to use the machine for the Metro aan Zee project in Hoek van Holland.
The water truck has a tank that can hold six to seven cubic meters of water. The machine is self-priming, which means the vehicle can reach a ditch or buffer point along the route. There is a water cannon on the front that can spray from left to right as well as from top to bottom.
In addition, the front is equipped with a high-pressure system and nozzles with which sleepers and rails can be sprayed clean. There are also sprinklers on the sides to spray the secondary rail. Finally, there are three more nozzles on the rear.
"We have for a long time wanted to produce a self-propelled unit that is flexible, efficient and manoeuvrable, offers low ground pressure and is easy to transport," explains Schoot. "A rail dump truck was ideal for this purpose. Of course, we had to make adjustments in order to place a water tank where the skip normally is. In addition, numerous hydraulic components were required for the high-pressure system and the water cannon. "
"A second version is now on the tape to be converted. There some improvements are made compared to the first water truck. Schoot has not yet been able to reveal details. He let it be known that, among other things, mixing additives with the water is being considered to ensure the substance sticks to the material. However, this has yet to be clarified.
Only time will tell what the future will bring. It is not inconceivable that the rail dust control device will be available in different sizes. However, this is not yet the case." Schoot concludes.