Colas Rail UK recently welcomed the arrival of the last two of four new state-of-the-art 09-4×4 Unimat Tampers, with the introduction of 75010 and 75011 to the fleet, joining 75008 and 75009.

The first two machines arrived in April 2019 working exclusively on South Rail Systems Alliance track renewal works, with the second pair being introduced in April 2020, all four machines have been deployed more extensively throughout the Western & Wales and Southern NWR regions delivering maintenance and renewals tamping.

In total, the first two 09 4×4 tampers have completed 191 operating shifts and tamped 72611 yards along with 154 S&C units delivering an average reliability and availability of 99.46%.

New Tampers Deliver Enhanced Capabilities

The 09-4×4 Unimat tampers have all the same capabilities as the previous models with the additional benefits of continuous motion tamping and fitted with a Dynamic Track Stabiliser, which when used simulates the passage of trains so the track is handed back in a more settled and stable position.

Along with these features the 09 tampers are fitted with SmartALC, an automatic guiding computer programme for measuring and correcting track faults, this coupled with touch screen control for manual inputs make these machines more user friendly.

A 08 Unimat is contracted to complete 400 metres per hour. The 09’s have been contracted at the same output however these are consistently tamping at 600 metres per hour and when site conditions allow have got up to 750 metres per hour.

Another advantage of these is due to hydrostatic drive they can be coupled together for transits to and from site, reducing the need for two drivers and route knowledge.

Since April 2020 both the 75008 and 75009 have been contracted to deliver shifts in the Southern region, not just for renewals but also maintenance tamping that were delivered successfully and on time. This has really highlighted the potential increase in production on plain line over 08 Unimats. Some of these sites have included:


Renewal of 14 point ends over four roads and into the sidings. All the works required two passes.

These tampers were on site from 05:30 Thursday 15/04/2020 to 20:00 Friday 16/04/2020 and during this time 24 staff members were used from across LNW, Western and Southern regions displaying a stronger together approach.


This was 2 point ends and 4 roads to tamp, the machines were on site from 23:00 Sunday 24/05/2020 to 15:00 Monday 25/05/2020 utilising 15 staff members.

75010 and 75011 have successfully delivered both renewals and maintenance tamping in the Western Region.

Roger Nicholas, OTM Delivery Manager for Rail Services has dedicated 50 years to the railway and On Track Machines, in recognition of this achievement, 75010 has been named after him. Roger is still an integral part of the Colas Rail family and his railway knowledge is invaluable.