Ballast: Crushed stones which form the foundation (or ‘trackbed’) on which the track and sleepers sit. Ballast is packed around the sleepers with a ‘shoulder’ of ballast piled on either side to prevent movement of the track.
Formation repairs: Repairs including the replacement, rearrangement, and compaction of the ballast trackbed and limestone formation to ensure that track and sleepers are properly supported. Usually includes the use of hand-operated compactors, mini excavator, and bobcat.
Maintenance train: A specialised train which undertakes maintenance as it travels along the rail line. Types include rail grinders, tampers, and regulators.
OLE maintenance: General inspection and maintenance of the overhead line equipment (OLE) which supplies power to railcars. Usually involves the use of a road-rail vehicle with an elevated work platform (i.e. cherry picker) attachment, and hand tools.
Perway patrol: Visual inspection of the rail reserve and track condition, either on foot or on board a road-rail vehicle.
Rail grinding: Grinding of the rail to remove minor defects (small amounts of metal) and maintain the profile (shape) of the track. Required to extend the life of the rail, reduce operational noise, and improve passenger comfort during travel. Involves the use of a rail grinding machine (maintenance train) which travels along the rail line.
Regulating and tamping: Maintenance of the ballast trackbed using specialised maintenance trains to compact, shape and distribute ballast around the tracks and sleepers.
Re-railing: Replacement of rail sections using a range of machinery including a loader and welding equipment.
Road-rail vehicle: A specialised vehicle with two sets of wheels (rubber and steel), capable of operating on both regular road and railway track. Usually used to conduct perway patrols, OLE maintenance, and to access maintenance sites.
Turnout maintenance: Inspection and maintenance of turnouts (which allow trains to switch between different tracks) using hand tools including a hand grinder.