A roaring beast that give rail commuters a smoother and more reliable ride is on its way to Wellington.
The sparking rail grinder makes a "low roar" and is is due in Wellington tomorrow to work on the Kapiti and Wairarapa lines.
KiwiRail infrastructure and engineering manager Rick van Barneveld said the massive machine was used to grind stress points, defects and metal build up from tracks.
"It's a problem that every rail network around the world has to deal with – it shortens the life of the rail track, meaning we have to replace it more frequently than we would like."
Spokeswoman Sarah Pomeroy said the machine, which would be working on the lines till late December, made a "low roar" but was not irritating.
When the grinder was briefly working on the Johnsonville line, not a single nearby resident complained about the sound.
As well as making the lines last longer, the grinder would mean a smoother ride and increase reliability, she said.
Mr van Barneveld said the grinder would be followed by two fire tenders in case the sparks, caused by grinding, started a fire.
"It's quite a sight when you see it in operation, actually. No one will have seen this type of thing on the rail network before, and experience overseas is that some people see the sparks and think that something is wrong with one of our trains.
"Rest assured, we're doing everything we can to keep local communities informed."
To watch a video of the grinder, click here.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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