BP065 Permaquip Ballast Packer

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Highley, February 2019
Highley, March 2019

Permaquip ballast packer BP065 arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway circa February 2019 and was photographed at Highley shortly after arrival. It has been listed on the Wiki as a permanent resident rather than Other rolling stock visiting the SVR having been on the railway for more than a year, although clarification of its status is required.

The Permaquip ballast packer uses a pincer motion to pack ballast using eight independent hydraulically-powered packing arms each with a packing force of 1.2 tons. The use of a pincer action was claimed to reduce disturbance of the sleepers while compacting the ballast to a lower level. It is capable of self-propulsion at speeds of up to 10mph using a 30hp diesel engine which also powers the hydraulics. It is fitted with a hydraulic lifting turntable which can lift it on and off the rails and is sufficiently light to be transported to and from site on a standard 3-tonne lorry.[1]

Butcher (1986) lists 59 Permaquip ballast packers that were in BRBritish Rail or British Railways stock, all built between 1980 and 1984 and numbered in the range 74000 (Mk 3 works no BP005 of 1980) to 74060 (Mk 5, w/n BP064 of 1984). This particular ballast packer is Permaquip works number BP065 which appears to be of similar type and age to BP064 but is not recorded as having had a BRBritish Rail or British Railways 74nnn number. Numbers it has carried are XRP2114, Balfour Beatty 414 and Balfour Beatty 6372.[2]. It was later owned by B&R Track Services.[3]

Prior to arrival on the SVRSevern Valley Railway, it was previously used at a number of heritage railways including the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway's extension to Broadway. A 'Broadway Extension Blog' entry in January 2017 described their use of the 'Jacker-Packer', which tamped uneven parts of the newly laid line with the aid of the sighting boards (the 'paddles' which can be seen stored on the unit), before the levels were given a final adjustment by a larger tamping unit. Using the smaller tamper was felt to have saved the larger tamper a lot of time.[4]

Since arrival BP065 has mainly been stored at Highley. However on 24 July 2020 it was noted passing through Hampton Loade[5].

See also

Other rolling stock


  1. Butcher (1986) pp. 65-66.
  2. 'UK Preserved 2019, ST Publications p. 124.
  3. BP065 on OnTrackPlant
  4. Broadway Extension Blog
  5. Hampton Loade Station Facebook page