Work Car 1008 – Tamper

In 2009, Master Mechanic Jason Lamontagne began constructing a two-foot gauge air-powered track tamper car, from scratch.  The tamping element was based on a stacker, sort of a light forklift, which provided the up-and-down movement.  To this were attached four air-powered jitterbug tampers.  There was a frame which allowed the tampers to be moved in or out of the rail, to get on either side of the rail on the ties.  This “revision 1” was powered by a rented air compressor for the 2009 Fall Work Weekend.  It proved to be a success.  The car was notably front-heavy, requiring some dead weight on the back when the rented air compressor was not used.

Late that fall, the Museum received a donation of a used “Lindsey” air compressor.  After some work to it, it was found able to keep air supplied to the four tampers.  The compressor was mounted on a road trailer.  The wheels were removed and the whole thing was mounted to the back of the car.  Piping was run and other work was done to make it useable.  “Revision 2” was introduced for the 2010 work weekends.

Tamper 1008, “Revision 2” in 2010. Photo courtesy of James Patten.

The Museum now had a workable production tamper, although it had flaws, mainly with the hydraulic lifting system.  In 2011 work began to address those flaws with the addition of a hydraulic motor, and a structure to hold that motor.  In 2012, work was done to hook up that hydraulic motor to the stacker base, plus give the car hydraulic in-and-out capability, plus a hydraulic drive (so that it wouldn’t need to pushed or pulled by people once at the work site).

Rebuilding Maine History