I worked on these machines as a part of my apprenticeship.Their function is to make sure that ballast is packed tight under the sleepers so they can take the weight of trains with minimum deflection.
They work by lifting the track slightly as you can see in the video,this is laser guided ,the forks are lowered between the sleepers,these vibrate the ballast and pack it tight under the sleepers.These machines a very accurate in track alignment.They tend to be used overnight or weekends to cause minimum disruption to trains.They are very noisey when working.
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