Alstom’s Appitrack machine makes its UK entry as part of tram extension project


Alstom’s unique Appitrack machine has been used for the first time in the UK by engineersAppitrack working on the two extension lines to Nottingham’s tram system.

The machine, which has already been successfully used in cities such as Jerusalem and Orleans, laid the first 120m of track foundations as part of a special open event that saw hundreds of local people visiting the site to find out more about the work Alstom is undertaking in partnership with Taylor Woodrow.

Terence Watson, Managing Director of Transport for the UK and Ireland, said: “The event went extremely well, with about 300 people coming along to take a look at the information about our work and, most importantly, we were able to make the first use of Appitrack in the UK.

“I know that everyone was extremely impressed with the machine and it will obviously become a more familiar site to the people of Nottingham as work progresses.

“We brought it to the UK to help reduce disruption and noise as we work on laying the track through an extremely busy city and I’m confident that we can achieve those aims.”

Nottingham Express Transit Phase 2 will more than double the size of the light rail network in the city by the end of 2014, with 17.5km of new lines and 27 new stations due to be built.

Appitrack can lay the platform and insert the shoes for the rails with total accuracy, at rates averaging 150m a day, compared to the more usual 20m to 50m a day offered by traditional technology. It holds the world record of 403m of single track laid in one day in Orleans.

Alstom is delivering all the infrastructure for the extension, including the track, substations, overhead line equipment and signalling and communications systems. We are also supplying 22 new Citadis trams for Nottingham, which will be assembled at our Santa Perpetua plant in Barcelona, and have taken over the maintenance of the existing 15 trams that already operate in and around the city. The first of the Alstom-built trams are due to arrive by September next year, where they will initially run on the existing line.