On Track Plant – Network Rail MPV

Network Rail MPV

Network Rail MPV
A Network Rail MPV at Shoreham by Sea level crossing next to McDonald’s.

Constructed by Windhoff, the CargoSprinter MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) is widely used across the Great British rail network.

32 MPVs are used by Network Rail, for various track maintenance operations, including:

  • Weed spraying and vegetation control.
  • De icing of rail heads during winter.
  • Water jetting and sandite application during RHTT season.

The MPV trains consist of a master unit, which is powered by a diesel engine, and the rear unit which is a slave and is unpowered. Some MPVs ordered for South East England have both units powered to provide better tractive power and acceleration.

MPVs are infrequently used throughout the year on weedspray runs, usually operated by Balfour Beatty or JSD Research & Development. Between late September and November, MPVs are used by Network Rail, operated by Balfour Beatty or regional freight operating company, to carry out rail head treatment train workings. The cylinders on the multi purpose vehicle are filled with water which is blasted through a nozzle under the train, spraying the rail heads, to remove build up of leaf residue following leaf fall in autumn. (The leaves get ground up on rails by train wheels and cause trains to slip. Making it take longer for trains to stop, or sometimes over run the platform, as well as encountering difficulty pulling away from stations and red signals). These tend to run under 3S or 3J headcodes.

The MPVs are later used for SITT (snow and ice treatment trains). When temperatures drop ice can form on rails, too making it difficult for trains to stop or pull away from stations. A bristled brush is rubbed along the rails and de icer is sprayed too, to mitigate freezing. SITT MPVs usually run under 8Y or 3Y headcodes. A conventional radiator is fitted inside the cab to provide warmth during the winter months.

MPVs are used alongside loco hauled RHTTs, operating out of places such as Totton yard, Horsham UP TC, Effingham Junction CHS, Tonbridge Engineers Sidings, Wigan LIP, Carlisle Kingmoor, York Holgate, Slateford, Inverness and Rutherglenn.

Other Windhoff built vehicles such as Switches and Crossings video train DR98008, and OHLE MPV are also seen on the GB rail network.

DR98008 Camera Train
DR98008 Camera Train at East Croydon Sidings

The standard seasonal MPV numbers can be found below. The vehicle numbers have a difference of 50 between the front and rear unit.

DR98901 / DR98951
DR98902 / DR98952
DR98903 / DR98953
DR98904 / DR98954
DR98905 / DR98955
DR98906 / DR98956
DR98907 / DR98957
DR98908 / DR98958
DR98909 / DR98959
DR98910 / DR98960
DR98911 / DR98961
DR98912 / DR98962
DR98913 / DR98963
DR98914 / DR98964
DR98915 / DR98965
DR98916 / DR98966
DR98917 / DR98967
DR98918 / DR98968
DR98919 / DR98969
DR98920 / DR98970
DR98921 / DR98971
DR98922 / DR98972
DR98923 / DR98973
DR98924 / DR98974
DR98925 / DR98975
DR98926 / DR98976
DR98927 / DR98977
DR98928 / DR98978
DR98929 / DR98979
DR98930 / DR98980
DR98931 / DR98981
DR98932 / DR98982

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