New Duo washing plant on track with Network Rail for official opening of national materials recycling centre.


New Duo washing plant on track with Network Rail for official opening of national materials recycling centre.
Network Rail will officially open their new national track materials recycling centre (NTMRC) at Whitemoor Yard on Monday 15th August 2011. The depot, which started operations on the 27th June, covers 48ha of formerly derelict railway land at Whitemoor Yard in March, Cambridgeshire, the centre whose foundations were constructed using more than 125,000 tonnes of recycled railway ballast will handle more than 40% of Britain’s used track materials annually, creating reusable products for the rail and construction industries.

Over 500 miles of used rail, 800 switches and crossings and 50,000 tonnes of contaminated ballast will be processed at Whitemoor each year. Recycling just the ballast will remove more than 2,500 lorry journeys from our roads and save Network Rail around £5m in landfill tax each year.

In 2010/11, Network Rail’s National Delivery Service handled more than 1.5m tonnes of used ballast as well as thousands of rails and sleepers from construction and maintenance; 90% of which was recycled at local depots and the company’s existing recycling centres at Westbury, Crewe and Doncaster. The NTMRC will help Network Rail achieve its goal to reuse, recycle or recover 95% of construction and maintenance waste by 2014.

Used ballast forms a large part of Network Rail's waste products and around 200,000t is currently processed at an existing facility at Whitemoor Yard, which opened in 2004. Until now the dirtier ballast, around 50,000t per year, was sent to landfill sites.

Today a new hazardous ballast washing facility supplied and commissioned by the industry leading, specialist washing equipment supplier DUO (Europe) plc.will under contract operate a complete wash and water treatment plant to process the dirtier spent ballast.

Installed in January 2011 the new DUO full wash and water treatment plant will provide the new centre with the ability to wash and successfully remove hazardous material from the spent ballast too dirty to re-use. This economical and environmentally friendly process will then allow the NR team to reintroduce the washed material back into the railway infrastructure, where possible with any surplus sold into the market place.

The decision to invest in DUO washing technology came after some considerable market research and close scrutiny of other available washing systems with the NR team accepting that DUO could supply and operate the plant with competence and provide a processing operation that was totally flexible in dealing with future production requirements, in terms of an increase in tonnage and the processing of different products.

Specifically designed by the DUO team the water treatment element guarantees the cleanliness of the product and ensures that the hazardous chemical element will be contained in the silt. Utilising the latest technology the new plant incorporates a Powerscreen Finesmaster 60 Compact Sand Plant, a 120r Logwasher and a state-of-the-art Plate Press; the combined process removes contaminants to create further recycled products, with only a very small amount (around 2,000t) of residual materials required to go to landfill.