Modern Maintenance for London‘s Elizabeth line

Press Release: Two years after the contract award, new RORUNNER systems are handed over to Transport for London (TfL).

03.08.2018 in Press releases

On August 4, 2018, exactly two years after the contract award, Robel and their British representation Plasser UK contractually hand over two RORUNNER Transport Systems to Transport for London (TfL) thereby being ready for service sooner than stipulated. The engineering trains, each consisting of two track vehicles and a trailer, are going to be deployed for the maintenance of the new Elizabeth line in London.


The versatile train formation is configurable and the work units modular to allow inspection and maintenance of the tunnel infrastructure within short time slots: RORUNNER System carries out maintenance and exchange of the overhead catenary system, replacement of rails or switches, as well as drainage jetting, emergency recovery of rail vehicles or even simply safe transport of people or materials to site.


One of the vital project topics was the lack of space during the on/offloading process of heavy switches and rails. In close cooperation with the client TfL, Robel developed a modular exchange system that can be twist lock mounted to the platform of the track vehicle. The system transports the pre-assembled electric gantries and using a specially designed on/off loading device places them on the track.


For Robel Project Manager Robert Gratz, the teamwork with the customer and the country agent is an important factor for success: “Only if you know what is really needed right there on track, you are able to develop solutions in line with the market. We are proud that the new RORUNNER System has been consigned today to Transport for London exactly as it should be – on schedule, in accordance with the contract and ready for use.“



Voices of project partners:


Stuart Hines-Randle, TfL Yellow Plant Project Manager:

Robel and Plasser UK have demonstrated their ability to innovate new solutions throughout this project. Their concept for switch rail changes using a gantry system, deployed directly from the train, working around the wagons to deliver, install and remove the scrap was particularly impressive, addressing a key maintenance challenge. The system worked correctly first time at the recent successful Factory Acceptance Tests in Salzburg. It has been a great experience working with Plasser UK and Robel and I’m excited to see the trains start work on the Elizabeth line.”



Mark Simmons, CEO Plasser UK

“TfL challenged us to develop a versatile maintenance concept. Robel, applying their special skill in delivering customized solutions, have designed and produced a modular vehicle system which exceeded the case study targets. Plasser UK, Robel and TfL worked in close collaboration, integrating user suggestions throughout the whole project. The result is a solution that delights the customer.“



The components of the two RORUNNER Systems for TfL


1 track vehicle with multi-purpose flatbed loading area

1 transport wagon

1 track vehicle with messroom for 10 workers



1 track vehicle with crane and workman basket or hydraulic rail tongue attachment

1 transport wagon

1 track vehicle with messroom for 10 workers


1 transport wagon adapted for the installation of measurement equipment for rail condition testing.


Work Units

Drainage cleaning system

Wire drum

Scissor lift

Modular exchange system with 6 gantries



About the Elizabeth line

  • The Elizabeth line launches in December 2018 when the new rail tunnels under London open. The line will initially operate as three separate services:
    • Paddington (Elizabeth line station) to Abbey Wood via central London
    • Paddington (mainline station) to Heathrow (Terminals 2 & 3 and 4)
    • Liverpool Street (mainline station) to Shenfield
  • There are 10 newly-built stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich and Abbey Wood.
  • When fully open in December 2019, the Elizabeth line will serve 41 accessible stations, 31 of them newly upgraded, including all three terminal stations at Heathrow. Services will be extended out to Reading.


The following pictures are available free of charge for editorial use quoted „Source: Robel“.

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