Inspecting the overhead wires on the Ukrainian Railways

As I travelled across Ukraine by train I noticed a few complicated looking contraptions parked in sidings along the way.

Ukrainian Railways track machine for accessing the overhead wires

With a small platform at the end of a scissor lift, these railcars are used to inspect and repair the overhead wires that power electric trains.

Ukrainian Railways 'АДМ-1215' class overhead line inspection vehicle

Here is a video of one such unit headed along the main line.

And the data sheet for a model 1АДМ-1.3 overhead inspection rail car.

The isolated work platform of the 1АДМ-1.3 rail car allows staff to work on the contact wires shutting down traction power.

Intended for:
– execution of installation, repair, emergency and recovery works of the contact network on electrified railways at 3.3 kV DC and 27.5 kV AC;
– transportation of wagons with various cargoes;
– power supply to consumers in the field;
– shunting work and transportation of workers’ brigades.

The railcar is a self-propelled two axle vehicle. On the front platform is a passenger cabin with a crane. On the rear platform – power plant and installation site.

The telescopic crane performs installation and dismantling of the contact system supports, loading and unloading of various cargoes.

The presence of cradles on the crane allows for the installation, repair and emergency-recovery work of the contact network on the adjacent track in the absence of power.

YaMZ-238 B-33 diesel engine


Power plant:
220kW (300hp)

Carrying capacity of platform:
4.5 tonnes

Maximum speed
100 km / h

Trailer load max. in shunting mode
300 tonne

trailer load max. in train mode
60 tonne

Passenger capacity

Total weight
35.5 tonnes


Despite the availability of overhead line inspection vehicles, sometimes staff still do things the low tech way – take a long ladder on a wheeled platform, and roll it along the tracks!

Railway staff inspect the overhead wires

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