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Vortok Stressing Rollers (VSRs)

Safer and more economic track maintenance


The challenge

In Spring 2004 Network Rail asked us to conduct a VERSE measurement program in the UK followed by a series of wider investigations with the contractors.  Our work highlighted the following issues:

  • Over-stressing of rail following renewal
  • Friction in the under rollers resulting in uneven distribution of stress
  • Under rollers required frequent replacement
  • Time consuming removal and installation process
  • An installation method that had resulted in injury to track workers


Our solution

Our design team came up with a concept for reducing the coefficient of friction in stressing rollers.  The product integrated the rail jack, under roller and side roller functions into a single unit.

By late 2004 we had manufactured a near perfect prototype.  Testing continued through 2005 and product acceptance was granted in January 2006.  The product rapidly became the stressing roller of choice for all UK rail track renewal and maintenance companies.


Value to client

  • Reduced installation and removal time by up to 44%
  • Simplified the process by replacing 3 pieces of equipment with a single device
  • Reduced manpower requirement by up to 50%
  • Increased passenger safety through more even stress distribution
  • Eliminated the danger of trapped fingers for rail workers
  • A product that lasts at least 10 times longer than conventional under rollers
  • Supplied in stackable lightweight crates makes handling faster and safer and lowers equipment losses


Fact file

  • In 2008 Vortok Stressing Rollers won Best Innovation at the National Rail Awards
  • In 2010 Vortok Stressing Rollers won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category
  • Vortok Stressing Rollers are used all over the world, including USA, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia and most European countries


Find Out More >

Network Rail feasibility study on the Vortok Stressing Roller system