Rail Vehicle Maintenance Equipment Checklist
As a design/build firm and service provider, we have written on rail vehicle maintenance equipment in the past, citing many solutions to best equip your rail maintenance facility, and because of its importance, we’re talking about it again.
Building the infrastructure for the Rail MRO industry is a massive undertaking that is conceptualized during the earliest stages of design. Maintaining and repairing rail vehicles and engines requires heavy-duty, robust material-handling equipment to do the job efficiently and safely. The MRO rail equipment that will be mentioned in this article is also used in rail vehicle inspections.
Creating a rail vehicle maintenance checklist offers a solid foundation for building your rail MRO equipment solutions. A rail maintenance facility is an expansive building where trains are diverted onto maintenance tracks. These tracks will often include a set of tracks beneath the maintenance tracks and another set of tracks that straddle the maintenance tracks. These are placed strategically to house your rail maintenance and repair equipment.
The rail MRO equipment discussed in this article will cover both heavy and light rail vehicle maintenance and repair solutions. Additionally, monorail operations and even MRO transit facilities for buses benefit from several of the material handling solutions for their specific maintenance and repair procedures.
Because these rail MRO solutions are top of mind when designing your rail facility, a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable material handling firm with a built-in engineering department is an essential partner.
A material handling firm that can work alongside your architects, engineers and construction firm as they visualize the project through each step is also an important feature to look at. One or more project managers will be dedicated to the material handling equipment, shipping, scheduling and more to ensure the work is being completed in a timely manner as they collaborate with the construction firm’s managers. Nothing will be overlooked as floors are poured over rebar where the rail MRO equipment will reside.
Not all of the material handling equipment will be embedded into the floors of the MRO facility, but several will be. Rails that run beneath the maintenance tracks will have drop tables and/or split rail equipment placed on them to service the wheelsets and bogies. Manually guided vehicles will run below the length of the train cars as well to carry away the wheel sets. These are complicated systems that must be specified in the design so the infrastructure is able to receive the equipment when lowered into place. Rail turn tables are another example of material handling equipment that requires in-floor consideration. These rail turn tables allow wheelsets to be maneuvered across the shop floor to an MRO-designated area and new wheelsets to be brought to the rail car.
The service rails that run parallel to the maintenance track, where the rail cars are situated, house large gantries that straddle the rail cars to perform MRO duties on the roofs of the rail cars and engines. Nosecone access lifts move along the maintenance tracks to butt up against the train engine allowing technicians easy access to the front to complete their repair and maintenance operations.
Rail maintenance lifts offer the opportunity to raise the wheelsets for inspection and repair operations. These units are lagged to the facility floor so operators and technicians can safely position the wheelsets for MRO operations.
There are several rail MRO solutions to consider for your transit maintenance and repair facilities, including car and body hoists, rail maintenance rotisseries, and rail transfer tables, and each should be given careful consideration when designing your transportation MRO facility.
Handling Specialty has been involved in several new rail MRO builds as well as refurbishing existing rail maintenance facilities. Massive case studies on these projects can be found on our website, including the Gulf Gateway project, Go Transit project and VIA Rail project.
Use this rail material handling solutions checklist when considering a new or refurbished rail MRO facility. Contact one of our experienced technical salespeople to discuss your rail project in greater detail.