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So THAT'S how they do that

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by JAM, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. JAM


    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    I was roaming around the Santa Fe rail yard and came across this trailer loading operation. A truck runs back and forth like a shuttle, drops the trailers off and this 4-legged monster then picks them up and sets them on the railroad cars. I hadn't given this any thought, even though we've all seen the trains pulling these trailers on flat cars. It was an interesting operation to watch for a while.

    Leica M7, Kodak T-Max 400

  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    It's amazing how engineers can put theirs heads together to construct things to make life easier for various facets of industry. There is a huge rail yard near O'Hare International Airport where they utilize several of those types of hoists. Pretty neat stuff!
  3. And I thought the dock workers lifted them on (only kidding). That would be interesting to watch them do that. Where does the operator sit?
  4. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Nice shot, John. Yes, it is amazing what engineers can come up with to help folks work more productively. Of course, it works best when the engineers talk to the folks doing the work to learn what will work for them.
  5. JAM


    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    The operator sits in a cab on the far side from my location. Its obscured by the front of the trailer being loaded. What apparently happens is that a number of these special flat cars are placed on a siding and this rolling crane straddles them as it makes its way down the track. A cargo trailer, after being dropped off next to its designated car is then lifted on to it. The lifting crane moves transversely and those long solid arms come down and automatically grab the trailer and lift it. As its raises to clear the car bed, the traversing mechanism moves it over the proper spot on the flat car and then it is lowered, whereupon the solid lifting arms somehow disconnect and swing up out of the way as the crane rolls on up to the next car. In the half hour or so I spent watching it, two guys (one in the cab and the other driving the truck that went to fetch the next trailer) managed to load about 8 flat cars.

    Pretty high productivity I would say.
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