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Safety-First: Solutions for Winter Track Maintenance
Winter is approaching, bringing about the most demanding time for maintenance-of-way crews. It not only complicates track maintenance but also increases safety risks for maintenance crews and passengers alike. These winter challenges can even halt railroad operations. Below we offer solutions to tackle specific challenges faced by maintenance crews during a harsh winter on track.
Winter Railroad Challenges
Challenge 1: Hazardous Walkways and Frozen Safety Components
During freezing temperatures, railroad switches, locks and other vital components can freeze solid, and passenger and locomotive walkways become hazardous, greatly jeopardizing the safety of railway operations as a whole.
Challenge 2: Essential Track Components Become Snow-Bound
Heavy snow and ice accumulation jam safety necessities like derails and switches impeding both track maintenance and smooth train operations.
Challenge 3: Rail Breaks Requiring Urgent Repairs
Extreme cold leads to rail separations, demanding immediate action and quick repairs to restore track integrity.
Challenge 4: Snow and Debris Blockages Cause Operational Delays
Heavy snow can completely obstruct railway operations or cause debris to land on track requiring quick and efficient clearance methods.
Solution 1: RR Winterizer: Preemptive Ice Prevention
RR Winterizer is a versatile anti-icer and de-icer. Apply RR Winterizer before snowfall to prevent ice from bonding to critical components or after snowfall to melt ice and for less demanding snow removal. Its low freezing point of -76 degrees, biodegradability, and non-corrosive nature make it safe for all environments.
Utilize the Switch Broom's sturdy polypropylene bristles and chisel-end to efficiently remove snow and debris from vital components like switches and derails.
Additionally, the Switch Heater Can quickly thaws snow and ice with little effort using kerosene and a wick, offering a portable solution for heavily frozen switches.
Swap out the messy and unsafe diesel-and-rope technique with FireSnake— a smokeless, eco-friendly, and non-toxic rail heating solution for expanding shrunken rail or rapidly thawing large rail components.
For substantial rail separations, maintain your track's integrity with the Enerpac 120-ton Hydraulic Rail Puller. It expedites large repairs due to its compact design (swing arm eliminates need for separate jaws or wedges) and requires zero disassembly or reassembly.
Solution 4: Advanced Snow and Debris Clearance Equipment
Equip ballast regulators with high-performance Club-Style Broom Elements to optimize snow removal. These wider and more durable elements outlast standard broom elements by 15 to 20 percent, ideal for clearing extensive snow accumulations.
Use a powerful and compact excavator, like the Supertrak SK180RR plus Mulcher, to proactively clear potential winter track obstructions such as large trees and overhanging branches.
Consistent Support Throughout This Challenging Season
Industry-Railway Suppliers' customer service department and field sales team will provide steadfast support this winter— our 58th winter serving the railroad industry. Our many years of experience have given us the knowledge to forecast and stock proper inventory levels so that we can get you what you need quickly this winter.
If you do not see what you're looking for online or have any questions, please call us at (630) 766-5708.