Rich Brawner, a field sales and product support specialist at IRS, is a railroad industry veteran with 41 years of experience. But, while visiting a Metro tunnel in Minneapolis MN, a seemingly unworkable problem proved that new technology can deliver advancements even veterans of the industry have never seen.
Over time, clips can become welded to the rail as a result of corrosion and other environmental influences. This was precisely the issue in a Metro rail tunnel, where steel Pandrol clips needed to be replaced, but could not be removed. For other machines, this was an impossible task. They were not able to remove or replace any clips. However, the Rosenqvist CD200 removed the clips without a hitch.
“I have never seen rail fasteners that were so attached to the rail,” said Rich, “I wasn’t sure what to expect since I was told that similar machines wouldn’t work at all. You could imagine the smile on my face when we started removing clips right off the bat.”
The ability from the machine is based on technology that allows the operator to place the pulling head anywhere in a 4? window around the clip, instead of the traditional competitions ? inch. This allows the machine not only to grab faster, but also a wider range of grip on the clips.
Beyond a difficult few that needed to be aided with a sledgehammer, the majority of the clips were removed by just 3 to 4 cycles of the machine. Applying new clips had a 100% success rate. However, the situation showed the true manpower and teamwork the railroad takes.
“We all became laborers. We had to take a sledgehammer and lightly hit the clip holders to remove the massive rust that had built up,” Rich said, “After that, we had to take a broom and clean out the clip holders. Then we all set the new clips into position. Even with the 4% grade in the area, we were working, 2 of us were still able to push the CD200 back to the top of the hill to begin installing replacement clips. That was a CARDIO work out.”
The facts stand for themselves: there is not another machine that can aid workers as well in this kind of environment.
“I believe there isn’t a job this machine can’t handle,” Rich said, “Even those on site agreed it was exactly what they needed to get the job done.”