Replace #20 switch on a double main in the allotted timeframe
Delivered panels for rail crews to prep, then returned to place switch - reduced track downtime and maximized efficiency
Four sidebooms worked in tandem to place the new switch quickly and precisely
Old switch removed, site graded and new switch set in under three hours
The railroad needed to change a #20 switch as part of their routine track maintenance program. The switch was on a double main, so the project had to be completed within very tight track windows.
Hulcher mobilized four 583 Caterpillar sidebooms to place the new switch within the challenging schedule limits. The process was handled in two steps. First, Hulcher’s sidebooms moved the panels from two semi trailers and positioned them along the track by the old switch. Over the next few weeks railroad crews welded the panels into one piece and applied the switch box and other “jewelry” that the new switch would need.
Hulcher’s sidebooms returned for the second phase, to remove the old switch and place the new one. Timing was crucial for this phase; the railroad had a three-hour window for them to get the job done. Working in close coordination with the railroad crews, the sidebooms lifted out the old pieces of track, which had been cut into five pieces. With the old track removed, graders and a wheel loader cleaned out the existing ballast to create a clean, smooth surface. The sidebooms then lifted and set the new #20 switch in place.
The two-step process for delivering the panels and setting the new switch was an effective solution for the railroad. Hulcher’s crews completed their work within the crucial time window, allowing the railroad to do their maintenance-of-way work with minimal interruption to their operating schedule.
To maximize efficiency and minimize cost to the railroad, Hulcher installed several switches in the same region to reduce the amount of time spent deploying the equipment.