Rail tools

Various tools are used for the manipulation of rails. These are primarily for the unloading or loading of rails and the longitudinal distortion.

Rail loading and unloading device

Various designs of loaders are available, including self-propelled equipment, but also loading cranes, which can be mounted on rail cars.  A rail lifting clamp is necessary for the safe lifting and manipulation of rails. It is important to note that when rails are unloaded there should not be too much deflection or elongation and care should be taken not to damage the rail Surface.

Rail manipulation devices

Stationary rail relaying device
Stationary rail relaying device
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

After rails have been unloaded they can be moved with different devices to wherever they may be fitted. These devices are also available in different designs as relaying stands, relaying wagons without power equipment, and relaying wagons with their own power equipment.

Rail relaying equipment

An appropriate number of devices are used for the lifting and longitudinal and transverse movement of rails of any length. A roller carrying clamp with hardened roller serves for the longitudinal movement.

Mobile rail relaying devices are also used.

Mobile rail relaying device
Mobile rail relaying device
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

Rail shoe

This device is used for the longitudinal pulling out of rails to prevent them being damaged by any possible scratching by excavators.

Rail shoe
Rail Shoe
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

Rail pulling device

In order to get rails into a precise position, pulling devices are required which can work with millimetre precision. Manual versions of these are available and versions with hydraulic drive which can be operated by a small power unit.

Rail pulling device with manual winder
Rail pulling device with manual winder

Hydraulic rail pulling device
Hydraulic rail pulling device
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

In order to facilitate the pulling out of rails, rollers are put under the rails to reduce the frictional resistance.

Rail carrying roller, for reducing the friction resistance
Rail carrying roller, for reducing the friction resistance
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

Hydraulic rail lifting device

Recently, hydraulic rail lifting devices have also been used. Thus, previously released rails have been lifted, for example, in order to change rail pads. The propulsion of the device is carried out mechanically.

Hydraulic rail relaying device
Hydraulic rail relaying device
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

Lift cylinder of the hydraulic rail relaying device
Lift cylinder of the hydraulic rail relaying device
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

Rail turner

Rail turner
Rail turner
© Robel Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH

After unloading the rails from the carrying train it is necessary to lay the rails down in a stable Position. This tool is perfect to do so and is also very safe. 


You can find suitable specialist literature to the topic here:

The Basic Principles of Mechanised Track Maintenance

The Basic Principles of Mechanised Track Maintenance

This book is dedicated to the many people involved in the day to day planning and performance of track maintenance activities. Providing a practical approach to everyday challenges in mechanised track maintenance, it is not just intended as a theoretical approach to the track system. 
Railways aim at transporting people and freight safely, rapidly, regularly, comfortably and on time from one place to another. This book is directed to track infrastructure departments contributing to the above objective by ensuring the track infrastructure’s reliability, availability, maintainability and safety – denoted by the acronym RAMS. Regular, effective and affordable track maintenance enable RAMS to be achieved.