INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Jobs

Waste Removal From Railcars

Waste Removal From Railcars

(OP)
I am working on a problem of getting municipal solid waste out of a railcar (65 tons lets say). My guess is these will be gondolla cars. I have come across a "tipper" in Roanoke and a "rotator" in Utah but these seem to be the only solutions I can find as I cross the web. Anyone have any other ideas on how to unload railcars of municipal solid waste in a quick and easy manner? Potentially, this could amount to thousands of railcars a year so "by hand" is not an option.
TIA, Randy

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

Randy
Look at coal power plants, they unload on an order of 100 cars a day for a fair sized power plant, they also have to deal with freezing temperatures and sometimes irregular materials.
Hydrae

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

(OP)
I've looked at rail cars that have the doors or gates on the bottom for dumping. That's what they are used for coal (and popcorn even). Anything that is small, sort of uniform in size, and granualr is well suited for this type of railcar. But not really solid waste. It sort of gets compacted for travel (since there would be alot of dead air space if it wasn't). Solid Waste is not granular and is not suited for this type of railcar. They use intermodal containers for solid waste as well and this is easy to see how they are dealt with. But how do you deal with a railcar load of it other than doing something with the whole railcar (like dumping it)? Another issue may be leakage from the bottom (of liquids) if it were emptied that way. Leakage would not be good and would be of great concern (not that it would be bad leakage, but they see any leakage as unacceptable). So that's another problem with the bottom dumping idea.
TIA, Randy

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

Bottom discharge is a non- starter, as pickle pointed out.

You will need a device that can invert the whole car, and you may need something that can shake it, too.  The sort of gondolas that are likely to be used for waste will have had the side plates bellied out between the frames, from having metal scrap or ore dumped in them.  The waste will wedge itself in the bellied out plates.  In winter it will freeze, too.  You'll need a shaker that's capable of destroying the car.  

You'll probably still need a crew of sturdy lads with pikes and smoke wrenches.

Mike Halloran
NOT speaking for
DeAngelo Marine Exhaust Inc.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

(OP)
I'm in a warm enough climate that freezing should not be much of a problem. Is there such a thing as a rear dump railcar with some sort of push pannel that when activated (by air let's say), it acts like a ram and forces the solid waste out the rear? I'm just thinkinking out loud on this idea. I'd rather not try to build a railcar shaking device. That's alot of weight to be shaking (plus the tonage of waste in it!). TIA, Randy

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

Never seen an end dump, though anything is possible.  If you had a train of them, you'd have to uncouple them and handle them individually.  Not quick, even if the car discharges instantaneously.

Side dump has been done, sort of like a gondola with a side that falls open, and the body tilts to discharge the contents.  No need to uncouple.




Mike Halloran
NOT speaking for
DeAngelo Marine Exhaust Inc.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

(OP)
Thanks Mike. The side dump makes sense. But it seems you'd still have to dump it. It won't just fall out. I'm thinking with a side dump and a "rolling wall" in the car, I can connect it to something in the facility (like a ram) and force the waste out (instead of dumping). This would require all the cars to be modified with a "rolling wall". It could be in the same place on each car (a certain distance down the car from where it is stopped each time) and the equipment to operate it would be part of the facility (air or hydraulics). Car pulls in (same place every time), ram connects to fitting on rolling wall, side comes down, ram and rolling wall push the waste out. That's one idea so far. Another was clamshell bucket for picking it out. Then there was a staddle crane mentioned, although I don't know how that would fit in. I think there are ways to do this without dumping (like with the whole railcar). TIA, Randy

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

I think rotary dump is the only feasable solution if you have many cars to do. Even adding time for vibrating or picking out, likely still faster than any clamshells. You could also rotary dump at one station, then at the second station, have a dock  mounted long crane with just a light scraper on the end. Basically a pick ax on long knuckle booms. Car dumps at station 1, then train indexes ahead. Next car is now dumping at station 1 while 'empty' car is rotated again at station 2 and scraped out with the boom or crane.

I think any modifications to the gondolas makes it immediately a dedicated train, less flexability to add capacity, lots of maintenance, and susceptability to damage to the various mechanisms. There are also major AAR issues in the modifications of old cars. I assume you would want old, cheap, gondolas, not building new from scratch.


coal and grain unit trains typically rotate the car to dump as noted above. With rotary coupler on one end of each car, the trains never uncouple for months or years. Fil on the go, dump on rotary dumper, and back to the mines. 'Lather, rinse, & repeat'.

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

Randy
The coal cars you may be more familar with that bottom dump get the product using the long wall method which does produce the uniform material that works well in bottom dump cars.  Coal from the Rocky mountains is more irregular and the cars have a solid bottom and use a whole car tipping equipment for unloading.  I saw advertsing for this equipment in electric power trade magazines some time ago.
Hydrae

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

Just a thought - this isn't really my forte. To unload sugar cane from rail cars they have a number of chains attached to a bar along the side that stretch from side to side and down into the car.

To unload the cane they just pick up one of the bars with a grapple which lifts and traverses the bar. The cane is ejected out of the top and to one side of the truck.

Perhaps a variation on this theme would do you?

Lester Milton
Telford, Shropshire, UK

RE: Waste Removal From Railcars

Check out railpictures.net. Search for waste. There is some interesting pictures and information.

You will notice that all garbage is carried in Specialized Container on Flat Car(COFC) trains.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close