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How Does Hi-Rail Equipment Work?
One of the hi-rail elements installed on hi-rail trucks is flanged wheels, which are stored under the vehicle when on the road, then are folded down for use on the railway. The hi-rail vehicle is placed on the railway with the flanged wheels down. Propulsion may be determined by a hydraulic system, or the road wheels, which make contact with the track as well.
The flanged wheels are just like train wheels, only on hi-rail equipment, they’re much smaller. They drop down via hydraulic over electric systems. Because equipment built for the road has wheels that are usually wider than a train track, a hi-rail truck will be fitted with road wheels that are closer together than usual, so there isn’t a massive gap between the road wheels and flanged wheels.
Steering locks are essential. A malfunctioning steering lock can cause a derailment, which damages the hi-rail vehicle and can cause injury to the operator.
Hi-rail equipment are sometimes designed to be insulated, which means it doesn’t activate track signals. This feature is in the flanged wheels, which are designed to impede conductivity - the primary way rail vehicles activate track signals. An insulated hi-rail truck will not set off crossing-gate operation or other sensors.
However, some operators prefer their hi-rail vehicles to be non-insulated, to ensure they can be picked up on track safety systems in case of an accident.
Contact our team today for advice on whether your hi-rail equipment should be insulated or non-insulated, based on your project.
There are a lot of considerations that go into spec-ing out the chassis of a road truck for conversion into a hi-rail truck. The unit may not actually have the base to accommodate the necessary hi-rail elements. For this reason, most manufacturers prefer to build a vehicle from the ground up.
We offer a range of hi-rail vehicles for wet or dry hire, including:
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