How Can a Crane Make a Rail Project Easier?

Even after centuries of using rail transport, it is still a viable and effective way of moving both people and goods great distances. It takes a large budget to maintain and upgrade these rail networks — to keep up with demand. The future looks positive for the rail industry, but contractors need to streamline.

Contractors should use their time and workforce better, so they can take on more railway construction projects.

Why Use Cranes On Rail Projects?

With the demands on networks to keep their rolling stock on the track comes the need for capable cranes. Mobile cranes can install and repair rolling stock and rail infrastructure, even in the most remote of locations.

Rolling Stock Production

By using bespoke hoists and beams, a crane is an invaluable tool on a rolling stock production line. From lifting materials to final assembly, a crane makes every step of rail production easier. Many factories will have overhead gantry cranes, but they rely on tracks, which limit their movement.

“Cranes can work in tandem, increasing their lifting power.”

Mobile cranes can increase the workspace by moving production out to less accessible areas including in the open. Tandem lifts also offer more precision when assembling awkward and sensitive components.

Rolling Stock Maintenance

There will always be pressure on the rail industry to provide a reliable and safe service. This means performing a lot of preventative maintenance on trains. In some cases, vehicles forming a middle link in a long line of carriages may need quick truck replacements out in the open.

“Lift the whole car or engine off of the track and replace it with another rail vehicle.”

The older the carriages or engines get, the more often they will need maintenance. Even small issues can develop into a disaster. The correct call is to inspect and, if needed, replace the damaged parts before proceeding.

Infrastructure Construction

As with the carriage and the main engine, rail tracks need continual updating and laying. With the help of a crane, the progress of laying track or building new stations is much faster. Smaller spider cranes can also help with lifting supplies and materials up and off carriages for use on a worksite.

“Cranes help reduce fabrication times and increase the accuracy of the installation.”

Cranes can use bespoke chain hoists to help automate some of the laying processes. This is more important when building long high-speed rail lines.


Railway Projects

Mobile cranes are versatile; they can set up near most locations and move along with a railway project. A good crane team will get more done, save time, and help improve a rail site’s safety record.

Increased Safety

A crane lift goes through a planning phase to remove most hazards and obstacles before the construction crews even reach the site. There are also many redundancies fitted to a crane to prevent a sudden dropping of the load, unlike using an electric or manual winch.

Crane teams are well-trained and understand the dangers of lifting objects of all shapes and sizes. This awareness makes the team take great care in both the load and those working around it. Cranes can reduce the need for workers having to use raw muscle and getting in harm’s way.

Increased Productivity

Increasing the number of workers alone is not enough to improve productivity. A good ground team needs the right tools, which includes providing a crane. Being able to lift rail lines and the whole engine up improves access and makes the job easier.

With a crane, it is possible to lift larger sections of rail at a time. The accuracy of positioning a load means that it is quicker to lay new infrastructure. Cranes can also lift large obstacles out of the way for dismantling elsewhere. Taking whole sections of station rooves leaves the area free for workers to begin rebuilding.

Time Savers

When safety is better, there are fewer accidents, and the speed of the project prospers from the efforts of a full team. If the full team is there and they feel safe, the better their morale and their pace of work. A crane can lift in prefabricated parts, ready for workers to install.

Cranes can lift broken carriages or engines away for repair elsewhere, rather than blocking the line. This means mechanics will have better access and be able to get the engine back into service faster.


Emerson deals with lifting problems daily. Emerson Crane Hire helps create a safer and more efficient working environment in the rail industry and more. Our team has the highest level of qualifications. We have extensive experience in using single and tandem cranes on some of the most complex projects imaginable.

Planning is key, and our knowledgeable operators work with you to make your aspirations a reality. If you would like to know more on how Emerson crane hire can help with your rolling stock — Contact us today!