Crane Rails and Rail Restraint Systems

By Jeff Brook
Article - Crane Rail Mountings

Crane rail sections are used in a variety of applications in heavy industrial, materials handling, mining and port industries. Large rail mounted machines such as shiploaders, stackers, reclaimers, ship-unloaders and container cranes require reliable rail systems in order to operate effectively.

Design aspects of crane rail selections are covered in Australian Standard AS1418. Rails for bulk materials handling machines are normally continuously welded using the aluminothermic “thermit” welding procedure. The mounting system for the rail is selected to suit the rail, rail loading, the support structure that the rail is mounted on and the rail alignment tolerances.

For heavy loads, the rail is generally continuously supported, whereas a discontinuous support can be more economical when the wheel loads are lower. A typical rail mounting system is shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Crane Rail Mounting Details

Figure 1: Crane Rail Mounting Details

This article provides guidance on the appropriate selection of rails, rail joints and rails restraints for the safe and efficient operation of a crane or machine.

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