Shift-able Deck Railcar Movements – 5 Special Trains

Client Name: Mitsubishi Power Systems
Project Type: Project Cargo
Project Location: Savannah, GA and Port of Norfolk, VA to Front Royal, VA
Completion Date: 02/15/2013

Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MPSA) needed to transport 3 Gas Turbines, 3 Gas Generators, 1 Steam Turbine, and 1 Steam Generator to a new $1.1 billion power plant near Front Royal, VA. These shipments would be divided into multiple special train movements that utilized Mitsubishi's shift-able deck 20-axle railcars. Transportation Technology Services provided the crews to operate these cars for multiple special train movements from both the Port of Norfolk, VA and the MPSA’s manufacturing and service facility near Savannah, GA.

The Solution

During the course of each the special train movements TTS shifted the railcars to maintain car stability, maneuver around obstacles, and to ensured that other trains meeting or passing did not cause any damage to the high-value cargo. Most of these special train movements were between 3-7 days, with many instances requiring the crew to operate at night and in inclement weather. TTS added portable lighting to the railcars to allow safe movement after sundown and during bad weather conditions.

The Challenge

Movement of these special trains required a thorough review of the proposed route to identify shift points in the route. MPSA and TTS worked closely with the Norfolk Southern and CSXT clearance groups to develop a shift plan to avoid each obstruction in the route. Further, these special trains operated over heavy traffic corridors requiring special coordination with RR Operations at both the Division and Local levels.

The Results

TTS operator crews operated 7 special trains for MPSA over a 5 month period. Close coordination between MPSA, Norfolk Southern, CSXT, and TTS resulted in all cargo being delivered safely, free of damage, and without any impact to the project construction schedule.