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Emergency Turbine Transload

A customer was delivering power plant equipment via heavy-duty rail car when it was discovered that three old bridges on the route could not support the load. Barnhart received an emergency request to find a solution to deliver a 36’ long 606,000-pound turbine. A plan was devised to bring the railcar into the rail siding on the south side of the problem bridges. The turbine was then offloaded using 550-ton J & R gantries.

The turbine was loaded to a 16-line PST Goldhofer to be transported five miles across downtown Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to the next rail spur on the north side of the problem bridges. The City of Hattiesburg required that the transport be done on a Sunday morning when traffic was the lightest.

The route required transporting across four box culverts and one bridge. Due to their age, there were no plans for the bridge or culverts, so Barnhart utilized its inventory of jumper bridges to cross them. The crew used two sets of 40’ jumper bridges and two sets of 56’ jumper bridges. The bridges had to be deployed simultaneously and then immediately picked back up after the load crossed each one. To accomplish this, Barnhart used two crews for the haul.

The longest span required Barnhart to assemble a 110’ temporary bridge. The project required the coordination and lease agreements of two separate railroads, civil improvements at both rail sidings, hauling permits, utility company coordination and scheduling police escorts. The turbine was then reloaded to the customer’s rail car, and the cargo was on its way again. Because of this effort, the customer made their on-time delivery of the turbine.