FLS Fall Protection for Railcars
Tri-Point Construction was awarded the contract for the construction of the new locomotive maintenance building at the Union Pacific Englewood Yard in Houston, TX. The building provided shelter for two “pit” tracks used for maintenance on Union Pacific Railroad locomotives. Prior to this project, Flexible Lifeline Systems had built quite a longstanding relationship with Union Pacific and had previously engineered and installed countless fall protection systems for UP locations all around the country. Flexible Lifeline Systems, in addition to being local to the project, was chosen as the preferred vendor by UP for this reason.
The “pit” tracks in the building provide the opportunity for maintenance to be performed underneath the locomotive with out having to lift the unit itself. One of the tracks was a recessed “pit” while the other track was an elevated rail on concrete pedestals with a raised platform on either side.
The Right Fall Safety Solution
While maintenance below the locomotives was made easy by the pit features, any work performed on top of the locomotive would still require overhead fall protection systems to keep workers safe. The proposed and ultimately delivered solution was for two (2) trussed FlexRail systems, each 275 feet long, that would provide a two (2) user fall-arrest capability per system over each of the maintenance tracks.
The design of the actual railroad tracks themselves presented quite a challenge during this project. Both the recessed pit track and the elevated pit track prevented FLS from safely accessing the work area using typical installation methods and equipment. FLS also had to contend with the overhead gantry cranes installed in the building above the tracks. It was the client’s desire to have the cranes travel unimpeded by the Self-Retracting Lanyards.
The installation of electrically powered, remotely operated tagline units at the ends of the FlexRail systems made it possible to keep the Self-Retracting Lanyards and their snap hook above the crane’s plane of travel. The general contractor was responsible for providing electricity to the tagline units.