Vacuum Excavation For Rail Applications

One of the key factors with rail work and on-track maintenance is time. With schedules set for commuter traffic flow and other rail activities, having time for things like test pits, bore holes, and daylighting is generally placed within strict deadlines so as not to disrupt daily operations.

On top of the usual standards for excavation safety in proximity to underground utilities, there’s also specialized training and certification required to mitigate specific hazards associated with rail work.

Having crews that are highly trained and experienced with the access restrictions, work environment, and tight deadlines, is pivotal to a cost-effective excavation project on rail. It’s also important to have specialized equipment for on-rail construction and maintenance to keep projects ahead of schedule.

Maintenance & Repair Excavations

The land in and around rail operations is very convenient for utility owners and providers to use, since it remains outside of the public realm. However, when maintenance and repairs need to be carried out, it creates a unique working scenario that requires special considerations. Vacuum excavation equipment can be equipped with high-rail kits to gain access more efficiently to project areas on rail and the same safe-digging practices apply with either high-pressure water, or air, used to expose underground infrastructure without damage, or a need to disturb much of the actual site where work needs to be done. Having the right equipment for rail maintenance means you need less equipment, and less people working on these types of projects, which makes everything safe and efficient.

Working at Night

The most effective control to put in place for work on rail is to allow for projects to be carried out at night during down times. Although this removes a lot of the concerns with public presence and commuter traffic flow it also adds a few obstacles that need to be managed for excavation work. When excavating on rail the spoils are generally considered contaminated and would require specialized disposal when almost all facilities would be closed. Our fleet is equipped with powerful dry vacs (or SE’s) which can not only dig like a hydrovac, they also keep spoils unaltered and dry, which means they can be stored on site or used as backfill. By eliminating the need for disposal, nighttime operations can generate huge cost savings for rial projects.

With vacuum excavation equipment you save a lot of time and money on rail maintenance that requires digging, potholing, or ballast removal. However, the most important factor in using this equipment around rail is to avoid damaging the infrastructure and ensuring the safety of your people.

Super Sucker has a wide selection of vacuum excavation and support service equipment available to serve the rail sector. Operating out of IUOE Local 793 our crews are highly trained and experienced in this range of work with COR certification to ensure the highest standards in safety.