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Improving the Rail Car Unloading of Solid Fuels

[+] Author Affiliations
George D. Dumbaugh

Kinergy Corporation, Louisville, KY

Paper No. POWER2013-98153, pp. V001T01A019; 7 pages
  • ASME 2013 Power Conference
  • Volume 1: Fuels and Combustion, Material Handling, Emissions; Steam Generators; Heat Exchangers and Cooling Systems; Turbines, Generators and Auxiliaries; Plant Operations and Maintenance
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, July 29–August 1, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5605-5
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The fast unloading of solid fuels shipped in bottom dump Rail Cars can be challenging when finances are limited. This presentation will explain the achievement of fast Rail Car unloading at a relatively low cost. An upgraded design of a trackside Rail Car Discharger is now being appraised. This kind of unloader pneumatically extends a longitudinal member that engages and vibrates one side of the car. Previously, it was designed to vibrate and unload cars constructed of Steel.

When oil became more costly, the same standard car began to be made of Aluminum, which reduced its freight rate. That kind of car prompted the upgrade in the design of this type of Discharger. For example, all the stresses transferred to the car by the vibration had to be markedly reduced. The unloading of a 100 car Unitrain that had a 100 ton load in each car was wanted to be done in 4 hours. This equates to the unloading time of Rotary Car Dumpers.

The first redesigned Discharger has been in productive service for more than 1 year. To date, the longest Unitrain to be unloaded is 80 cars, which was easily emptied in 4 hours. While a Unitrain with 100 cars is still being awaited, this unit is heralded for its proven accomplishments. Namely, it can equal the performance of a Rotary Car Dumper at less than about a fourth of the cost.

To observe this fast unloading of Aluminum cars, the installation is located in southwest Ohio. A requested site visit could be arranged.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Topics: Fuels , Rails



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