Actually loading a backhoe into a railcar is often done this way when a track maintenance crew needs to load or unload from a car. The backhoe does have some extra modifications like the ears on the side of the bucket so it won’t slide off the side. The only risky part is the hydraulics failing suddenly if you are not wearing your seatbelt or standing under the drop area. I have a family member who worked for the BNSF as part of one of the emergency response crews for train derailments and emergency track, bridge and trestle repair crew. They had their own special train with a rolling machine shop, all their tools and equipment, sleeping and dining car, etc. Everything needed to travel anywhere in the country and live onsite until the track was reopened.
“As one of the nation’s leading railroad contractors, Herzog recognized the need in the railroad industry for a more productive, efficient and injury free method of loading and unloading crossties. This prompted Herzog’s invention of equipment that has revolutionized material handling. The Herzog Cartopper™ Material Handler! The nation’s major railroads were quick to recognize that Herzog’s CarTopperSM services using the Cartopper™ material handler offered a more economical, safer and efficient method of handling crossties. The Cartopper™ rides along the top of railcars moving from car to car unloading onto the right of way as the work train moves along the track. Once the car is unloaded the operator simply moves the Cartopper™ to the next car, regardless of variance in car heights. The success of Herzog’s CartopperSM crosstie handling services has led to other applications in railroad construction and maintenance. Equipped with electro magnets the Cartopper’s™ versatility to load and unload rail, plates, spikes and anchors will eliminate switching delays. Production Performance (One Machine) Cross Ties: 1000 Ties/Hour Rail: 1/3 Track Mile/Hour Aggregate: 200 Tons/Hour The flexibility of the Cartopper™ Material Handling system leads to tremendous utilization in unloading of aggregate, rip rap and other bulk materials. Unloading material directly into trucks eliminates costly double handling. An advantage to using Herzog’s Cartopper™ Material Handling services is that you do not have to install expensive unloading systems that use twice the track space and can only be used at their permanent location. By using more than one machine, the Cartopper™ system can unload an entire train in a matter of hours. Committed to customer service, Herzog personnel are in constant communication with nationwide job sites, railroad transportation officials, suppliers and customers, eliminating costly delays resulting in increased production.”