The need for a safe and efficient undercar wheelset change-out system was a challenge that Handling Specialty readily satisfied for the maintenance facilities of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor project. The split rail system consists of integral support pedestal/split rail assemblies; interlocks to the “blue flag” safety system; undercar lift/eject carriage; and wheelset dollies. The carriage comes with AC/DC power supplies, ergonomic work platforms, 3-axial motion support yoke and remote operator pendant.  The top yoke can be interchanged to employ custom tooling for removing large undercar assemblies.

The wheelset changeout process begins with a train pulling into the maintenance facility.  When the train is given the green light by the split rail indicator panel, the engineer positions the wheelset requiring maintenance over the split rails. Once in position, a telescoping cylinder rises from the lift carriage approximately 56 inches to engage the wheelset and lift a 40,000 lb. railcar 2 to 3 inches into the air.  The railcar frame is then blocked into place and the split rails unbolted and swung clear.  The wheelset is manually disconnected from the journal bearings, lowered by the telescoping cylinder, and moved to an adjacent transverse pit via the self-propelled lift carriage.   From here, the lift carriage raises the wheelset clear of the pit allowing bridge bars to be inserted under the wheelset and the wheelset to be rolled onto rails in the shop floor. This process is reversed to insert the replacement wheelset onto the railcar.

Split Rail Brochure


  • 40,000 lbs. capacity
  • Integral support pedestal/split rail assemblies 
  • Undercar lift/eject carriage and platform mounted dollies      
  • Remote operator pendant      


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