Railway Industry

A&S Steel Fabrications provides the most durable, custom-built materials handling equipment suitable for arduous conditions and demanding climates. Our high-quality steel solutions are customised by our metal fabrication Brisbane specialists and transformed into specialised equipment for helping rail maintenance crews.

Our products are ideal for use in just about any construction project in the railway industry.


Clip Inserters

These days, steel and concrete sleepers represent a significant percentage of the total sleepers being used for track support. ‘Clipping up’ and ‘unclipping’ by manual methods is a labour-intensive operation which also carries potential safety and health risks.

The Clip lnserter is designed to apply and extract rail clips from both sides of the rail simultaneously with one operator. The machine has two work heads, each of which contains two hydraulically operated applicator arms. A hydraulically operated scissor-type rail clamp ensures the machine remains fixed to the track during insertion and extraction.

All functions are independently controlled by the operator. Good visibility to the rail clips is provided so that insertion rate is maximised.

A&S Steel Fabrications has provided metal work for products including:

  • Centre Jacks
  • Rail Clamps (both sides)
  • Automatic Control Cycles
  • Standard and Narrow Gauge Options
  • Gauge Convertible Options
  • Choice of Air Cooled Diesel Power Plants
  • Various Clip Styles

Clip Inserter Specifications

Clip Inserter Specifications
Capacity up to 10 Clip/min each rail
Travel Speed 0-8 Km/h
Weight 800- 6500 KG


Rail Road Conversions

The Road Rail systems that have been used on Mitsubishi Canter trucks for Queensland Rail have been created using A&S Steel Fabrications as major steel suppliers and metal fabricators. These trucks are modified and fitted with a Front and Rear rail guidance system that allows for travel on rail track.

These Rail Guidance systems are deployed by a hydraulic system that is fitted to the engines PTO. A small power pack consisting of a tank and valves was included in the design and metal work customised steel supplies for these.

The front rail guidance system is fitted with a trailer brake to assist in decelerating the vehicle as the front wheels are elevated and have no effect on braking. Travel is achieved using the rear tyres on the rail.

Basic Design Parameters Vehicle
Basic Design Parameters Vehicle
Length 8.0 metres
Height (on track) 2.8 metres
Max. Speed 60 km/h
Max. Front Axle Load: 2970kg
Max. Rear Axle Load: 1200kg


Railroad Scissor Lift Platforms

The GENII maintenance vehicle incorporates a scissor lift suitable for 6 metre high operation and 450 Kg WLL. The scissor lift platform has a telescopic side shift auxiliary platform, capable of reaching 3.8 metres from the track. This is a state of the art machine created using steel supplies from A&S Steel Fabrications, is capable of high speed relocation on track (60kph) and transporting three workers to the work site in air conditioned comfort.

The vehicle incorporates state of the art hydraulic traction circuits, PLC electronic control with self diagnostic capability, elastomeric suspension and a number of sound attenuation strategies for the diesel-hydraulic system, enabling work to be carried out at night in metropolitan areas. It was created using customised metal work from A&S Steel Fabrications™ metal fabricators.

For cross country deployment, the machine is readily unloaded and loaded back on to a crane truck.

Railroad Scissor Lift Platforms
Safe Working Load 450kg
Speed (Platform Down) 60kph
Speed (Platform Up) 3 kph
Reach Vertical 6m
Reach horizontal 3m
Platform Area 1.9m x 4.5m
Weight 6.6 Tonnes


Boom Lifts

This boom lift was made from steel supplies made by metal fabricators at A&S Steel Fabrications and is used for the maintenance and construction of overhead conductors on electrified rail track.

The unit is mounted on a 30 tonne GVM truck, which is equipped with road/rail running equipment. The truck can be driven at slow speed along the rail track from the elevated operator position. All truck controls such as accelerator, brake, forward/reverse gear selector and vital instruments including fuel gauge, oil and water temperature are duplicated on the platform.
The platform has a safe working load of 400 Kg, and is equipped with a hydraulic extension platform with safe working load of 250 Kg. Reach height above rail is six metres.

The platform and its extension can be rotated about its own axis, and the complete boom also rotates.


Sleeper Renewers

Versatile Sleeper Renewers.
These machines are currently used by various railways authorities to remove condemned sleepers and simultaneously replace them with new ones. The sleeper renewers form part of a “consist” used by flying rail maintenance gangs in remote areas. A&S Steel Fabrications worked from a design to provide metal work and steel supplies specific to this project.

Additional Flexibility:
“Wrist action” for gripping sleepers on embankments. The sleeper gripper head can be adapted to suit a large range of timber sleepers as well as concrete sleepers. The unit is powered by an air cooled diesel engine providing hydraulic power to all of the above motions plus track jacks, rail clamps, a centre off tracking jack and hydraulic drives and brakes.

Sleeper Renewers
Capacity 120 sleepers/hour
Travel speed 25 kph
Boom reach 4000mm from track
Sleeper mass up to 300kg
Installed power 30 KW


Sleeper Unloaders

Railway tracks require continuous maintenance including timber sleeper replacement. For over 100 years new railway sleepers have been unloaded manually from flat top wagons. The mechanised system that was built using A&S Steel Fabrications steel supplies with metal work provided by our metal fabricators, not only unloads sleepers from wagons but reduces manpower requirements and costs as well as the incidence of accidents and injuries. At the freight yard, sleepers are loaded into specially designed container sized magazines, each holding up to 1000 sleepers. The magazines are mounted onto standard wagons. The train then travels to the section of track requiring repair and the sleeper unloader is driven from wagon to wagon on the slowly moving train, distributing sleepers as the train travels.

The sleeper unloader has an air conditioned, ergonomically designed operator’s cabin. The operator has a good view of all phases of the operation and is able to distribute sleepers accurately to either side of the track by use of a simple two way hand controller. All design and manufacture was carried out by HMA Techniplan in Brisbane, Australia to strict Quality Assurance procedures. Metal work was conducted to the highest quality by A&S Steel Fabrications, demonstrating the level of skill of our metal fabricators when we are chosen as steel suppliers.

Sleeper Unloaders
500 sleepers/hour cont.
1800 sleepers/hour peak
Vibropak (Spot Tamper)

Ballasts for railway tracks provides the support for sleepers. For effective support, the individual rocks must be made to interlock and key-in to each other.

The ‘Vibropak’ is a spot tamping machine designed to consolidate new, worn or loose ballasts under concrete, steel or timber sleepers. It is rapidly deployable and incorporates suspension suitable for medium speed travel. This has been created using A&S Steel Fabrications as the steel suppliers with metal work conducted by our very own metal fabricators.

The machine incorporates several functions to enable the operator to compact the ballast. Each work head has four tines which are vibrated at high frequency by a rotating eccentric. The work heads, which can be operated independently, when plunged into the ballast cause the material to fluidise and when squeezed flow under the sleeper. The squeezing mechanism provides variable forces, from a minimum at tine entry, to a maximum when forcing ballast under the sleeper.

All of the controls for the functions, either foot or hand operated, are positioned to ensure high machine productivity and operator comfort. The machine is powered by a diesel engine providing hydraulic power to all the functions including rail clamps and centre jack. This was built sturdy with A&S Steel Fabrications’ steel supplies.

Capacity 10 sleepers/min. @ 1:2
Travel Speed 40 Km/h
Installed Power 40kW

Gantry Cranes

A&S Steel Fabrications provided steel supplies created by our metal fabricators for a special purpose high performance gantry crane to transport sleepers as part of a track strengthening project. The gantry crane using our steel supplies brings new concrete sleepers from sleeper transport wagons to a track layer and then returns with old timber sleepers to the wagons. The crane carries 16 concrete sleepers at a time in a specially designed spreader frame. The sleepers are picked up from a range of heights using an automatic sequence, and then the crane travels at approximately 3m/second along the train of sleeper wagons to the track layer.

The gantry crane is mounted on eight wheels arranged in four two wheel bogies. All wheels are chain driven by two independent hydrostatic transmission circuits. Braking is provided by a combination of hydrodynamic regenerative braking and fail-safe multi-disc hydraulic brakes acting directly on the wheel treads.

Hoisting is provided by two hydraulic cylinders acting through leaf chains in 1:2 ratio, similar to a forklift system. The spreader frame incorporates hydraulic telescoping side clamping mechanisms for lifting the sleepers. While travelling, the spreader frame with sleepers is mechanically latched to the gantry crane frame.

The crane is powered by a Detroit 4.53T turbocharged diesel developing 140 KW at 2500rpm. Tractive power is provided through dual piston pumps, with a further vane pump providing hydraulic power to all other functions. The crane is operated from an ergonomically designed cabin, using a PLC to control the hydraulic systems. Several interlocks prevent machine functions from operating in a dangerous manner, thereby ensuring a safe workplace.

The gantry crane is a fine example of A&S Steel Fabrications’ ability to be steel suppliers and metal fabricators for complex materials handling machinery on a custom designed prototype basis. The entire project was undertaken on a fixed price, lump sum basis and completed within 26 weeks.

Gantry Cranes
Machine weight 12 tonnes
Safe Working load 7 tonnes
Installed Power 140 KW
Travel Speed 3 m/sec
Sleeper loading 16 x 250 Kgs
Cycle time 120 seconds
Production rate 10 sleepers/m

Rail Track Heaters


The Rail Rapper consists of a tractor to provide traction for a controlled work speed and the rail rapper unit. When the machine is heating the rail during the work mode, the operator walks beside the machine. The rail rapper strikes the rail head with an oscillating hammer so as to free the movement of the track as it lengthens due to increased temperature. During the travel or transportation mode, the rapper is raised clear of the track. The steel supplies and metal work were created by our very own metal fabricators at A&S Steel Fabrications.