Utilities Sector

Crane rail systems and ancillaries for the utilities sector

Rail systems for power stations

The heart of a fossil fuel power station has the turbines and alternators. These very expensive and delicate items do not need frequent moving but cranes are needed at the time the station is constructed and then at service intervals. The requirements for the cranes serving in this part of the plant are for very controlled slow operation without vibration or impact on lifting, lowering and horizontal movement. Gantrail rail installations with continuously welded rails are the best and most reliable solution. The crane beams are deep in this part of the plant and the Gantrail tie-backs (surge connectors) are used to transfer forces from the top of beam to the building.

In other parts of a power station there may be cranes for everyday use or for intermittent lifting. Some stations have ash handling systems and most have well equipped workshops with cranage.

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Crane rail systems for hydroelectric sectors

Hydroelectric power stations typically have heavy relatively slow running large turbines with appropriate large diameter alternators. These may be positioned with vertical or horizontal axis. Cranes are mainly required during the construction phase and then at intervals during maintenance and overhaul. The halls tend to be long and the equipment is very heavy but delicate. Thus it requires cranes that need very controlled slow operation without vibration or impact on lifting, lowering and horizontal movement. Gantrail continuously welded rail installations are the best solution for such applications.

Rail systems for the nuclear industry

Nuclear power stations and other facilities handling radioactive materials have special needs not least associated with security. This has an influence on all aspects of work from design through site installation to repair and refurbishment. Design safety factors tend to be higher in this field of work. Work on site can be limited by radioactive exposure requirements. Gantrail have experience in all ranges of work including several designs of power station including Magnox, AGR, PWR, BWR, re processing and naval support facilities. Experience goes back to the 1960's when the company was formed.

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Crane Rail systems for Crane rail systems for water treatment works

Crane rail systems for water treatment works

Water treatment plants must work continuously. There is relatively little very heavy equipment but there are lots of repetitive functions some of which rely on machines mounted on steel rails.

Typically fresh water supply facilities are kept remote from waste water treatment. The plants are characterised by having large round or rectangular holding tanks where water is stored or passed slowly through filter and other beds. Some require equipment to scrape settled material others are needed to distribute water onto filter material. Some require the distributor systems to be power driven to overcome the resistance of settled material others require contaminated water to be supplied to the moving distributor.

Gantrail have designed, supplied materials and installed systems for works in the UK and in other countries.

Specialists in design and support for crane rail interfaces worldwide

From ship to shore, power stations to international sporting venues, we are able to apply our proven expertise and engineering capability to fulfil the most complex and challenging of project needs.

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Providing full installation solutions

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Over 50 years expertise

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Technically adept support

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Range of specialist support services

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Crane Rails

Crane rails come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The designs have been developed to meet individual countries requirements with some being squat and wide and others are taller and similar in shape to railway rails but they are all more robust. There are now only a few ‘families’ of rails with similar shapes and a range of sizes. Most crane rails range in head width from 45mm to 150mm. A common feature is a thick web to carry the load to the base. There are also a range of steel metallurgies. At their most basic they are made from high carbon manganese steel but some are more highly alloyed. They are all difficult to weld. Gantrail will normal comment on any chosen rail for a project or propose the most suitable choices.

Crane Rail Pads

It is an advantage if a rail can rotate a small amount around an axis along its length. This allows the rail to take up a position that matches the wheel and as a result reduces the compressive stresses in the tread of the wheel and the head of the rail. Gantrail supply steel reinforced crane rail pads that allow this. They have been proven in thousands of applications for over 50 years. They also eliminate the metal to metal contact and reduce corrosion between the rail and its support.

Crane Rail Fixing Clips

It is not practical to fasten crane rails rigidly to the support on which they are mounted. Rails need to be adjusted to the correct position and to be able to move small amounts along the support. They also need to be able to rotate about an axis along their length. But they should be fixed rigidly from significant sideways movement. Gantrail have developed a range of adjustable crane rail fixing clips for all sizes of rail. These can be fastened by means of bolting or by welding to a steel surface. Some in the range will resist the highest expected loads but other are compact and light and are for smaller applications.

Steel Soleplates & Bolts

Most sole plates look like simple plates of steel with many holes. But the challenge for the track system designer is to combine the requirements of the concrete foundations with its reinforcement and expansion joints with the needs of the rail system. Hole positioning is most important. There may be a need for rail fixed points and earthing. There is also a need for high accuracy sometimes combined with corrosion protection. Bolts for fixing sole plates need to be made such that they will not rotate on being tightened. Gantrail also supply more sophisticated system which allow for releveling a rail after installation.


The upper surface of poured concrete it very weak and will not support the loads imposed by a steel crane wheel. The surface needs to be cleared of soft material before the gap between the structural concrete and the steel sole plate.is filed with high strength grout. Gantrail supply two types of grout for the majority of applications. Some cases require the strength of an epoxy based system whereas others can accept special cement bases grouts. Smaller qualities of fast curing polyester grouts are used to secure bolts in premade holes in concrete.

Case Studies

We work on a diverse range of projects throughout the world, each bringing its own specific requirements, challenges and examples of best practice and innovation.

Port Botany

Port Botany in Sydney is Australia’s second largest container port. It was of strategic importance for Hutchison Ports, who were looking to increase...

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Aqaba Port

Aqaba Port

Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country’s only seaport. The container port needed to be expanded to cope with a signific...

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Perth Arena Moving Roof

Perth Arena | Opening Roof

Drawing  upon their experience of similar projects around the world, the Gantrail design team supplied technical expertise – 89 kg Railtrack an...

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