TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana Rail Road Company Friday opened a new $7.6 million locomotive maintenance facility near Jasonville.
The company’s new Locomotive Maintenance Facility — one of the largest private investments in Greene County — replaces a cramped, 100-year-old engine house and is equipped with state-of-the-art environmental controls, an ergonomically-friendly and climate-controlled working environment and an on-site parts warehouse.
The maintenance facility is located at Hiawatha Yard, the operational hub of the Indiana Rail Road system, located 25 miles southeast of Terre Haute. Hiawatha Yard and the new maintenance facility employs 85 workers. The company has 185 full-time staff.
Indiana Rail Road, a privately-held, 500-mile railroad based in Indianapolis, hauls the equivalent of more than 800,000 truckloads of consumer, industrial and energy products each year. The railroad has invested more than $160 million in private capital into its infrastructure since the company was founded in 1986.
"It's something for Indiana Rail Road to be proud of," said U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, during a dedication of the facility.
“Any time you can better equip your workers to better maintain transportation infrastructure, you're doing good for all citizens. This type of facility is important to our nation, and for Indiana Rail Road to step up and make the investment on its own is outstanding,” Bucshon said.
The new facility has enough ceiling clearance to life an entire carbody off a locomotive with a new 30/5-ton bridge crane.
The 30-ton crane will be used for tasks such as lifting locomotive diesel engines, main generators, wheel frame assemblies and carbody removal.
The 5-ton crane can be used for smaller jobs such as changing individual engine cylinder and piston sub-assemblies, cooling fan replacement or turbocharger replacement.
The new facility has 3,000 square feet of attached space with lockers, showers and a lunchroom.
The locomotive service tracks are covered under a 375-linear foot canopy. The canopy helps keep rain water out of the oily waste water collection system by keeping most rain water out of the track pans, which collect any oil or fuel that may drip from the locomotive during servicing.
Locomotives have dry sand reservoirs to increase traction when rails are wet. Previously, mechanics had to climb on top of locomotives to fill the reservoirs with a gravity-fed tower. That tower has been replaced with a Cyclonaire Sandmaster compressed air-driven system that allows mechanics to fill the reservoirs with a wand, while standing safely on the locomotive walkways.
The system has a higher sand capacity.
The facility contains a 7,500 square-foot warehouse, initially storing 1,020 inventory parts and supplies. The entire maintenance facility has enough room to hold four to six locomotives, with three deep pits for working under locomotives. It also has a back-up generator to prevent lost productivity during power outages.