Who is using railcar transfer tables out there?

Who is using a railcar transfer table at their plant or yard?  Are any transit organizations using transfer tables?  I am very curious to know how many are out there?  And what parts of the Country they are located in.  Including Canada!  As well as what purpose they are being used for, such as changing directions, pulling cars off the mainline, etc. 

We manufacture tables, but would really like to know how many are out there, and how old some of them might be.

Thanks for your input!

41 Replies

  • In reply to bfitzwater:


    We put a blast room in that Alstom plant years ago.  I would like to see how they are utilizing it first hand.  May have to stop by there next time I'm in the North East!  Thank you!

  • In reply to Dan Mitzel:

    Dan Mitze:

    Thanks for the response!  When I said change of direction, I meant change to a different track, and go back from the direction it came.  Often we use them to switch tracks, and continue on in the same direction.  We are currently working with a Client to pull cars off the mainline, and then place them back onto the mainline with a different table, after the car goes through a certain process.  You're correct too, that many shops are dead end shops, so tables work great for that.  We also use them to switch between different paint booths after they come out of blast.

    However, we can turn a car 90* with a 9ft turn table, if it is on shop trucks.  No problem!  Road trucks present a problem due to brake linage though.  It is amazing to watch a railcar turn 90* using that little tuntable!!!  But it needs to be built correctly, as the car is in a slightly unstable position halfway through!

  • In reply to WALT1ORO:


    Thanks for the reply!  We use them for that purpose often!  You are spot on!  We use rabbit systems, built into the floor, as well as winches, to move cars on and off, but I must same I have NEVER seen a steam engine do it!   You have seen something most of never have!  I was just in Philly about a month & a half ago!  I wish I had written this forum sooner, and I would have looked around some more!  Thank you!!!  Very neat city too!  I really enjoyed the historical district!

  • In reply to BudBudzien:


    That's a nice little table!  What are you using it for?

  • In reply to BudBudzien:


    I would love to see this operation!  We have a similar operation in progress now.  I wish I could say more, but I can't.  Regardless, people have some great imaginations out there, and it's a lot of fun working on these types of projects!  Thanks again!!!

  • In reply to rjsillars:


    RJ, you hit the nail on the head!  Switches take up a lot of room, and transfer tables can help save that valued space.  I was not aware that the old street car railways used them.  I would have like to have seen some of them though!  It's always fun to see that old, built like a tank, engineering.

  • In reply to bradyrs:


    We have built several of the small transfer cars, for moving trucks off of truck build lines to storage tracks, and to De-truck & Re-truck railcars, along with a jacking system of course!  Some of the really old tables are just the neatest looking pieces of equipment!  I have seen them with old locomotive cabs as operator stations, and others with high platforms for operators to be able to see to the other side of the car as well.     Thanks for the reply!

  • In reply to Richard Frick:

    Richard Frick:

    Great info Richard!  Thanks!  We have done tables for GM, but not that one.

  • From my previous work at SEPTA in Philadelphia I know of two transfer tables in use.  One is inside the Fern Rock shop of the Broad Street subway and the other is outdoors at the Woodland LRV overhaul shop.  Both are used to move cars to and from shop repair tracks which are not otherwise connected to the yard. 

  • Amtrak has a transfer table at its Wilmington, DE shops.

  • Here is a photo of the old transfer table at Long Island Railroad's Morris Park Yard used to transfer Locomotives into the rectangular repair shop. The transfer table is at the bottom center of the picture and is fed from the lower turntable track. This was just demolished a couple of years ago.

  • In reply to ShopBuilder:

    Being both a west and east railroader, maybe there are a few nore transfer/turntables that can be added.

    1. Believe the fromer D&RGW at Burnham Shop (now UP) still has a turntable (about a 120' -130') and possibly the transfer table servicing the passenger car shops may still be there.

    2. Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton required a new 90' turntable constructed about 18 years or so ago.  To replace the table scrapped by Conrail years before.  Replacement was a Macton product.

    3.  UP in Cheyenne still has the big turntable to serivce their steam power.

    Whiting Corp is one of the few old line railroad construction outfits still in business that can supply this type of equipment.  Can't speak for some of the other major suppliers such as Ross & Whiteas, Ogle and others.

    A few of the steam tourist or historic operations have installed rebuilt turntables over the past decade or so, but few I know of have installed a transfer table.  One is  Calif. State RR Museum at Scremento either installed (or rebuilt?) one for the shop there to replace the SP removed transfer table when they closed & pulled out.

    Chris Ahrens

  • Metra is using the old Rock Island Facility at 47th Street in Chicago.  Google Earth still shows the transfer table with a commuter car on it. 

  • In reply to ShopBuilder:



    Now that's a very unique set up!  Pretty nice!  You guys are good!  Thanks for all the great input from everyone!



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