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Taking the risk out of refueling diesel trains

Posted By: Leah Austin

Have you ever considered how a diesel train takes fuel on board? It can hardly stop at a service station for fuel nor take a break in the middle of a journey for the same purpose. They have large tanks on board that have to be filled with diesel fuel and if the train was filled from a petrol pump at a service station it would take forever and a day to complete the task. Bottom loading arms were designed for this task as they can be coupled with high speed dispensers.

Making safety paramount

Bottom loading arms were designed to perform this task safely as they are used for combustible materials such as fuel. Connections must be secure and fast. Most people never see this but may have watched a pit stop in a Formula 1 race. Fuel connections there are designed with a loading arm and a safety connection for speedy connection.

Can you see a train stopping at exactly the right spot? No they can’t. So the arms used for fueling, have to be moved to where the fuel tanks are. The loading arms are attached to overhead tracks to facilitate the use of the swivel boom arm which can have high speed re-fueling nozzles fitted. An additional feature of the safety process is the fuel cut off; it works in the same way as the petrol pump for putting petrol in your car. The pump can be stopped when the tank is full or when the operator manually stops it.

Not only are bottom loading arms used for trains you can see them in action at high volume petroleum terminals and large oil distribution depots. Again with safety in mind, these arms can be designed so that there is less spillage and vapor loss.

If there is a need to load fuel from multiple points building several bottom loading islands is more economical, faster and safer than filling from just one point and building several top loading arms. These specialty items can be designed and installed into a brand new, up to date fueling system that requires minimal maintenance.

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