A Loram Grinder

This is more of a series of photos than a real “railfan story”. I went out on April 26, 2020 to look for trains. I really didn’t see much, but I did spot this Loram grinder in the back track at Dugald, Manitoba.

I took a few photos from the ground, then flew my drone to get some aerial shots of the train.

Loram grinder and the Dugald grain elevator
Loram grinder and the Dugald grain elevator

This was LMIX 3411, an RG400 class production rail grinder train. These trains grind the tops of the rails to remove defects and restore the proper rail head profile. They include integrated dust suppression and fire fighting – these trains throw a lot of sparks when they work.

Note the foundation visible in the photo below. I believe that is where the train station was.

LMIX 3411 and the foundation of the former station
LMIX 3411 and the foundation of the former station

This is the end of the train. Based on this TrainOrders post, the consist should be: power/cab, tank car, grinding units x 4, tank cars x 2, generator car, baggage car, bi-level passenger car, fire fighting/cab car. The above photo shows the last 3.

Grinder at Dugald
Grinder at Dugald

Here are a few ground level shots.

Ground view of grinder at Dugald
Ground view of grinder at Dugald
End on view of rail grinder in Dugald, Manitoba
End on view of rail grinder in Dugald, Manitoba

I’ve never seen a grinder in action. I’d love to see one working, especially at night!

Ex baggage car
Ex baggage car
Generator car?
Generator car?
Tank cars
Tank cars

David Othen put together a great video featuring grinders working day and night. Here it is:

Rail grinder video

6 thoughts on “A Loram Grinder”

    • Hi Mike, I don’t know how many times rails can be ground. I looked at some papers like this and they can take close to a millimetre off each grind. Some recommend up to 4 grinds a year to maintain profile on heavily used tracks. I imagine they can do a few years of grinding but it would be interesting to know more precisely.

      Reply
  1. Great photos (as usual!). I saw a smaller self-propelled rail grinder working the line behind George’s Trains in Markham a few years back (one of those perfect timing moments). The firefighting equipment consisted of a crew walking alongside with portable extinguishers. Lots of sparks, lots of little fires. Fascinating to watch. I can’t find the photos, but I know I took a few! A reminder that railways have to spend a lot of time and money on maintenance!

    Reply
    • Hi Brian, yes, there are various sizes of grinders in operation. The smaller grinders are used for detail work and for working around switches and such. These big road grinders can’t do the delicate work!

      Fire prevention and fire fighting are a big part of the overall rail grinding process.

      Reply

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