Railquip was awarded a contract in 2019 to rehabilitate a Locomotive Turntable originally constructed in 1914 with a span of 120 feet. The goal was to improve the functionality and safety of the turntable while maintaining its historical ambiance.

The scope of work included lifting and cribbing the entire turntable in order to gain access to the center bearing and bogies. These components were then removed and the original turntable structure was sandblasted and coated. This process included strict environmental protection and cleanup. All electrical components were removed, including the existing collector ring (located on top of the tower at the center of the turntable) and the operator’s cab.


Following the coating process, the new mechanical and electrical components were replaced. Here you can see the before and after of the most important component of any turntable; the center bearing assembly.

The existing drive system was extruding through the side walkway of the turntable. This caused a major tripping hazard for our client, and besides being a major annoyance, it just flat out looked bad. With a simple adjustment to the orientation of the new gearmotors, the new side walkway is clear and much safer.


The existing cab was in rough shape and did not represent the historical look that the client was going for. We were able to find the original cab drawing and replicate that look, with the exception of the copper roof, which was listed as “one (1) mule hide” in the BOM. We were not interested in receiving a call from PETA…


The original manually operated sliding lock plates were replaced with electrically operated mechanical screw actuators. With the press of a button, the actuators push the sliding lock plates in between the approaching rails in order to keep the turntable locked in place and aligned with the track of the incoming or outgoing rail vehicle.


A new safety feature was incorporated into the system to prevent the turntable from operating when the locks are extended. This helps prevent unnecessary damage to the equipment, its surroundings and minimizes the possibility of a derailment (speaking of derailments, check out our hydraulic re-railing systems here).

The turntable is currently operating smoother than ever, with more functionality and safety features than ever before, but it still has that original look to it which makes the client ecstatic.

If you have equipment that could use a similar overhaul, don’t hesitate to contact our Product Specialist Ron Covert. He has been involved with many locomotive turntable projects in his dozen plus years experience in the industry, including clients like Amtrak, CSX, CP and more.