A Short Guide to Freight Railroad Parts

Before the late 1820s, transporting valuable goods across a rapidly growing United States was a time-consuming and costly process. Freight carried via boats worked only along coastal regions, and horse-drawn carts were dependent on the endurance of the individual animals, limiting the amount they could carry.

With the industrial revolution came the introduction of railroads and trains. This created a way of not only transporting people across the United States but products at a previously unseen scale and speed.

Today freight railroad services are still the go-to method of moving freight. However, with constant use comes wear and tear that, if left unchecked, can have devastating results.

Read on for information on some of the most valuable rail parts to keep in top shape.

Brake Pads

Arguably the most crucial part of any locomotive is its brakes. Relying on the friction of a metal pad pressing up against a railcar’s wheels, even the highest quality of emergency brakes can take over a mile to stop a train going 55 miles per hour.

As friction stops a railcar’s wheels, those in the freight railroad industry need to be on top of how much use a brake pad has gotten. It’s recommended to replace brake pads once they have seen 25,000 to 65,000 miles. Then, depending on the type of brake pad and railcar used, they can be easily examined, serviced, or replaced.

Rubber Parts

Rubber is a valuable part of both railcars and railways. Providing extra friction on brake pads, insulating against extreme temperatures, and adding a little extra shock absorption proves itself in various uses. 

Rubber parts can come in various forms, pure rubber gathered from a natural source, synthetic rubber from a lab, or rubber mixed with other materials to add to its sturdy nature.

Picking the correct type of rubber for the job is a necessity. For instance, does something need to last for as long as possible — use natural rubber.

Is the part in question need to be flexible and can be replaced often?

Synthetic is the best option.

With the availability of custom products, finding the right type of rubber is as simple as a consultation.

Maintenance on Freight Railroad Parts

Having a strict schedule of maintenance and checkups on a freight train is a must. It allows you to spot and prevent debilitating issues soon. Replacing the rubber pedestal liners, keeping an eye on parts being worn down by friction, and staying on top of any minor fixes that need doing may be tedious but can save thousands of dollars in the long run.

When Replacements Are Necessary

Even with constant observation and maintenance, there will come a time when a part will need to be replaced. For example, perhaps a brake pad reached the end of its lifecycle or a rubber liner finally broke. A prompt replacement will be needed to ensure your freight railroad locomotive can continue its job.

The Kor-Pak Corporation has your back in any of these situations. With our catalog of parts for any type of locomotive and special custom orders available on-demand, we can get you what you need. So check out our catalog today!


Posted in Industrial Equipment.