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Rail Pickup Machine

Efficient, safe rail pickup

Automated Rail Pickup Machine

Herzog’s Rail Pickup Machine is designed to pick up long sections of used rail from the right-of-way and load it onto a rail train for recycling or disposal.

Related Capabilities
Applications + Purpose
CWR unloading
Jointed rail unloading
New construction
Rehabilitation projects
Related Industries
Class 1 railroads
Short line railroads
Rail transit systems


The machine is capable of loading 100 to 141 lb rail twice as fast as conventional methods, reduces time spent on collection, and requires fewer workers than manual methods.

Additionally, it is the only automated machine able to pick up and load rail in a curve.

Machine Features

Operator Cab Boom

The boom on the operator cab rotates and tilts for efficient grasp and initial placement of the rail into the Powerboxes, and adjusts in height as it guides each rail onto various racks on the rail train.

Powerbox Components

Herzog uses the most powerful components on the market to pull quarter-mile sticks of rail through the machine’s various equipment stations and onto the rail train.

Anchor Remover

This mechanism quickly and safely removes rail anchors that can cause disruption in the loading process.

Station Features

Crossover Station

When picking up the rail on only one side of the train, this crossover station has the ability to direct it into pockets on the opposite side of the rail train.

Drill Station

This mechanism automatically clamps and drills rail in preparation of fish plate installation.

Sawing Station

The cold cut sawing tool drastically reduces spark emission, nearly eliminating fire risk when cutting rail.


Safety Features

Avoid Rail Buckling 

It does not rely on a locomotive to backup an entire consist to rethread rail, avoiding dangerous buckling and uncontrolled movement.

Remote Control

Any operator has the ability to stop the machine’s operation.

Continuous Positive Control

The operator always maintains continuous positive control of the rail while stationary.