With more than 40 years’ of experience, including patenting a number of revolutionary sand distribution-related inventions, Cyclonaire is trusted by the top names in the railroad industry—including the Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD).

INRD Image 5INRD was founded on March 18, 1986, when Thomas G. Hoback purchased a small rail line in Indianapolis that was scheduled to be abandoned.

The INRD continued to grow, purchasing and rehabilitating unused and broken-down railroad, then adding them to its network.

Today, after 27 years of active operation, INRD remains a privately held railroad. Directly serving the American Midwest, INRD owns 232 miles of track and has trackage rights or haulage agreements for 320 more spanning from Louisville, KY to Chicago, IL and beyond.

It operates major hubs in Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Indiana, Chicago, and Louisville, and has connections to 16 other North American railroads.

Today, INRD hauls a wide variety of goods, notably including industrial, energy, and consumer products, with a motive fleet of 41 diesel-electric locomotives and 35 additional locomotives, generating 121,000 aggregate horsepower. In 2014 alone, the INRD hauled freight equivalent to 800,000 truckloads.

The Problem

The time had come to replace the old gravity-fed sanding system at Hiawatha Yard, INRD’s operational hub in Jasonville, IN, just south of Terre Haute.

The existing system was suboptimal. It was located at the end of a track, as there was no room on the nearest service platform; this required locomotives to be moved away from the service platform in order to be sanded.

The location of the tower had only one station, which limited sanding capabilities to a single sand box of a single locomotive at a time. These restrictions and limitations were costing INRD a great deal of time.

INRD knew it had to replace the aging and inefficient sanding system, but didn’t know what to replace it with or who would be able to handle the project — until they were contacted by Cyclonaire.

The Solution

Cyclonaire offered to send an engineer to their Hiawatha Yard to evaluate their proposed new service platform, shop and requirements. Though our QuickSander Distributed System would have fit within the space available on INRD’s service platform, we recommended they opt for our SandMaster System.

There were two main reasons behind our SandMaster System recommendation. First, Cyclonaire determined the larger size of the SandMaster System would better serve the INRD’s Hiawatha Yard in terms of the volume of sand required and frequency of locomotive sandbox refills. Second, the SandMaster System would be more cost effective than a distributed system.

The location of the old sanding tower was the best place for the SandMaster System, due to its 8’ by 8’ footprint and 23’ height, as well as the space limitations on the service platform. This meant that locomotives would still need to be moved specifically for sanding.

The SandMaster System we designed, however, has a much greater capacity than the existing system. Pneumatic conveyor belts will allow for both the front and rear sandboxes of a locomotive to be filled, and can accommodate a second locomotive on a second track. This essentially quadruples INRD’s sanding capabilities.

The Results

INRD Image 1In the end, INRD moved forward with the SandMaster system our team recommended.

At the Hiawatha Yard, INRD now enjoys a considerably safer, more efficient and modern, sanding system.

Cyclonaire and our railroad sand distribution systems, e.g. the SandAide, the SandAlong, the QuickSander Distribution and our SandBagger, are renowned throughout the railroad industry.

Less well known are our constant efforts to go above and beyond for our customers, from our on-site visits and design to ensuring quick, minimally disruptive installations to recommending more cost effective systems whenever possible.