Locomotive Sanding

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Since the 90's we have been developing the design of locomotive sanding systems with industry leaders to provide a safe reliable method of delivering sand to Locomotives. They were originally based on our extensive experience in dense phase pneumatic conveying, and this application for sanding locomotives called for us to develop a super dense phase low velocity system to prevent damage to the sand and reduce abrasive wear.

System configuration

Normally the sand is delivered by bulk road tanker but occasionally by bulk bag in remote locations. Sand is received and decanted into local storage silo(s) or track side hoppers feeding local transfer units. Once track side the sand is available on call and can be blown directly into the locomotive sanding box using a bowser type nozzle ergonomically designed to make it easy on the operator.

Why pneumatically convey?

We focused on pneumatic sanding systems for the following reasons:

  • The convenience of a small bore conveying line means that positioning of the system componentry can be easily adapted to meet the requirements of each installation and will easily fit in with other local equipment or structures and accommodate any locomotive type.
  • Our system is easy to change or add future expansions.
  • Techniques used for conveying sand are based on super low velocity dense phase conveying. Low velocity conveying minimises system wear and product degradation, delivering sand in a controlled safe manner.
  • Unlike gravity fed systems, no high-level expensive support structure or access is required in the provisioning shed.
  • The system can easily be fully locked out preventing accidental or unwarranted sand release.
  • Once a locomotive has stopped for provisioning, all the sanding boxes are within reach even when multiple locomotives are coupled together. There is no need to move the locomotive part way through provisioning therefore removing the associated safety risks with shunting trains.
  • Hoses can be angled horizontally to clear obstructions and still maintain product flow, unlike gravity feed systems where product flow stops.
  • Sand can be delivered above and below foot plate level.

Bulk materials: powders



  • Heavy duty reliable design built for harsh remote locations
  • Gentle on the sand granule


  • Modular design, customisable


  • Simple and safe to use, ergonomic and operator friendly
  • Full enclosed dust free operation


  • Sand delivery from road tanker or bulk bag
  • Sand bowser extraction systems
  • Sand conditioning systems
  • System inventory monitoring
  • Bowsers customised to suit applications


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