Rail Car Dryer System

One of our customers runs facilities where bulk materials are handled and processed. When they began designing a new freight rail car unloading and cleaning facility, they came to us to engineer a system to dry out freight rail cars after they’ve been washed. Handling bulk materials requires special care and when it comes to the storage/shipping container, the customer needs to maintain high standards of quality control.

After a particular bulk shipment has been delivered, the rail car needs to be thoroughly washed so that future bulk materials are not contaminated with material from a previous shipment. In their new facility, the customer will have two stations where these rail cars can be dried. When the car is dried, it is imperative that the system works efficiently to dry the cars completely.

Eldridge Rail Car Dryer System

Components of the System

Blower Rail Car Dryer - Blower

In this case, the blower needed to be powerful enough to effectively dry the cars. We determined the fan size and application pressure capabilities based on the requirements of the drying stations.

Air Filter

An air filter was installed upstream of the blower to prevent airborne contamination from entering the system.


A silencer was installed between the air inlet and blower inlet to reduce the sound level of the blower to an acceptable level for worker comfort.


Silencer and Air Filter HousingAn electric heater is used in this application to heat ambient air to customer specifications to dry the rail cars.

Special Considerations

Due to environmental factors and coastal salt-laden air, both hot-dip galvanized steel and stainless steel were used in the construction of the components.

Custom transitions were specially designed and built to connect the dryer system to the rest of the customer’s system.

Furthermore, there was a safety concern about the heat generated by the system as an employee could accidentally touch the hot metal and get burned. Additionally, the noise radiated from the blower housing needed to be reduced. Our solution to combat both of these personal protection issues was to utilize blanket insulation that will not only shield workers from coming in contact with the hot metal services, but also from excess noise.

Rail Car Dryer - Blanket Insulation