1. Protection of Straightness


1.Heavy static loading and sudden impact.

2.Single point slinging

3.End drop and flange overlap or crossing of rails.

4.Localised point or line contact when stacking.


1.Two point slinging for rails up to 13m length. Increase slinging point at the rate of 1 per 6.5m.

2.Rails are kept horizontal and straight as far as possible while lifting, carrying or stacking.

3.Provide suitable dunnage/spacer to protect rail against point contact.

4.Rails of same length are stacked on a firm level base providing uniform support. Successive layers may be of the same or decreasing width for stacking of unequal length of rails.

5.Subsequent layers should be separated with uniformly placed suitable spacers or dunnage in vertical alignment with the base supports.

6.Rail ends are protected.

2. Protection of

Rail Surface


1.Impact or abrasion of rails and rail bundles against structures, buildings, ships, hatches, wagons, vehicles, etc.

2.Crossing or flange overlap while stacking or making rail bundles. Suitable spacers to be used while making rail bundles.

3.Any rail support, handling or clamping device and rail pinch rollers which apply localized or point contact to the rail.


1.Where conventional slings are employed, use of fabric, e.g. polypropylene slings/sleeves is recommended. As an alternative, if flat link chains are used, these should be fitted with fabric sleeves.

2.Rails should be protected against bruising, notching or scoring of surface.

3.Wherever possible, the profile of rail support, handling or clamping device and rail pinch rollers should be contoured to match the rail profile.

4.Use of round-link chain sling. Ideally, lift the rails by using electro-magnetic lifting devices.

3. Prevention of Metallurgical Damage


All heating, flame cutting, welding and spot welding during rail handling or transit.


Protection of rail from electric arc from adjacent cables or molten metal splashes from nearby welding operations.

4. Protection from contact with injurious substances


Contact with injurious substances such as acids, alkalis, salts, fertilizers, sulphates, chlorides and nitrates.


Rail stockpiles should be built on a well-drained base as per as per drawing no. RDSO/T-6219

5. Minimising

Danger to



1.Standing under suspended rails.

2.Sudden dropping or impact or rails.

3.Bundle strapping for lifting, slinging or handling of rails.

4.Contact with rails.


1.Steel toe-capped protective footwear is used.

2.Distinct coloured helmets and clothing’s are used for ease of identification and location of personnel while working with machine or crane.

3.Effective protective gloves and clothing’s to reduce risk of skin abrasions and lacerations and extremes of temperature.

4.Safe working, in the vicinity of electrical conductors and wiring

6 Stacking


1.Overlapping of rail flanges.

2.Crossing of layers when dunnage is used.

3.Leaning stack by placing rail ends (rails of the same length) in vertical alignment.


1.Stacking of rail on proper concrete base and supports as per RDSO/T-6219.

2.Stacking of rails of same length.

3.Shorter rail should be placed in upper layers so that each successive layer is of same or decreasing width.

4.Good vertical alignment of dunnage or spacers in the completed stack should be done by placing them in identical positions along the rail length.

5.Use of suitable rail handling equipment, such as electromagnetic lifting devices, rail grips etc.

7 Handling of Rails in Flash Butt Welding Plants & Production units.


Lifting rails which do not have proper lifting points and cause overhang more than 3.25 m


Rails are handled by magnetic lifting devices. The magnets should be suspended from a lifting spreader beam ensuring lifting point at every 6.5 meter and overhang less than 3.25 meter. In case, magnetic lifting devices for rails cannot be provided in Flash Butt Welding Plants, all handling of rails should be done with synchronized electric hoists and spreader beams.

8. Handling of

rails at track

renewal sites in

open line &



(Single Rails)


1.While unloading single rails from BFRs/BRHs provide a ramp of two unserviceable hardwood crossing sleepers or suitable timber piece kept at 6.5m apart, one end resting on the BFR/BRH and the other end held firmly on the ground.

2.Fasten rails by ‘J’ type hooks at two places 6.5m apart, held properly with hardwood packing to avoid bruising of rails.

3.The hooks should be held with nylon ropes.

4.Rails are made to slide over the sleeper one by one

5.Overhang does not increase beyond 3.25m each side

6.On reaching ground, rail is to be lifted by rail-dolly or tongs to clear the end of ramp. Rails can later be carried with the help of rail dollies to sites, wherever required, without causing any damage to them.

7.Single rails can be unloaded at site by road crane also provided provisions of lifting points at every 6.5 meter and restriction on overhang not to increase beyond 3.25 m are met and no infringement endangering safety of moving train on adjacent track is caused.

8.For transporting rails by road vehicles to the work sites, Road cranes with a special spreader beam should be used for loading/unloading of rails.

(Three Rail Panel)




1.Unloading of rail panels in running lines, by providing a ramp of adequate number of unserviceable hardwood crossing sleepers or timber piece, kept 6.5m apart.

2.Unloading these panels preferable on the nearest railway station in loop line following the procedure mentioned above and later on carried out with the help of rail dollies to the site wherever required, without causing any damage to them.

(Long Rail Panel)


1.Panels unloaded should be kept in upright (head up) in straight alignment.

2.On long bridges, panels are to be supported on bridge timbers and not allowed to sag over the opening.

9. Precautions

For Handling

of Rails in




1.Work above or within a distance of 2m from the live OHE without “permit – to work.”

2.Touching fallen wires unless power is switched-off and the wire or wires suitably earthed.


1.As far as possible closed wagons shall be used for material trains. In case open or hopper wagons are used, loading and unloading of such wagons in electrified tracks shall be done under the supervision of an Engineering Official not below the rank of a Permanent Way Misty who shall personally ensure that no tool or any part of body of worker comes within the “danger zone” i.e. within 2m of the OHE.

2.Rails do not touch each other to form a continuous metallic mast of length greater than 300m.

10. Handling of rails at Ports


1.Availability of proper facilities for handling of Rails at port as required by these guidelines.

2.Magnetic lifting devices with suitable spreader beams should preferably be used.

3.In case, it is difficult to provide magnetic lifting device for lifting of rails, electric hoists or cranes with suitable spreade beams may be used so as to lift the rails in accordance with the basic principles.

4.Provisions in the contract document procuring for rails to provide for carrying out modifications in the existing facilities available at ports or to develop suitable method for unloading and handling of rails so as to avoid any damage