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Shiplifts & Transfer Yards

Aerial view of a shipyard

Multiple applications

Different technologies for transferring vessels on-shore are in existence. Generally, the rail applications can be identified, starting with the process of elevating the vessel out of the water, which could be by a Shiplift or a Slipway. When the vessels are transferred to the land the carriages are moved using either a single or dual level system.

Those different applications within the shipyard require different rail solutions. 


Multiple solutions

The Marine design covers the Civil design of the various areas, which includes individual load conditions and may involve civil expansion joints to accommodate thermal expansion. Rail systems vary significantly according to the loads and the environment.

Elevating the ship

  • Shiplifts:  The lift platforms are normally articulated to allow for deflection under load. The rail system is designed to suit the projected deflection and so it is typically shimmed to the design unloaded position, and secured with hard clamps on welded studs. Under load the platform deflects, and the rail system is designed to ensure a smooth transfer to the landside system.
  • Slipways: Rails are installed at a slope and care should be given to longitudinal rail movement due to gravitational and breaking forces. Rails can be installed on concrete foundation, steel girder, or a combination of both. Different solutions are available depending on the foundation, and special attention should be paid to corrosion protection in the tidal area.

Transporting the ship

The boats are transported, on trolleys or cradles, to or from construction and maintenance berths and buildings. This zone can be built in a single or double level, each with its specific design for the rail system. Special attention should be paid to the rail transition areas between the shiplift, carriages and the dry berths.
  • Single Level Transfer: The normal single level sytem is where rails are installed at ground level with cross overs to provide system that allows the transfer of carriages from sea to land. and then at 90 degrees. This means the vessels can be moved around the yard with maximum flexibility use.
  • Dual Level Transfer: In some yards the transfer is carried out at two levels, where the vessels are transferred to specific dry berths. These could be washdown, painting or welding areas. 
shiplift on gantrex track
Shiplift track
Gantrex crossover
shiplift and transfert yard track
Shipyard tracks
Shiplift tracks
Gantrex solutions increase the productivity of the shipyard cranes thanks to the reliability of the crane rail solutions proposed. They involve the latest technology in crane and specialty rail track components and services
Gantrex rails, clips and crossovers for transfer yard
shipyard crane track installed by Gantrex

Turn-key crane rail installations

  • Our skills in drilling, leveling, grouting, aligning and rail welding works are praised. 
  • Our installation and inspection teams are motivated and reliable. 

Rail stability

  • Gantrex’ RailLok™ design ensures full and tight contact between the upper component of the crane rail clip and the rail foot. Coupled with the self-locking wedge, it keeps the tightened clip bolts in tension.
  • The RailLok™ crane rail pad’s specific grooves and edge design prevents damage or movement of the pads resultant from rail twisting and the bow wave effect, almost completely eliminating the risk of premature pad weakening ensuing from dirt ingress.
  • Where the most appropriate technical solution is a hard fixing, the Gantrex® shipyard clamps will accept up to 120 kN side load.
Gantrex’ tailor-made range of products and services is worldwide available through more than 300 real Gantrex crane rail specialists, ready to be on track, with you.

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References across the world

We have 50+ years of crane track design and construction experience. Our unparalleled customer base demonstrates the reliability of our products and services.

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