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A winter’s journey: Moving a 192-ton generator rotor in inclement weather

Canada’s winter weather makes heavy-haul transport just that much more challenging.

For this project, we were tasked with finding a way to get a 192-ton generator rotor from the Bruce Power Nuclear Generating Station, located on Lake Huron near Kincardine, Ontario to a multimodal transport connection for furtherance to an overseas destination.

While barge transport had been used for these types of projects in the past, a winter transport schedule was not going to allow barging for this cargo.

We set out to develop an over-the-road transport solution to the closest rail siding. Transport route surveys quickly established an optimal 190km route that included 19 structures that would require engineering analysis before this oversize load could cross them.

We decided the best transport plan for this load, route, and unpredictable winter weather was two prime movers and a 22-line hydraulic trailer that was 200’ in length. This created 15 critical corners on the route that would require detailed surveys for transport clearance analysis.

After all the engineering and analysis was completed and approved, and transport permits were in place, the rotor was loaded onto the truck. And then a sudden winter thaw resulted in a ‘half-load’ restriction on 17km of the route.

It was only after a week of freezing temperatures, and geotechnical testing of the subject road-bed to ensure adequate load-bearing strength, that the rotor was finally transported to the rail siding without incident.

From there, we loaded the rotor to a railcar by jack and slide and tied it down before it moved onto the final leg of its journey.