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I-Beam load capacity question, what beam for 70 tons?

  1. Jul 6, 2009 #1
    I'm sorry if there have been loads of posts about this, but I'm hoping someone can help me out here.

    I'm making a pit to service a locomotive, this pit needs to be 10 feet wide (width along the rails), inorder to support the weight of the locomotive we have decided to run I-Beams under the rail to help the rail carry the weight. The weights distributed along the rails are as follows:

    Each locomotive has 2 trucks, each truck has two axles, each axle has a weight load of 35 tons (appx 70,000 lbs).
    The pit will only be wide enough for one truck, but two axles.
    < 10' of I-Beam and Rail >
    : ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~^~:
    :~points where weight will~:
    :~be resting ~~~~~~~~~:

    (sorry for the crude picture)
    The weight of the axles will rest on the outer edges of the beam for the most of the time, but we will need to drive over the middle of the beam at a very slow speed, so for it to hold the weight is critical (sometimes we'll need someone in the pit while the locomotive is moving).

    What I'm looking for is what I-beam would be suitable, deflection must be less than 1 inch.
    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It is illegal for you to do this sort of construction work without the assistance of a registered professional engineer and it would be illegal for anyone on this site to help you off-the-cuff.

    Hire a professional structural engineer.

    Thread locked.
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