1 MARCH 2000
(1) If an installation has a requirement to mobilize large quantities of small wheeled vehicles, it is
recommended that multilevel ramps be used to load bi-level and tri-level railcars. These ramps are
portable pieces of equipment that can either be purchased and maintained by the installation or leased
from a commercial railroad when needed. Like end ramps, multilevel ramps are positioned at the end of
a track spur. A typical multilevel ramp is shown in figure 8-5.
Figure 8-5. Portable Multilevel Ramp
(2) It is important that the ground underneath a multilevel ramp be level and capable of bearing the
weight of the ramp plus the heaviest vehicle being loaded. A Portland cement concrete pad is
recommended to ensure good ramp stability.
6. BREAK BULK (SMALL CARGO) TERMINALS.
a. Permanent side ramps, parallel to the track, are recommended for loading break bulk cargo into
boxcars. For staging cargo, large open areas are needed surrounding the ramps. Thus, where several
parallel tracks run through a terminal, the ramps should be constructed along the outermost tracks.
b. Side ramps must meet the following design criteria:
(1) The ramp must be capable of supporting the weight of a fully loaded 4,000-lb forklift.
(2) The ramp platform must allow sufficient area for a forklift to maneuver.
(3) The ramp platform must be at a height convenient for a forklift to drive into a boxcar on the
adjacent track as well as into a truck docked at the ramp.
(4) The ramp incline angle must be small enough for a forklift to easily negotiate it.
c. Figure 8-6 shows a diagram of a reinforced concrete side-loading ramp.