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When it comes to rail transit, the Midwest plays a key role.  In Minnesota alone, BNSF plans to invest $120 million over the next few years.  These funds will cover track extensions, repairs and replacement.

Helical Anchors, Inc. (HAI),,  with manufacturing and corporate offices located in Minneapolis, MN, recently supplied (250), 4.50” O.D. (.337 wall) helical piles with 12”,14”,16” helix bearing plates that were installed to approximately 40 ft. for a recent railroad project in central Minnesota. The purpose for using helical piles was to solidify the level of the tracks. The high volume use of the line over time caused the level of the tracks to sink or lower. Helical piles were selected due to their very fast installation time, and the piles would also supply a permanent solution to the problem.

“The HAI helical piles we supplied have a maximum capacity of 45,000 ft. lbs. of torque which correlates to an ultimate load bearing capacity of 292,500 lbs. with a Kt factor of 6.5. This high capacity is achieved due to two primary reasons - 1) the high grade steel we use for our piles, and 2) our patented Inertia Welding Process,” said HAI sales representative, Ryan Dungan.

What made this project especially challenging was the short turnaround times required.

  • The piles had to be manufactured within (12) days from receipt of the order
  • The installation crew had 60 hours to tear down, install and rebuild the track

“From a manufacturing point of view, a time-sensitive project like this requires specific production planning and quality control.  HAI certainly has a large manufacturing operation to handle most any size project, but we also have the flexibility to coordinate unique requirements like this one.  This project required very close communications and collaboration between all parties involved.  In the end the job was a complete success - HAI supplied the piles on time, and the installation crews worked 24 hours a day running multiple shifts to ensure the project was completed on schedule,” added Dungan.

HAI Supplies (250) Helical Piles for a Very Short Turnaround BNSF Track Repair Project in Central Minnesota

by Bill Bonekemper

Spring, 2016

Helical Anchors, Inc.

Helical Anchors, Inc.

5101 Boone Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55428

P: 763-201-6552 • F: 763-536-9102