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Ashton Bulk can engineer many products used in, and associated with, the bulk materials and mechanical handling industry. Our following portfolio of train unloading and stockyard equipment, as well as other equipment we design, can be provided to clients in the following supply formats:

  • Full turn-key package.

  • Engineering, equipment supply and commissioning service for client installation.

  • Engineering, key strategic drive and control system equipment and commissioning service for client manufacture, procurement and installation.

  • Variations of these formats to suit the client's specific requirements.

These services are available to original equipment manufacturers or end-users to enable the most cost effective and time-efficient solution.

Working with partner companies with long-standing associations, Ashton Bulk can provide installation services of all of our equipment or provide experienced supervisory and commissioning engineers to assist with client-based installation operations. 


Since the 1970s Ashton Bulk designers have been at the forefront of Train Unloading System and Wagon Tippler design with developments ranging from low capacity Side Unloading Tippler systems through to high capacity multi-wagon Unit Train systems. Our experience, gained whilst designing equipment for Strachan & Henshaw Ltd and Metso Minerals, has established Ashton Bulk as a leader in the design, supply and overall familiarity of every type of Wagon Tippler Train Unloading System, large or small.


Any Train Unloading System is critical whether installed at a port, metallurgical or power plant, or transhipment facility. Systems are often installed with little or no redundancy therefore any unscheduled pause in operation will have significant economic effects for the port or plant owner.

Clients can be assured that all proposals of Ashton Bulk are based on a long heritage and will be robust, designed to modern standards and will address all functional, availability and performance requirements based on the most long term cost effective solution.


Involving Ashton Bulk at the earliest stage will ensure that overall project planning and all cost options can be fully evaluated. In addition, any evaluation will include consideration of the ground conditions and civil works, the cost of which can significantly outweigh the cost of the Train Unloading System if not carefully studied and planned.  

Many suppliers have tried to emulate bespoke designs and thorough methods we offer but Ashton Bulk remain the market leader in providing tried and tested solutions for a broad range of train unloading applications. This is why Ashton Bulk are the design authority employed by several established equipment manufacturers that do not possess this expertise or require external specialist engineering services.  

Origins & Expertise 

Train Unloading System Project Summaries

Introductions to Train Unloading Systems


Train Unloading System Portfolio

Letters of Recommendation



Bulk Materials & Mechanical Handling Equipment

Ashton Bulk’s experience extends to many aspects of the bulk and mechanical handling sector ranging from stockyard to port equipment. We have designed and supplied machines including, but not limited to:

  • Stacker Reclaimers

  • Slewing/Luffing Boom Stackers

  • Boom Reclaimers

  • Barrel Reclaimers

  • Wheel on Bridge Reclaimers

  • Radial Ship Loaders

Design Standards & Codes of Practice

Our equipment is designed using proven techniques, international codes of practice and with experience of existing ‘in service’ designs of mechanical and structural components.


For the design of structures, Ashton Bulk has traditionally used, the British Standard BS2573 Part 1 - 1983, Rules for the Design of Cranes (Design of Structures) based on the similarities in loading conditions and operating environment.  This Standard is in the process of being superseded by BS EN13001 – Crane Design. The most stringent utilisation and stress history factors are commensurate with the extra heavy-duty experienced by the type of equipment we design. This Standard fully addresses fatigue loading conditions and construction details. The permissible working stresses are conservative and take full account of the stress fluctuations that occur during operation. Other structural design standards that may be used by Ashton Bulk as terms of reference for general design and consideration of structural fatigue are BS5400 Part 10 - Steel Composite Bridges and FEM II - Rules for the Design of Mobile Equipment for Continuous Handling of Bulk Materials.


Mechanical equipment is designed in accordance with BS2573 Part 2 1980, Rules for the Design of Cranes (Design of Mechanisms) which addresses design operation life for mechanisms.


It should be noted that there are no national or international standards that specifically address the design considerations applicable to Train Unloading Systems, and in particular, Wagon Tipplers. Tipplers experience more stress fluctuations, reversals and susceptibility to fatigue stresses than any other piece of structural mechanical handling equipment due to the cyclic inversions during the unloading operation. Ashton Bulk’s design expertise and application of the above-mentioned design Standards is exacting and has proven to be successful in practice. Our methods have also been evaluated and approved by independent design auditors.

Ariel view of the Ashton Bulk designed Wagon Tippler installation in Guinea
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