HCL Railcar Loading Rack

7 Spot HCL Railcar loading rack installation from SafeRack

This 7 Spot loading rack with gangways is for loading Hydrochloric Acid (HCl). This installation is in progress and the photo does not show the completed project.

HCl is typically a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded into trucks or rail cars via chemical hoses or by-pass arms. HCl, if not handled properly can be fatal and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. Additionally, because operators are on top of the vehicles during the loading process, fall prevention is essential, not only for safety but increases throughput.

HCL Loading Arms

The current best loading practice is to use a 3″ PTFE lined chemical hose, with quick-acting coupling, often in the form of Hammer Unions with stabber pipe. The PTFE lined hose will have a top inlet with a control valve to ensure that it is self-draining after use and is supported along the length of a mechanical loading arm to improve handling; this is known as a by-pass arm. You can install one liquid and one vapor arm, or mount both the liquid and vapor hoses on one by-pass arm.

In addition to PTFE, Rubber, Ethylene-propylene, and Viton are common gasket or seal materials for HCl applications.

Break-away couplings can be fitted near the inlet of the hose for additional safety in the event of a drive-off

Although some sites use PTFE lined loading arms, our experience has been that these can be cost-prohibitive to maintain and challenging to keep a leak-tight seal across each arm section.


A wider access gangway (36″-48″ is preferable) as it helps improve access and egress to and from the vessel. In addition, a wider gangway will reduce the risk of the operator’s PPE getting caught, torn or damaged, and will improve productivity and safety. Powered gangway solutions are also an option, with both hydraulic and pneumatic solutions being commonly used.
Each gangway will be fitted with a two-rail safety cage for the railcar crash box. This will be a centered 6’x6’ safety cage to sit directly over the cashbox. This will provide a safe, secure work environment for your operator when connected to their breathing apparatus