Here is a full scale railroad testing frame that I helped put together. The hole pattern was decided and each column had to be drilled out with a magnetic drill. This took a lot of time to do. A plate with the pattern was used by picking up from the last set of holes with pins and the next set of holes could be drilled out. The columns were set using forklifts and engine hoists. We tried to lift the C channels on the outsides using cable come alongs. This bent the columns in so it made it difficult to lift the crosshead. We ended up borrowing a forklift with fork extensions to lift it and bolt it all together.
Here is a Self Reacting Large Scale Loading Frame with a 200 kip cylinder mounted. A forklift with fork extensions was used to lift the 200 kip cylinder into place. A mounting plate had to be fabricated to bolt the actuator to the plates and then clamp to the crosshead.
The concrete slabs were bolted together using rods from a previous project that I worked on using long pieces of rebar with threaded rods welded to the ends using 7018 welding rod. Each end of the rods were notched to give maximum penetration in the welds. I will do another write up with the hydraulic controls that I made for this project. It used pressure relief valves to limit the pressure to the 100 kips that the frame was designed for.
This was used in the research project:
Mid-America Transportation Center
Report # MATC-KU: 36
Performance of Geogrid Reinforced Ballast under Dynamic Loading