Compact Excavator Modified To Run On Rail Lines

McCann Industries recently outfitted a Takeuchi mini excavator with rail wheels, so it can be used on the Chicago Transit Authority’s rail lines. The machine will move along the rails, digging, filling, and positioning heavy electrical components during a project to upgrade the tracks. The project is estimated to last one year.


“The machine took a lot of engineering and welding,” says Richard Hoffmeyer, product support manager at McCann Industries. “The contractor had a tight deadline to meet and was looking for a responsive and reliable partner to complete the conversion.


We were able to source the rail gear and attach it to the excavator, and we did it quickly and economically. They’ve been very happy with the machine. Our technical people are talented and experienced. I think the result of their diverse backgrounds, professional training, and collaborative effort was pure genius. A challenge like this is just another day at the office for these guys.”


The McCann team mounted two hydraulically operated push blade assemblies located on the front and back of a standard Takeuchi TB145 excavator. The blades were replaced with rail wheels and axles. When the gear is lowered, the machine moves along the tracks using its own power.


When the gear is raised, the machine can move onto the tracks and into position. The machine can also pull a cart of equipment behind it as it moves along the tracks.  

About McCann Industries McCann Industries Inc. has been selling contractor supplies since 1967. The company added heavy equipment to their offerings in 1994 and now has seven locations throughout the Chicago area to service the construction industry. For more information, visit their website at