Sand Systems

A sand system, depending on the region, can be one of the most important systems at a Locomotive Service Center. The only problem is it is usually the most unreliable system because of the extensive wear damage caused by conveying sand. CWI's proven dense phase type sand system helps minimize Sand System downtime due to worn parts. The reliability of any system is dependent upon a proper design and a quality installation. CWI has an extensive reputation for custom designed Sand Systems, designed specifically for each site’s requirements.

The concepts of dense phase conveying and dilute phase conveying are well known. Dilute phase is similar to sand blasting where sand is propelled through a pipe using air as its transport medium. This method requires a large amount of air and frequent air boosters are required to interject additional air to maintain a high enough velocity to keep the sand from dropping out of the air stream. Dense phase moves a mass of sand as a ‘slug’ through the pipe using pressurized air to push the slug along. The velocities for this type of sand transportation are slower resulting in less pipe wear and the amount of air usage is considerably less. Therefore you can move the same amount of sand using either method but dense phase conveying does the same amount of work with less air and lower system wear over time.

CWI takes care of all facets of a sand system; sand delivery, silo storage, sand transport to Service Center sanding spots and advanced sand wand technology with automatic shutoff and sand retaining and dust preventer. All subsystems are PLC controlled and linked together to a main PLC. Our 'pier-to-pier' filling guarantees that all remote Sanding Spot tanks are full all of the time. We design our system to refill at a rate greater than 1.0 cu.ft./min. this will keep even your most active Service Center ready to service that next locomotive. After all, the capital required to install a new Sand System must be justified and with a new CWI Sand System you get an always ready for use, easy to operate and a very low cost of maintenance system. Compare that with what you currently are operating and I believe you will agree our solution is justifiable.

When you combine our proven engineered designs for your next Sand System with our experienced installation crews you will have purchased the best Locomotive Sand System money can buy. But CWI does not stop at the design and build phase, we provide specific On Site Service plans to keep your Sand System reliably operating for years to come. Most of our competition wants to sell you a system then when it fails sell you spare parts. CWI believes that partnering with our customer through the years to provide the level of parts, service and repair that you the customer requires is important to a long relationship. We recognize that each customer's needs are different and CWI provides the necessary services to satisfy everyone's Locomotive Sanding requirements.


A great system starts with a great design. CWI has the years and field experience in the Sand System arena to confidently state that we will design the best complete Sand System for your Locomotive Service Center. It is all in the experience and the details. From removing wear points by using the right metallurgy and lap joint flanges to eliminating vent filters by a unique vent return design, it is all in the details.

Unique Design Features Include:

  • Enclosed silo to extend the life of the main transport components.
  • PLC control with standard Ethernet communication link between main system panel and each sanding spot. All components are Allen Bradley and readily available.
  • Customer specific data collection and reporting and if desired remote reporting available.
  • Pinch valves with independent solenoid valves used to minimize maintenance costs.
  • All Sanding Spot tank vents return to the silo and eliminate local filters which eliminate both maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Many unique Sand Wand designs and features available to suit every customer's needs for both functionality and safety.


At any given day CWI has several crews working in several different rail yards. There probably is a crew at one of your sites. All of our crews are road worker trained and are led by an experienced foreman that not only has years of experience with CWI Sand Systems but also is very understanding that safety is both yours and our number one concern. Every morning and at every shift change we have a safety briefing and inform our personnel on the type protection we are working under and the name of your employee that is responsible for our safety. We take this seriously.