Interesting ship. Nice upload.
Union Pacific Railroad apparently the first in the North American rail industry to import long rail from Japan* to a custom welding facility at a U.S. port.
U-P long-rail strategy calls for importing 480-foot sections** of rail from Japan, then welding 3 of them together to form 1/4 mile long strings.
*Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.
There are no manufacturers of rail that long in U.S.A.
And there were no ships capable of carrying rail that long as well (Until Pacific Spike).
**Instead of 18 standard 80-ft lengths. The advantage-needing only 2 welds to create a 1/4 mile string vs 17 with shorter rail (about a 90% reduction in welds).
Below additional information regarding subject ship....
"In late 2010, UP managers began to hold discussions with Nippon officials about shipping the high-strength, head-hardened and continuous-cast rail to the United States in 480-foot lengths. Nippon agreed to design and build the "Pacific Spike," the world’s first long-rail ship. It took 18 months to build the ship, which was completed in August 2014.
The 623-foot, 23,000-ton Pacific Spike features three cranes designed to simultaneously unload five rails weighing 10 tons. The rail is shipped to the Port of Stockton, Calif., where UP built an $18 million facility to weld the long rail. The welding facility is equipped with an overhead crane designed to lift the heavy rail.
The long rail is unloaded from the Pacific Spike, stacked three bundles high onto specially designed rail cars and moved from the dock to custom storage and welding areas. Standard weld techniques are used to create the 1,440-foot strings because "it’s the same type of premium rail, just with fewer welds," says Kelley.
The long rail also can be installed the same way as quarter-mile-long sections of continuous-welded rail.
So far, three ships have delivered the long rail to the port and welding operations continue."
Source: Rail Insider