Based in Stockton, California, Industrial Design and Fabrication (IDF) specializes in the design and manufacture of custom equipment for use in the rail car cleaning industry. With over thirty years of combined experience, the owners of IDF have been responsible for the development, construction and support of both mobile and stationary types of rail car cleaning equipment.

IDF can design and fabricate a rail car cleaning system to meet the most demanding requirements of the rail car industry. With modular construction, systems can be built to clean from one to 100 rail cars a day.


Each of the main modules of an IDF system is equipped with all of the components required for the tank cleaning process, i.e. tanks, pumps, heat exchangers, etc. Modules are pre-wired and pre-plumbed at the factory, making installation much easier than a build-in-place system. In addition, the entire top surfaces of the modules are covered with bar-grating and surrounded by hand rails, as per OSHA specifications, to provide an elevated work platform. The addition of staircases and roll out gangways provide the operator with safe and easy access to the tops of the rail cars being cleaned.


Multiple modules can be interconnected to increase car-cleaning capacity. For added flexibility, elevated work platforms and catwalks can be supplied to provide multiple cleaning stations for single or multiple modules.

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Additionally, cleaning modules can be remotely located, and plumbed to existing catwalks and work platforms, allowing installations based around existing facilities and track layouts. The powerful closed loop washing system incorporated into each module makes these systems suited for cleaning railcars that carry a wide variety of commodities, while conserving cleaning solutions and water.


Systems can be equipped with either all-manual valves or, for added convenience, valves can be pneumatically actuated and electrically controlled from the operator’s control station. Heating for the wash solution is provided by an ASME coded tube and a shell heat exchanger, which uses steam as the medium of heating. Process tanks are equipped with fixed weir rings to allow oils and other light phase materials to be removed for disposal.

As with all of Industrial Design and Fabrication’s products these systems are designed and constructed to provide the customer with a high quality machine that is easy to use and will provide years of trouble free operation.