Ride-On Plate Inserter


Key Features

  • Single-operator (with two jump seats), climate-controlled, enclosed cab; extended cab option available
  • Two heavy-duty plate inserting head assemblies over each rail
  • Fully adjustable workhead to adapt to different rail and plate heights
  • Cab-controlled power lockups
  • Integrated guide rollers for stability during plate insertion
  • John Deere four-cylinder, four-stroke diesel engine
  • Four-wheel, dual-axle, chain-driven propulsion system
  • Spring-applied, hydraulic-released brakes, with Cobra brake shoes
  • 24 VDC, circuit breaker-protected, electrical system
  • Integrated, positive locking, rail-to-rail turntable
  • Single, pressure-compensated hydraulic pump
  • Joystick controls
  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Options
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Resources
  • Manuals

Save on personnel costs

Are you currently using several crew members to walk alongside a rail lifter machine and insert/position tie plates? With the RPI, the rail is lifted and the tie plates on both sides of the rail are simultaneously inserted and positioned - all by a single operator.

Single- or dual-rail operation

Single- or dual-rail operating modes make the RPI appropriate for use by both rail and tie gangs.

High productivity

The RPI can handle a plate insertion production pace of up to 10 ties per minute.

Select between automatic or manual modes

Use the one-button automatic mode to automatically insert tie plates at pre-set rail and plate heights or, when necessary, switch to manual mode to precisely move the workhead to the desired height/location.

One-button homing

After one set of tie plates is inserted, the one-button homing feature lowers the rail, retracts the plate fingers, and positions the finger assembly - automatically setting up the workhead for the next tie.

Increased operator visibility

An on-board camera and display provides additional visibility of the workhead region, as well as the surrounding area. In addition, the in-cab console notifies the operator of the plate insertion status.

Quickly adjust to different working conditions

Make simple workhead adjustments to handle different rail heights, plate lengths, ballast conditions, as well as curved track. In addition, an integrated turntable allows the RPI to easily reverse direction on the track.

Ad-hoc rail height adjustments

The Rail Bump-Up feature allows for quick, ad-hoc rail height changes for a single plate insertion.

Use fewer personnel carriers

The optional extended cab allows up to seven extra crew members (total capacity = 8) to ride in the cab. Fewer personnel carriers mean less equipment to maintain and less space needed on sidings for overnight storage.

Stock fewer maintenance parts

Since the RPI uses many of the same components as other Nordco machines, you can stock fewer maintenance parts on your parts wagon.

Category Specification Value
General Weight 22,000 lbs
  Length 19’ 6”
  Width 8’ 6”
  Height 10’ 6”
  Wheel base 108”
  Travel/towing speeds 25 mph (maximum); 20 mph (maximum)
Capacities Fuel tank 60 gallons
  Hydraulic tank 98 gallons
Engine Make/Model John Deere 4045T
  Type Four-cylinder, four-stroke
Hydraulic System Make/Model Vickers PVM98 series
  Type Vickers manifold
Electrical System Battery 24 Vdc (dual 12V DC batteries), 1150 cold-cranking amps
Axle Drive System Drive type Four-wheel, with two solid axles
  Propulsion type Hydraulic chain drives
Brakes Type Spring-applied/hydraulically released
  Style Four-wheel Cobra-style
Pulling Weights Rated draw bar pull 1,650 lbs. 


Category Option Type Description
Cab Extended cab Extended cab (includes bench seating, seat belts, and storage)
  Cab accessories Cab pressurizer, cab window shades for standard and extended cabs
Repair & Maintenance Corner-mounted jackstands Lifts the unit to allow under-machine repairs
  Electric hydraulic tank fill system Allows quick filling of hydraulic tank
  Spare hose tree Stores extra hoses on the machine
  Remote coolant filter loops / Remote fluid drains Allows quick filter/fluid maintenance
  Schroeder KF 30 case drain return filtration Filters oil to remove engine wear-related metal filings
  Electric emergency pump Allows workhead to be moved if engine fails
Other Accessories Gauges and alarms Fuel level site gauge, speedometer, hydraulic reservoir temperature gauge, low hydraulic oil level/high hydraulic oil temperature alarm, turntable warning light and buzzer
  Lighting and mirrors Heated outside mirrors, perimeter lighting package
  Storage Additional book storage box, operator belongings box, track tool box
  Miscellaneous “Danger Live Track” retractable belt, DOT reflective tape, extra parts/operations/maintenance manuals, rail sweeps, tow bar with D-handle hitch pins, windshield wipers and nozzles


RPI Video
RPI Video
RPI Video
RPI Video
RPI Video

To view our parts manuals by machine type and serial number, please visit our parts manual library.