Bellata Train Loader

Bellata, NSW

  • Client

    McKelvie’s Welding & Fabrication 

  • Location

    Bellata, NSW

  • Services

    Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

  • Completed

    May 2023

  • Project Value


SJL Consulting Engineers was entrusted by McKelvie Welding & Fabrication to undertake the structural engineering design for a train loader for grain storage and distribution in Bellata, regional NSW. The objective of the project was to enhance the grain loading capacity and control capabilities by designing robust steel train loader platforms and opening the existing concrete silo. Throughout the analysis and design of the structure, our engineers were required to call upon a wide range of technical knowledge and engineering principles, often outside the capabilities of commercial engineering design software. Our team ensured that all designs complied with relevant standards, and the final approval was granted by ARTC after a comprehensive third-party engineering peer review.

Design Summary

For the structural design of the steel train loader structure, SJL Consulting Engineers meticulously analysed the loads based on AS1170 and AS1657-1992. The design of the structure and footings adhered to the guidelines provided by AS4100-2020, AS3600-2018, and AS2159-2009. This rigorous examination ensured that the train loader could withstand the expected loads and operate safely.

Regarding the silo modifications, our team thoroughly examined the loads according to the Australian Standard AS3774-1996 and the EUROCODE EN 1991-4 (2006). The latter served as the primary reference for eccentric load calculations. We considered the loads for the silos in their existing configuration, with the 500t/h side load-out chutes at approximately 7m above the ground. Additionally, we evaluated the loads for the proposed installation of the 500t/h load-out chutes at approximately 9.7m above the ground.

Through our analysis, we demonstrated that the new chute openings generated slightly lower silo loading compared to the existing chutes. Furthermore, our evaluation of the load distributions around the circumferences of the silos revealed that the introduction of the new load-out chutes did not result in significant differences. This ensured the structural integrity and stability of the silos under varying load conditions.

To account for potential dynamic loads and wall pressures associated with the “silo quaking” phenomenon, our design incorporated suitable measures. We carefully assessed the increase in dynamic loads and wall pressures that could occur, ensuring the structures remained resilient and reliable even under challenging conditions.

Lastly, our team considered the point loads resulting from fastening the train loading structure to the concrete walls. By accurately determining and integrating these loads into the design, we ensured that the train loader structure would remain securely attached to the walls, guaranteeing safe and efficient operations.


SJL Consulting Engineers successfully executed the structural engineering design for the Bellata Train Loader structure and silo modifications. Our diligent analysis of the loads and adherence to relevant standards, such as AS1170, AS1657-1992, AS4100-2020, AS3600-2018, AS2159-2009, AS3774-1996, and EUROCODE EN 1991-4 (2006), ensured that the final design complied with industry regulations.

Through comprehensive evaluations, we demonstrated that the train loader and silos could withstand the expected loads, enabling a greater flow rate of grain loading and enhanced control capabilities. The collaboration with BG&E for third-party engineering review and the subsequent approval from ARTC further validated the quality and reliability of our design.

SJL Consulting Engineers takes pride in delivering innovative and robust structural engineering solutions. The successful completion of the Bellata Train Loader and Silo Modifications project serves as a testament to our expertise and commitment to excellence.

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