A railroad crane is sometimes a necessary tool required for very heavy freight transport. It allows for extreme loads to be moved in an area around a train, and remains with the train for loading and offloading.
Railroad cranes are constructed in a similar way to fixed-location cranes, except that the platform on which the crane mechanism is situated sits on a reinforced flat-car. They have 360° movement on a swivel point on this carriage. This allows the crane to reach any area within range of where it’s carriage is fixed.
When using a railroad crane for freight operations, a jib carrier is often required. This is a carriage designed to hold the jib or ‘boom’ of a crane and sits adjacent to it. Because of this the crane carriage may need to move into a different position independently, in order to reach the loading and offloading areas.