Monday, December 4, 2017

Flat Freight Cars and Oversize Loads

Flat cars are interesting because of the loads they carry. Special flatcars are built for extra high, long, and/or heavy loads. If the load is really high, long, and/or heavy Schnabel cars are used.

Tom has a more extensive collection of flat car pictures.

An article on a 12-axle flat car. In addition to photos, it explains that when meeting opposing traffic, the over-dimension train must stop on a straight stretch of track and wait for the other train to pass.

Another 12-axle flat car that carries hot ingots to a foundry. "Noe Gutierrez Four 3-axle Buckeye trucks enables the car to have a rated capacity of 744,500 pounds, or just over 372 tons."

John W. Coke posted two photos with the comment:
Pennsylvania Railroad FD-2 Flat Car. Created by the Altoona Car Shops using all welded steel construction in 1952, the FD-2 was capable of handling 500,000 pound loads which typically consisted of Westinghouse turbo-generators. When built, it was the largest piece of rolling stock in the world and when loaded to capacity, it weighed approximately 1,000,000 pounds and required special orders for all movements. Only one was built, and it lasted until the Conrail era.

John Biedzynski commented on John's posting
Pennsylvania Railroad built a well body to be used with the truck/bogie assemblies of this car. The two bodies could be interchanged as needed.
John W. Coke posted three photos.


Steven W Panek posted two photos with the comment:
Just thru Griffith, Indiana a few minutes ago. CSX ran Y110-22, a dimensional load from Barr Yard to Kirk Yard. The lone unit is the CSX 4589, the "Spirit of Nashville"

Cars needed to carry calcined petroleum coke which is used in the production of the anodes. Larry Platt posted some photos showing the cars with special brackets to carry the copper anodes. They must be really heavy because they are stacked just near the axles. This page explains how the copper anodes are made.



Doug Stark posted
RMGX 308 ex? 61'-0" IL bulkhead flatcar for calcium carbide container loading. Car may be ex-CCKX and/or IFRX. Containers marked for C/G Group Inc. This shot raises a question for me... AFAIK it isn't legal to placard an empty railcar/trailer/container except in specific cases where there may be residue or vapor, as that may cause confusion responding to a hazmat incident, yet the containers here appear to be permanently placarded whether loaded or empty. On BNSF at Galesburg, IL June 22, 2003.
Doug StarkGroup Admin I see at least two container variations with at least three hatch sizes. Someone recently offered these calcium carbide containers on Shapeways, however due to the poor search functionality I couldn't readily find them.Burl Rice According to wikipedia, calcium carbide reacts with water to form acetylene and calcium hydroxide. Seems like that would fit the "residue" hazmat concern.Ian Clasper there is probably enough residue in an empty container to prove a hazard as wet calcium carbonate produces Acetylene which in an emergency would be an additional hazard.Doug StarkGroup Admin Those are the ones, I think he's eyeballed the size and made them square whereas to me they appear to have a slight rectangular aspect. Apparently the containers are called 'Flo-bins'

Pictures of a booster stage being loaded and shipped.
John W. Coke posted
Solid Rocket Booster loading
John W. Coke posted
Ted Curphey posted seven photos with the comment: "Back in 2003 UP setout one of the Space 
Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster cars at Coeur d'Alene Jct, ID. They were being refurbished at a nearby industry. So I got some detail shots of the car."
Kent Smiley Does it use a span bolster?
Ted Curphey Yes, the end decks are part of span bolsters on these cars.
[The comments also include a flatcar list.]






Patrick Harris - > Freight Car Enthusiast
Patrick's comments:
UP #58263 F-70-12 flat car with empty container for moving Morton-Thiokol solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle at the east end of CSX Gentilly Yard in New Orleans La 01-12-1996
But Doug Stark's comments explained this car has just an empty hood to check clearances. The segments are heavy enough that the 8-axle car behind it is needed to carry a segment. After the shuttle program, they became short HD flat cars. He caught a picture while one still had its guides for the hood (the flat car is on the track that is this side of the track holding the engine) and then a picture after the guides had been removed.

John W. Coke posted
Edward Duke Wow! I didn't know TTX had any this big...
Dave Kinkade I had one of these last week. 312 tons right behind the power.
John W. Coke posted
The KRL204002 depressed axle flat car is almost 160 feet long, and can carry a load of up to 894 thousand pounds. This car has the built in capability to raise the load 14 inches and to shift it around 12 inches to either side to maneuver around obstructions on the side of the tracks. There are two other cars like this one.
Note the car is accompanied by a caboose to carry the crew that sit in the control booths to move the load around obstructions.
John W. Coke posted
Dennis DeBruler This car is running empty. Note that when empty the car and the support caboose are part of a mixed freight. The two halves would be separated to carry long, heavy "tubes" on turrets that can be offset to go around curves and perhaps lowered to go under bridges. The tubes are skinny enough that they do not need the extra vertical clearance provided by the Schnabel cars. I could not find an example of a loaded rail car.
Dennis DeBruler Maybe it carries long steel and/or concrete girders.
Charles R. Lange posted
SPMW #4759 - special car for transporting locomotive diesel engines. In this case a GE and an EMD locomotive diesels. Photo taken at Woodford on SPs Tehachapi grade on May 26th, 1974.
[Note the extra beams added to the top of the flatcar to help spread the weight of the engines to the ends where the trucks support the car.]
John W. Coke posted
150 ton new center shaft for a 600MW generator.

John W. Coke posted
Rotor from a nuclear power plant weighing 420,000 pounds on a HD flatcar.
[I tried finding a link to Bryan's photo, but his flatcars page did not have UTTX. Nor did some searches from the home page find anything. I did learn that this site has poor response times.
I'm wondering how the middle two trucks are attached. There does not seem to be enough height to share a bolster with the outside trucks. Specifically, I'm wondering if the middle trucks are in slots under the car that allows them to move side-to-side as the car goes around turns.]
Two more cars with four 3-axle trucks.

John W. Coke posted
Generator transport
John W. Coke posted
John W. Coke posted
12 Axle heavyweight flatcar SB in Shreveport, 11/22/2015 (KCS along I 49)
John W. Coke posted
John W. Coke posted
John W. Coke posted
BNSF Logistics LLC has added a TEXX 900 rail car to its specialized fleet, the company announced yesterday.
Dave Kingston There is one of a very similar car here: Weisensel 20 axles, 165', load limit 900300#. Schnabel built by Kasgro in PA.
Another 20-axle, depressed-center flatcar. But it is copyrighted.

John W. Coke posted

John W. Coke posted
counter-weight for a crane.
Greg Price Hmm. Emmert owns cranes? That looks more like a load spreader between the cars for something extremely heavy.
[The comment makes sense because that hunk of steel doesn't look that heavy. So this is actually an "empty" car that can carry a load with 16 axles.]
Dennis Weber posted
CP Eastbound La Crosse,Wi. 6-27-2016
Mike Bauers It's a P&H mining shovel..... I work there. Its one of 'our' RR cars as well. look in Google for 'PHMX' I think this is the last one to be made and shipped from Milwaukee. The plant is being closed and production has been switched to Peru and Mexico for the product line in the last couple of years. Most likely its one of the P&H 4100's. Its our most popular shovel. The biggest that came from Milwaukee. What you see there is the central section for the machinery house of the shovel; perhaps about half of that structures base... Here's one assembled
Mike Bauers posted four pictures with the comment: "I started to sort through my digital camera folder...."




John W. Coke posted
[I don't think that skid loader is going to lift the transformer off the 16-axle depressed center flat. I wonder what it is going to be used for.]
The military had some special purpose flat cars. Note how deep the steel side girders are.
Tod Riebow shared
Okay all you long-range shooters this is anzio Annie used to sit at the US Army Ordnance Museum Aberdeen Proving Ground Maryland now is fully restored and resides at Fort Lee Virginia
Special DODX flatcars to carry casks designed to carry nuclear fuel rods. These also had deep side girders.
Tod Riebow posting
John W. Coke posted
Mike Andrews Chunky. With a lowboy that heavy, it must be close to solid. Any idea what?John W. CokeJohn manages the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Rail & Highway Heavy Loads. A turbine.
As more and more tracks are torn up, the final delivery has to be done over roads. John W. Coke posted two photos with the comment: "Gas turbines transport in Mexico."

John W. Coke posted two photos with the comment: "Spent nuclear fuel transport at Dalton, Oh -- Photo, Karel Weenk."


More cask cars:   Profile view of DODX 38870   Nuclear casks train    A closeup of the casks   When the casks are empty, they can ride as regular cars in mixed freight trains.

Dennis DeBruler posted
A flat car with bracing added so that it can haul just axle sets. Sept 13, 2018, eastbound in Downers Grove, IL. The single empty piggyback car is also very rare in a BNSF merchandise train.
JB Mentzer With its 9xx... road number, probably part of a specialized pool equipment. Neat pic!

Hmm ... a use for a bunch of spare plastic wheelsets!

Dave Kingston "Hmm ... a use for a bunch of spare plastic wheelsets!" Lionel offered just such a car, so did other manufacturers. I have an old O scale gondola full of Athearn 70-ton Symington roller bearing trucks standing (unprototypically) on end; it holds about twenty of them.
Doug Stark Entire 900000 block was company service/MOW on BN in-line with AAR recommended equipment numbering guidelines. Same practice was continued by BNSF though in many cases BNSF did not keep the same 9xxxxx number that BN used.
Davod Balko posted
CN 48944 flat car with wheel loads, Lewistown, PA. 10/14/18
Stephen Hoffman posted
Here's another car number in case someone is keeping track.
John Cokeley Foster 125 tons or so

Troy Parsons It has to weigh a lot more than that, hell thats almost about how much loaded rail cars weigh. I mean damn, 12 axles?
Kyle Blackburn Nuclear material transport?
Al Snyder Yes. Usually spent fuel, like from naval vessels.
Tim Colley Every journal is equipped with a detector
Virgil Fitzpatrick Bruce Tippy, only loads are transported in special armed movements. Empties are shipped as any normal car would be.
Michael Meredith Empty on it's way to new home for loading.
Cougar Coyle We had one flipped over in Buffalo’s NY Frontier Yard. Wow you should’ve seen all the government agencies that were there.
Mel Wilson Nothing will happen to it. It takes a lot worse than a derailment to compromise that.
Virgil Fitzpatrick This is an empty car, hence the non-special movement. These can move as normal cars when empty. When they are loaded and under guard and special move, is when it's NOT advisable to approach these cars. Yes, they are for spent Nuclear movements. far as them derailing, they are rated for impact absorption. These are designed NOT to leak under "Worst Case" scenarios. worries on anything. Again, when these are NOT approach these trains. The guards are under VERY strict orders and you will NOT be warned more than once.
Al Snyder And I hear they have enough firepower in that caboose to wage war against a small third world country!
Bob Knight Had a " Nuke Train " sitting in our yard at Buffalo NY with a caboose escort , one of our guys started up the first step to board it and before he reached the second one the door opened and he was met by 2 Marines with M-16's who advised him to not go any further !
Eddy Worsham Atomic train would stop in Atlanta for 500 mile brake test , guards on each end , 
Guards would walk train , and would walk by a yard engine and always ask if you had a newspaper , . No cell phones back in the 
1970's .

Joseph Franke White trains in the 70s were heavily guarded.....did not change any brake shoes on that baby.
John Tobin posted
Look what showed up in Winnebago..... pretty heavy move.
Joe Ikon On IC line? Winnebago Illinois?
John Tobin Yes....
[The reason for Joe's question is that the railroad that went through Winnebago is the abandoned C&NW. The IC line passes south of Winnebago. Another transformer for the power grid.]
John W. Coke posted two photos with the comment: "Some type Nitrogen vessel."
Dennis DeBruler It is interesting that they put the hinge on one end of the car and then add counterweights to the other end. The car does have four 3-axle trucks. It looks like the draft force of the train is carried through the pressure vessel. That is, the flat cars are not coupled to each other. But then it occurred to me that is no big deal because this would be a special movement and about the only thing behind these cars would be a caboose. (Facebook deleted this comment!)


John W. Coke posted three photos with the comment: "20 axle depressed center flat car are owned by Kasgro Rail Corporation, reporting marks KRL. Capacity 894,500 lbs.
Photos by Vince Skibo"
Doug Stark Safe to say that's Kasgro's shop in New Castle, PA, light blue shop building appears in other photos

Edward Duke For more photos of this car and other heavy haul cars you should check out
He has a great page.




Richard Olson posted three photos with the comment: "KRL cars carrying pairs of nacelles at the Port of Pasco."
Harley Kuehl There's like four or five different outfits that were used for flatcar availability on all that train...
Harley Kuehl The funny thing, I wonder what those bulkhead flats would be doing otherwise? LOL (somehow I'm thinking they made the rr a LOT more money than lets say a load of sheetrock??? LMAO)
Some examples of the cars KRL handles  Their product line includes the "World's Largest Railroad Car."
A newly manufactured Schnabel Car, WECX 801, built by Kasgro Railcar, Newcastle, Pa., is being called the “World’s Largest Railroad Car.” The 231-foot, 400-ton, 36-axle behemoth rises 18 feet above top-of-rail and has a load limit of more than 1,000 tons.
It’s larger than its sister car, CEBX 800, which was built by Krupp of Germany in 1980 for ABB for U.S. service.
Richard Olson later posted 26 photos with the comment: "Wind turbine nacelles and rotor hubs at the Port of Pasco, efficiently being unloaded by Omega-Morgan."  Please click the link to see those photos. His comment answered a question in my mind: is the equipment being imported or exported. It appears it is being exported.

See "Transporting Wind Turbine Parts" for more photos of other forms of wind turbine transportation.


John W. Coke posted
[The empty standard flatcars are idler cars and their purpose is to reduce the weight on bridge piers.]

John W. Coke posted, cropped
This twelve axle well car was originally owned by Canadian General Electric (1983-1987). It then went to a GE-Westinghouse joint venture called Transelectrix Technology Inc. (1988-1990). It is now owned by Asea Brown Boveri, Inc. This car wab built in 1967.
Marked Capacity 700,000 lbs. Car Length 91' 9"
Platform Length 30'
Photos by David in Guelph on December 31, 2004.

John W. Coke posted
Two heavy-duty depressed-center flat cars (APTX 207 & 206) are required to haul this massive Air Products heat exchanger. Note that the cars are not actually coupled together due to the length of the load. The heat exchanger is nearing the end of a several day, multiple railroad journey from the Air Products manufacturing facility in Wilkes Barre, PA to Fairless Hills, PA where final assembly will take place.

I saw a picture on Facebook that after I made a copy in the blog I could see a copyright mark at the bottom. I removed that copy from the blog. I tried to search for it with various keywords like "flatcar," "TTX," and "pressure vessel" to no avail. But with the keyword "load", I found the photo. I believe the remarks are wrong. It is not two cracking towers, it is one tower on two 8-axle flatcars. The long tower is narrow enough that its offset around curves will still be within clearance limits. Note at the bottom of the photo page, there are links to Dimensional Loads and OCS and High, Wide, Expansive albums. I found another photo of a tower using two flatcars. But in this case the tower is wide as well as long. I can't tell of the mounts are able to move the tower side-to-side to help get around curves.

A video of a 16-axle flat car delivering a rebuilt transformer to a weedy spur of a power station with and Alco C425. At 6:40 with just the two buffer covered hoppers, I was surprised how fast and far the train went backwards with a crewman hanging on a ladder as the spotter. It makes you appreciate why they now use old cabooses as spotting platforms. Hanging on a ladder could get tiring rather quickly. Especially if you have to keep one arm free to hold a radio.

Some of my shares of freight cars include flat cars. Note that I used the term ying-yang for Northern Pacifics's herald. I should have called it a monad.

A turbine on an 8-axle flatcar where only the inlet is wrapped in plastic (source)

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