Donald B. Valentine
---In STMFC@..., <schuyler.larrabee@...> wrote :
Those are NOT lightweight barrels! Is that a deck over a layer of barrels, or, to my eyes (the photo’s pretty dark) it looks like a false floor to put these on about 2’ or so above the car floor. The content of the barrel is ALKALI NO. 1 FLAKE.
Does anybody know what weight would be in a 55 gallon drum of that material?
And why would anyone build a false floor, if that IS what I am seeing there?
Take another look at the photo, Schuyler. What you have identified as a false floor is on top of the first layer of barrels which makes it closer to what 40 inches or so about the real floor, or the height of a 55 gal. drum. Note that there is a board placed vertically along the outside of the car on the floor which was probably to keep the rings and ends of the barrels from damaging the interior lining if any rough car handling occured. Another vertical board has been nailed to the interior sheathing, again in a vertical position, at the top of the first layer of drums as well, the distance between them being what made you think the "false floor" was only 2 ft. above the real floor. I really don't think there is any false floor involved here, only two boards installed vertically to protect the interior sheathing as these cars were used to transport grain, with some additional boards laid on top of the first layer of drums to provide and even flat surface to keep the second layer of drums from tipping. I'll wager
that two more vertical boards to protect the interior sheathing for the second layer were added before things
became too tight to do so as well. That at least is the way I would have loaded the car were I in charge of doing so.
Kind of a neat lifting mechanism to lift the drums and note how the workmen in the car is bent over so he does
not hit his head on the underside of the roof supports. That alone indicates the height of the drums in the lower layer of them. The interior height of these cars was only 8 ft. 4 in. and out of the original 1,000 cars in the series (126000 - 125999) there were still 109 of them listed as still in service in my April 1949 ORER. Has
anyone ever offered a model of these fairly common cars? They were seen fairly often in New England.
Cordially, Don Valentine