Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Was: Three Flat Cars And A Lot Of People! Now more on excess dimensions and weight

Gatwood, Elden J SAD

Bruce, folks;

I found extremely interesting when researching various cars that did not fit within the mold of, "if it fits, and is not too heavy...", the approach taken by each railroad, in light of:

a) the presence of one or more customers needing a potentially expensive car not as useful (if at all) for "general" service;

b) the profit needed to support an approach (or, for example "we'll go to your competitor, if you don't x, y, z");

c) the hope that some other (originating) road would do it, and all you'd have to do was figure out how to accommodate it.

The latter was always the hope, but for some roads, the PRR being the most extreme (I have found), it was a series of:

1) If we don't make or modify a car to do this, what is the consequence;

2) Can our engineers or industry come up with a reasonable ($$) solution;

3) Can we just avoid this?

PRR's approach was extremely apprehensive, and odd, sometimes, in its approach to each problem.

For example, PRR built TENS of thousands of drop end gondolas, post-USRA drop end gon, in many, MANY classes, for loads expected to extend beyond the ends of even a 65-foot gondola. As Jack Consoli points out, the PRR's G26 class alone (followed up by G26A, G27, G28, G30, G31 A,B,C, and several G33 sub-classes, which were ALL drop end), G26 exceeded the numbers of 65-foot gondolas on ALL other railroads. What were they thinking? What other RR came close to following this philosophy? At any scale?

The F28 flat car, a strange hybrid of depressed and shallow well, was virtually forced on them by the Westinghouse Corporation's insistence that PRR create a car specifically for their needs. PRR was dragged kicking and screaming into their first "depressed center" flat car. Other roads did not seem to take this approach. In its infancy, Look at NYC, P&LE, Mesta, and others.

The PRR F22 and F23 were extremely short HD flats, for one purpose: shipment of extremely long gun tubes. They were meant to incorporate pivots from the get go. Did other railroads do this? Who?

The PRR F25 well flat had deep wells but were not depressed center in that era. Why no other roads in that era (teens)? What loads did PRR get that neighbors did not?

So, PRR expected many, many loads to extend beyond the ends of the cars. Why so many, and why don't we see more pics?

And why did PRR roster SO many HD flats in all sizes? Was it just a matter of PRR having way more customers with "High and Wides", and HD loads?

Do you all have actual examples or correspondence on these issues?

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 1:53 PM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] You Can Model This Scene With Just Three Flat Cars And A Lot Of People!


Examining the 1933 version of ARA Rules Governing the Loading of Commodities on Open Top Cars, figures 53-61, it is immediately apparent that this long load is most likely secured in compliance with ARA guidelines.

Long, rigid loads, could be secured at each pivot point to the pivot blocking, with no additional blocking needed.

If the loads had reasonable "sag", they might require intermediate blocking, not to stop movement, but to act as "sliders" to allow the load to move across the deck of the car without damaging the car.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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