Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Photo: Seamless Pipe Fitting Load On GN Flat Car 60031 (1956)


I too think it's a well flat (one which has a portion of the floor very close to the rail, compared to the rest of the floor) as opposed to a well hole flat (which seems to me one that has no floor at all in the well, rather having only some structural members that are either fixed or removable in the well area).  Perhaps these two definitions don't really have a clear distinction, in the sense that if the floor is removable, then a well flat becomes a well hole flat.

The evidence for this is that I think I can see the back side of the well sideplates, above the three transverse beams that support (something -- the floor, if it exists) and toward either end of the car from the outboard-most transverse beams.  These transverse beams appear to pass completely across the car as if they are supported symmetrically and identically on the opposite side of the car.  The car also appears to have a floor in the well, as mentioned, because there is only darkness on the track underneath the well.  Whether the floor could be removable or not, that is probably not able to be determined from this photo.  I would further say that this load, whatever it is, could be equally well supported by a floor resting on the beams or on the beams themselves.  It's tied down pretty well by the round bar attached to it, with the bar's other end bent to pass through the stake pockets and (apparently) threaded so that a nut threaded onto the end of that bar bears against a piece of wood that's blocked against the underside of the stake pocket.  Notice that there are no stake pockets in the region of the well, only t-section reinforcements to maintain the structural integrity of the side.

Ron Merrick

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