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

Gatwood, Elden J SAD

Ron, Schuyler, Don and others interested;


I got very interested in these cars from that initial photo submittal, and did some digging.


The cars did have a floor, but I have been unable to determine if it was removable in sections or fixed, or what.  The ORERs usually talk about “other”, if it applies.


Here is the description:


“Dimensions of well…as follows: at deck level – length 20 ft. 6 ½ in., width 6 ft. 2 ½ in.  depth from deck to well floor 2 ft. 3 5/8 in.  Well floor length 18 ft. 0 in. width 6 ft. 2 in.  These cars are equipped with wood loading floors.  Spacing between truck centers:  32 ft. 8 in.  Total wheelbase: 38 ft. 2 in.”


The numbers of cars varies over the years, but was 2 or 3 cars out of the series of 60000 to 60033, and in all ways other than the well, look to be the regular old flat cars these guys were converted from.


These appear to NOT be as-builts, but a shop conversion, perhaps for that one customer.  They are just too different from a purpose-built well car, which are very different from these cars from an engineering perspective.  Nice job, nevertheless.


The fact that they were blocked the way they were is not surprising, given the RRs concerns that folks would load them with the load concentrated on the floors and/or sides, which were the weakest, and next to weakest parts of the car, respectively.  If the load was heavy, it was either suspended on girders or beams, to put most of the load on the end decks, best, above the bolsters, the best place to put the load concentration.


I hope that answers some questions.


And, BTW, if you ever come across other photos of well or well hole, or most any other depressed flats, PLEASE send them to me on or off-list!




Elden Gatwood


From: <> On Behalf Of Donald B. Valentine via
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 8:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Photo: Seamless Pipe Fitting Load On GN Flat Car 60031 (1956) now PRR cars



    Thanks for the PRR photo Schuyler. It proves exactly what I had posted earlier. I believe

The car in your photo has no floor at all and has no need of one. Look at how the short,

Cylindrical load is carried. It is “pinched”, if you will, by large timbers on the regular deck

of the car. Those timbers are then heavily braced to be sure the load cannot drop any lower.

To be doubly sure you will note that there is additional timbering just below its extreme

Height. Thus no floor was needed.


Cordially, Don Valentine


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