Re: Car capacity vs load limit, was Late 40's to mid 50's military rail movements

Daniel A. Mitchell

I never said the beams under the T-43 were wood … but MOST such beams I have seen, under M-48 and M-60 tanks, ARE wood. Large timbers, maybe 8” X 16” or larger, and 25-plus feet long.

Dan Mitchell

On Oct 19, 2021, at 1:09 PM, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Tom, Folks


And I want to stress another thing... even loading a car to the Load Limit is not "pucker" inducing. That's the SAFE maximum load. As with all engineered structures, there is an additional safety margin. Elden Gatwood has shared correspondence regarding the overloading of PRR's heavy duty flats (eg. F38) and the subsequent discussion of repairs previously. 

Finally, most rail cars, including most flat cars, cannot take the entire load limit on the center of the span. Thus the steel box beams on the T43 load (no wood there, in spite of what some have posted) are longer than the treads to help spread the load away from the center of the car. So while there was no issue what so ever with the weight, there appears to have been a concern about the weight at the center of the span.

BTW, the dunnage in the T43 photo is the first time I've even seen a tank loaded in that manner.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: <> on behalf of Thomas Evans via <tomkevans@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 8:01 AM
To: <>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Car capacity vs load limit, was Late 40's to mid 50's military rail movements
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn. 
So Bruce, let me paraphrase what you are saying & see if I've got it right:

CAPY is just a handy way of classifying cars & can be ignored when actually loading a car.
Ld. Lmt. indicates the actual weight of freight you can put in the car.

This is something that has puzzled me for probably 60 years, but I've never been motivated to actually go out & find the answer.

Thanks for the enlightenment! - Tom E.

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