Re: Steel Shipments; coil; sheet, etc.


Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>
 

John;



Coiling thin steel sheet was a technology invented for the sole reason that
flat sheet had to be cut into relatively short sheets for shipment, and the
users (car and appliance makers) found it inconvenient and wasteful to have
to keep stopping the assembly lines to remove the too-short end of one sheet
and put in place a new sheet. Rolling it in long sheets allowed both better
quality control at the makers end, and less damage in transit,
hypothetically, because the edges of the sheet were not as exposed in a coil
(those at the "lead" still were, but you get the point). They began rolling
into coil, at first small coils, in the early 50's.



The trouble began with how to ship it. Initially, finished cold-rolled steel
sheet was strapped into a custom pallet, and put into a boxcar for weather
protection, or if shipped as unfinished hot strip, shipped open on its side
in the ends of a gon. Some shippers had cold-rolled finished sheet coils
shipped on their sides and covered with canvas tarps. This lasted into 1955.



There are lots of good illustrations of this out there in the literature, and
drawings of how they secured it in various cars, in the AAR loading rules for
various dates. It is very interesting reading.



Coils shipped open in gons had custom-made cradles created to keep them from
rolling or toppling over and sliding, and knocking out car ends, which they
did (I have read correspondence on this). They would block the entire
interior of a gon, and made cradles out of heavy timbers to hold each coil in
place. Obviously, it got labor-intensive and expensive to do this for each
shipment, and given you were not using dedicated cars, the end user or the
railroad would toss out all the expensive blocking and they would have to
re-create it again for the next shipment.



In 1955 there was a flurry of design by NKP, PRR and others (I have some of
the patent paperwork), for dedicated steel shipment cars with
specially-designed blocking equipment semi-permanently installed that would
be back hauled empty. One of these was a "coil car" (a name that came
later). These consisted of gons or flats with cradles and covers. The gons
actually were designed to have skids inside that dissipated energy by sliding
across the rough floor, guided by guide timbers, with end bumpers to cushion
against end impacts. Erie and others used flats with rigid mounts. The gons
or flats could also be fitted with covers for weather protection. There was
a sizable fleet of "skid and cover" cars running around by 1957, and the PRR
had 310 by Oct 1956. They were in extremely high demand by that time by
USSteel, Bethlehem, J&L, and others, who made large steel coil expressly for
the automotive and appliance industries. Eventually, Erie, NKP, P&WV, NYC,
P&LE, PRR, B&O, B&LE, URR had skid and cover-equipped "coil cars". They
lasted into the 70's, but that is beyond our scope here.



The purpose-built "coil cars" of the mid-60's are also a later discussion.



There were also numerous gons fitted with three-piece Stanray covers, even
"Dutch Roof" covers, on roads like the RI and WP, the former over cradle
systems designed for either small coils or bundled sheet, the latter over
large coils. These were also very popular, and additional gons were always
being converted to meet demand. Some had their sides raised so they could
accommodate taller bundles or larger coils. WP, EJ&E, C&EI, PRR, B&O and NYC
had cars of this type, too.



Neither car took the place of box cars used in palletized coil shipment. The
PRR actually had a fleet of insulated X53's in coil service, and these are
still found today. They also had a number of X37A and X37B so equipped, but
for shipment of hot coil. These had double flooring and 24" steel sheet
riveted along the interior bottom of the sides and ends to keep the car
intact. Hot coil service was VERY hard on cars, as many NYC gons show. They
all served together.



No one has ever done a good model of the important skid and cover or roofed
steel shipment cars. ConCor tried, using their ubiquitous mill gon, with new
skids and covers, but they were very crude, and not really correct for any
one road. You could use any old box car for the latter.



Just to give you an idea, the PRR had the following, cars equipped:



Steel

Type

Note

Car Numbers

Car Type

# Cars



Cold Rolled Bar, GBSR

13

375774, 375910, 375945, 376704, 376839

G31d

5

Eqpt w/four movable bulkheads and 3-section roof for shipment of cold rolled
bar or tin plate in coils on pallets

Bundled Steel, GBR

111

376037, 376076, 376755, 376782, 376856

G31d

5

Eqpt w/extended sides and ends and removable roof for shipment of steel in
bundles. Dimensions: IH 5'; OW 10'5"; OH from rail to extreme width 6'11" and
top of sides 8'11", to top of running board 9'10", cap. 2,504 cu. Ft.

Bundled Steel,

118

385072-385321

G36c

250

Eqpt w/extended sides and ends and three-section removable roof

Bundled Steel, GBR

152

385000-385071

385522-386153

386154-386699

615000-617599

1

3

104

206

G36c

G36c

G36c

G36c

Eqpt w/extended sides and ends and three-section removable roof for shipment
of steel in bundles

Coil Strip Steel, XMP

Hot Rolled Steel

31

64400-65399

66400-66899

66900-67399

X37b

X37a

X37b

62

21

10

Eqpt w/double flooring and 24 inch steel plates around inside of car for
hauling coils of hot rolled steel

Hot Rolled Steel, FMS

60

473859, 473880, 474025, 474130, 474152, 474512, 474748, 474765, 474922,
474943, 475259

F30a

11

Eqpt w/low side rails for hauling hot rolled steel

Hot Rolled Steel, FMS

67

473765-475265

F30a

40

Eqpt w/double flooring for hauling hot rolled steel

Coil Strip Steel, GBS

10

375854, 375935, 376062, 376213, 376397, 376515, 376690, 376773

G31d

8

Eqpt w/coil pallet guides and wooden bumper beams across car ends

Coil Strip Steel, GBS

14

375750-376949, 376950-377449

G31d

G31e

209

302

Eqpt for hauling coil strip steel

Coil Strip Steel, GBS

78

375977, 376240, 376262, 376943

G31d

4

Eqpt w/stainless steel skids with covers

Coil Strip Steel, GBS

90

344500-348999

G27

29

Eqpt for hauling coil strip steel

Coil Strip Steel, FMS

98

475300-475549

F30d

20

Eqpt w/racks for hauling coil strip steel

Coil Strip Steel,

101

385322-385521,

385635, 386025

G36d

G36a

200

2

Eqpt w/skids and covers for shipment of coil strip steel

Coil Strip Steel,

Palletized

125

21195-21199

X53

5

Eqpt w/nine (9) belt rail Evans "DF" equipment. Cars are insulated and are
equipped for application of heaters. Equipped with 2 3/8 inch yellow pine
floor covered with 1/8 inch super diamond plate. Equipped with load
restraining floor snubbers for use in hauling palletized coiled steel.

Tin Plate, FMS

68

474020, 474114, 474320

F30a

3

Eqpt w/special fittings for hauling tin plate



You can see there was a lot of variety in dedicated steel-hauling cars!



Yes, I am getting around to writing an article on these cars, but I think you
may see one on B&O pretty soon from Mike Shylanski!



Oh, Chooch makes a marvelous little palletized coil load, for your box cars.



Have fun!



Elden Gatwood






________________________________

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
boyds1949
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 1:20 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Steel Shipments



Prior to the use of the "non steam era" coil cars, how was sheet steel
shipped? Were coils shipped in boxcars? Or was the sheet steel
simply shipped flat in gons and/or boxcars?

John King

Join main@RealSTMFC.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.