PRR FD2 was Re: Early Schnabel Cars

Bruce Smith

--- In STMFC@..., "John Thompson" <JThomp1945@...> wrote:

Photo (and blowup detail) accompanying "Interview with Claire I.
Clugh", KEYSTONE, Volume 29, Number 2, Summer 1996, Pages 14-15,
PRRT&HS, FD2 #470245 in Apr 1952 (with Mr. Clugh and another in front
for scale - WOW!).
On Aug 6, 2008, at 7:20 AM, tbarney2004 wrote:
The PRR FD2 "Queen Mary" flat car was an all welded, 250T capacity
depressed-center heavy duty flat. Utilized 4, 4 axle trucks with span
bolsters. Trucks were salvaged from scrapped 8 axle "long distance"
steam locomotive tenders (250F classes - nominal 25k gallon water
Sorry to nitpick but the 250Fxx tender classes generally had 3 axle trucks (with one exception that I know of). IIRC, the trucks on the FD2/FW1 were from scrapped T1 duplex locomotive tenders, class 180P84, truck class 4F5T3.

Car was also unique in that the span bolsters had a second
well-type body that could be swapped for the normal depressed center
type car body. The well (class FW2),
Again to nitpick, the well body was class FW1.

AFAIK, has long been scrapped,
but the FD2 itself survives at the Railroader's Memorial Museum in
Altoona, the city where it was originally built. It was advanced for
it's time, being all-welded when most cars (even of similar type) were
riveted construction. I believe the article you reference makes note
of that fact, as well as the huge amounts of material used (car itself
tops just over 500,000lbs empty itself) and the unique challenges
faced by a workforce who had never previously constructed a fully
welded car, especially, of this scale.
I'll agree with the scale issue, but welding had been in use for freight car construction for over 15 years (e.g. D&H's 1932 AAR boxcars, built circa 1937). The jigs and oven that were used to build this car were pretty amazing, and when you consider that it was a one-of-a-kind, that was a significant expense to go to.


Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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