roofs, was detail of AAR 1937 boxcar


Randy Hees <hees@...>
 

There was historically a difference between the roof structure (carlines and purlines) and the sheeting (double board wood, Murphy, etc.) so until recently strong and rigid are functions of the structure, while rust resistant, leak-proof and cinder-proof (or fire proof? (We lit a wooden car on fire over labor day weekend at our museum from cinders from a wood burning steam loco)) are functions of the sheeting. Considering how long double board roofs survived in service I sometimes wonder about leak-proof.

No argument on cheap or weight (but railroads were not historically aggressive about reducing weight as one might expect. One significant argument for narrow gauge was the reduced weight.

I wonder about repair, forming, construction and transportation issues. Being railroad related industries, transportation wasn�t really a problem, and most shops had the ability to lift large items. In an industry which was casting locomotive and tender frames in a single pour, and dealt with boiler plate on a daily basis roofs would not have challenged the technology.

I doubt that a typical shop tried to keep in stock replacement roof panels. More likely they would have either welded or riveted a patch, adapted the local common material, or ordered replacement material via the car owner if substantial repairs were needed. (or just scrapped the car and paid off the owner)

Randy Hees


Patrick Wider <pwider@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Randy Hees <hees@r...> wrote:

No argument on cheap or weight (but railroads were not historically
aggressive about reducing weight as one might expect.
Maybe, but the carbuilders obviously were, how else do you explain the experimental
lightweight box cars built by AC&F, P-S, General American, et al. circa 1940? To quote the
P-S ad in the 1940 CBC: "The necessity of reducing the weight of freight cars and
converting the saving into revenue load is well recognized."

And from the U.S.S. ad: "Reduction of dead weight with a corresponding increase in
capacity for carrying payload has been the outstanding feature of this new development in
freight car construction using U.S.S. High Tensile Steels." The ad goes on to press this
point further.

And it was the carbuilders buying most of the standardized roof panels. To quote the SRE
ad in the 1946 CBC: "Both the Improved Solid Steel Roof and the Murphy Welded Roof are
made of galvanized material, and the designs are such that the strength is uniform over
the entire surface of these roofs, and maximum strength is obtained in both designs with
the minimum amount of weight." Hmmmm, I wonder why they put that in there?


I wonder about repair, forming, construction and transportation issues.
Being railroad related industries, transportation wasn't really a
problem, and most shops had the ability to lift large items. In an
industry which was casting locomotive and tender frames in a single
pour, and dealt with boiler plate on a daily basis roofs would not have
challenged the technology.
I don't. Forming a 50' single piece of steel with stiffening ribs and complex impressions is
not easily done. And the more difficult it is to fabricate things, the more they cost. Cost is
an important factor in manufacturing. Are you saying that 50' single-piece roof sheets
have more advantages than disadvantages? Please name them. Making, moving, and
storing big, extremely flexible, easily damaged, thin steel sheets or panels susceptible to
corrosion (yes, I know they were galvanized) would be a pain for anybody, even the
almighty railroads. Underframes and car sides were shipped preassembled but they must
have presented fewer problems as you suggest.

I doubt that a typical shop tried to keep in stock replacement roof
panels. More likely they would have either welded or riveted a patch,
adapted the local common material, or ordered replacement material via
the car owner if substantial repairs were needed. (or just scrapped the
car and paid off the owner)
I don't. To quote the 1946 CBC SRE ad again: "Both of the above designs of roof readily
lend themselves to replacement of damaged sheets in railroad car shops." It says
replacement, not repair. Also, I can't imagine one railroad calling another railroad and
saying, "hey, I 've got one of your box cars with a hole in it's roof. Can you have SRE send
me two roof panels, pronto? We don't keep them in stock here at XYZ Railroad".

Does anyone have photographs of a railroad car shop circa our period of interest? I bet
there are some stacked SRE roof panels somewhere handy.

Pat Wider


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Pat Wider wrote (responding to Randy Hees):
To quote the
P-S ad in the 1940 CBC: "The necessity of reducing the weight of freight cars and
converting the saving into revenue load is well recognized."

And from the U.S.S. ad: "Reduction of dead weight with a corresponding increase in
capacity for carrying payload has been the outstanding feature of this new development in
freight car construction using U.S.S. High Tensile Steels." The ad goes on to press this
point further.
It was well recognized, all right: by the operating boys. Mechanical departments disliked this idea, as weight savings often meant different designs and different materials, which then became THEIR headache. Traffic people knew that the cars were rarely loaded to capacity, so the claim of "converting the saving into revenue load" was, statistically, silly. And of course US Steel wanted to sell premium steels, if they could just persuade railroads that they needed them . . .
I don't think the case is so simple as you state, Pat, certainly not prior to, say, 1960. Indeed, if "everyone" knew this, those ads you quote wouldn't have needed to press the point.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Manfred Lorenz
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Thompson <thompson@s...> wrote:
Indeed, if "everyone" knew this, those ads you
quote wouldn't have needed to press the point.
Which shows that the items most heavily advertise are the most
superfluous.

What was the major product advertised on the billboard freightcars? Are
there any stats?

Manfred


Patrick Wider <pwider@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Thompson <thompson@s...> wrote:
Traffic people knew that the cars were rarely loaded to
capacity, so the claim of "converting the saving into revenue load"
was, statistically, silly. And of course US Steel wanted to sell
premium steels, if they could just persuade railroads that they needed
them . . .
I don't think the case is so simple as you state, Pat, certainly
not prior to, say, 1960. Indeed, if "everyone" knew this, those ads you
quote wouldn't have needed to press the point.
Tony,

I don't see the logic in your point. If I have a car who's tare weight is 50,000 lb. and I load
it with 100 lb. of pillow feathers, I'm hauling 50,100 lb. If I have a car with a tare weight
of 45,000 lb., the same shipment would require hauling 45,100 lb. over the road. 100 lb.
would be well under the load limit of the car. But with a 100-car train of pillow feathers, I
would need less helpers going up Sherman Hill with the lighter cars or I could run maybe a
110-car train of pillow feathers using the same amount of helpers hauling the lighter cars.
Wouldn't the lighter cars produce a meaningful savings for the railroads? And wouldn't
that be obvious? It seems for some railroads such as the Milwaukee Road, they also
needed more cubic capacity, hence Nystrom's design for the 50000-series of 50' box cars.
They were the "high-cube" box cars of their era (5,157 cu. ft.). But the savings I describe
above would still apply even for these cars if they could be built lighter (less mass).

Also, most of the RME and RA articles on new car designs usually specified the light weight
to cubic capacity ratio of the freight cars (in addition to the load limit to gross load ratio).
For example, it was 9.35 lb. per cu. ft. for the Milwaukee 50000-series cars, a low value
for the time. (RME, Dec. 1941, p.508). It seems the railway mechanical engineers of the
time thought that lighter was better.

So it still seems simple to me. It's F = MA. As I said, "lightness is good" (assuming the
new designs don't fall apart - Note I also said durability was a desirable characteristic). By
the way, ads often state the obvious - Wonder Bras do wonderful things!!!!

Pat Wider


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Pat Wider wrote:
If I have a car who's tare weight is 50,000 lb. and I load
it with 100 lb. of pillow feathers, I'm hauling 50,100 lb. If I have a car with a tare weight
of 45,000 lb., the same shipment would require hauling 45,100 lb. over the road. 100 lb.
would be well under the load limit of the car. But with a 100-car train of pillow feathers, I
would need less helpers going up Sherman Hill with the lighter cars or I could run maybe a
110-car train of pillow feathers using the same amount of helpers hauling the lighter cars.
Sure, as I said, Pat, the operating guys bought into this. Some did say, as you can read in Railway Age, that rolling resistance was not a strong enough function of weight to make it worth saving a few hundred pounds. The real point was, how did you achieve the saving? and what did it cost?

Also, most of the RME and RA articles on new car designs usually specified the light weight
to cubic capacity ratio of the freight cars. . . It seems the railway mechanical engineers of the
time thought that lighter was better.
Sure, everything else being equal. The question which isn't so easy is, what if lighter is achieved by using a material that corrodes easier? or is thinner and requires extra posts in construction? The mere fact that the burst of "lightweight" box cars after WW II soon died out ought to tell you something. OTOH, of course everyone bought into welded underframes, which save a bunch of weight. I simply dispute the notion that everything to save weight was good.

By the way, ads often state the obvious - Wonder Bras do wonderful things!!!!
No argument, but they also may state unessential things; and they certainly often state things they wish you would believe.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Paul LaCiura <paul.jeseng@...>
 

My opinion regarding the feasibility of the use of aluminum as a railroad
car (freight or passenger) construction material was changed radically when
I did a structural inspection of the passenger car "Civic Center" (former
City of San Francisco car) for the Golden Gate Railroad Museum a few years
ago. They were concerned about the condition of the car and its safety for
use in excursion operations.

I won't go into specific detail of the extensive corrosion damage I found
under the car, but the overall condition could be summed up when I examined
the crash posts and found that they had for the most part turned to powder
beneath the floor line. The builder had specified an "isolation" paint
between the dissimilar materials on the construction drawings. The only
thing that could have prevented this would have been isolation gaskets
between dissimilar surfaces and sleeves around all fasteners to effectively
prevent galvanic contact.

This of course applies to cars built of both aluminum and steel in contact
with each other. I cannot comment on the corrosion resistance of an all
aluminum car in freight service as that is outside my expertise.

Paul LaCiura
San Francisco, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Anthony Thompson
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2:02 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: roofs, was detail of AAR 1937 boxcar

Pat Wider wrote:
If I have a car who's tare weight is 50,000 lb. and I load
it with 100 lb. of pillow feathers, I'm hauling 50,100 lb. If I have
a car with a tare weight
of 45,000 lb., the same shipment would require hauling 45,100 lb. over
the road. 100 lb.
would be well under the load limit of the car. But with a 100-car
train of pillow feathers, I
would need less helpers going up Sherman Hill with the lighter cars or
I could run maybe a
110-car train of pillow feathers using the same amount of helpers
hauling the lighter cars.
Sure, as I said, Pat, the operating guys bought into this. Some
did say, as you can read in Railway Age, that rolling resistance was
not a strong enough function of weight to make it worth saving a few
hundred pounds. The real point was, how did you achieve the saving? and
what did it cost?

Also, most of the RME and RA articles on new car designs usually
specified the light weight
to cubic capacity ratio of the freight cars. . . It seems the railway
mechanical engineers of the
time thought that lighter was better.
Sure, everything else being equal. The question which isn't so
easy is, what if lighter is achieved by using a material that corrodes
easier? or is thinner and requires extra posts in construction? The
mere fact that the burst of "lightweight" box cars after WW II soon
died out ought to tell you something. OTOH, of course everyone bought
into welded underframes, which save a bunch of weight. I simply dispute
the notion that everything to save weight was good.

By the way, ads often state the obvious - Wonder Bras do wonderful
things!!!!
No argument, but they also may state unessential things; and
they certainly often state things they wish you would believe.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history




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Ted Culotta <tculotta@...>
 

On Sep 22, 2005, at 3:46 PM, Paul LaCiura wrote:

I won't go into specific detail of the extensive corrosion damage I found
under the car, but the overall condition could be summed up when I examined
the crash posts and found that they had for the most part turned to powder
beneath the floor line. The builder had specified an "isolation" paint
between the dissimilar materials on the construction drawings. The only
thing that could have prevented this would have been isolation gaskets
between dissimilar surfaces and sleeves around all fasteners to effectively
prevent galvanic contact.

This of course applies to cars built of both aluminum and steel in contact
with each other. I cannot comment on the corrosion resistance of an all
aluminum car in freight service as that is outside my expertise.
This was exactly the experience referenced in the Sunshine data sheet for the aluminum head end car kits. At the points where steel components and aluminum were in contact, there were big issues.

Regards,
Ted Culotta

Speedwitch Media
645 Tanner Marsh Road, Guilford, CT 06437
info@speedwitch.com
www.speedwitch.com
(650) 787-1912


bierglaeser <bierglaeser@...>
 

The M&StL had 10 aluminum box cars. One was 'cornered' in a
switching incident and needed, among other parts, a new end. The
M&StL could not obtain a new aluminum end so settled for a steel end
knowing full well the problems that would ensue. When Bill
Landmesser, last motive power supt. of M&StL was telling me about
this he didn't mention if there were any steps taken to keep the
steel and aluminum out of direct contact with one another. The point
of his story was that when the steel end was applied the car needed
to be painted so the M&StL painted it, and eventually some other
aluminum box cars, in their well-known green and yellow.

Two essential elements are missing from this story: Which car and
when. But when Bill got going it was best to let him talk and not
interrupt.

Gene Green

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Ted Culotta <tculotta@s...> wrote:
On Sep 22, 2005, at 3:46 PM, Paul LaCiura wrote:

I won't go into specific detail of the extensive corrosion damage
I
found
under the car, but the overall condition could be summed up when
I
examined
the crash posts and found that they had for the most part turned
to
powder
beneath the floor line. The builder had specified an "isolation"
paint
between the dissimilar materials on the construction drawings.
The
only
thing that could have prevented this would have been isolation
gaskets
between dissimilar surfaces and sleeves around all fasteners to
effectively
prevent galvanic contact.

This of course applies to cars built of both aluminum and steel
in
contact
with each other. I cannot comment on the corrosion resistance of
an
all
aluminum car in freight service as that is outside my expertise.
This was exactly the experience referenced in the Sunshine data
sheet
for the aluminum head end car kits. At the points where steel
components and aluminum were in contact, there were big issues.

Regards,
Ted Culotta

Speedwitch Media
645 Tanner Marsh Road, Guilford, CT 06437
info@s...
www.speedwitch.com
(650) 787-1912


Thomas Baker
 

________________________________


Gene and Group,

I have some interesting decals in S-gauge. The decals, very old but still useable, are green. I know that so many times the model manufacturers have been content to ignore prototypical accuracy and go--apparently--with phantasy. This might be one of those instances. The decal is intended for the M&StL aluminum box car. I know that the Alton aluminum box cars did indeed have red lettering, at least for a short spell. Were the M&StL aluminum box cars lettered in M&StL green?

Gene correct me if I am wrong on this, but I think at least one of the aluminum box cars ended up in passenger train service. Did the RDC-4 cars pull it on the Minneapolis-Des Moines run?

Tom


buchwaldfam <duff@...>
 

Do these cars show up in the AAR box car roster summaries which
are printed in Ted Culotta's web site? Is there a note which
identifies them as being aluminum?
Oddball decals has a set for an aluminum M&StL car, but not too
much prototype data.

Thanks,
Phil Buchwald


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Baker" <bakert@a...> wrote:


________________________________


Gene and Group,

I have some interesting decals in S-gauge. The decals, very old
but still useable, are green. I know that so many times the model
manufacturers have been content to ignore prototypical accuracy and
go--apparently--with phantasy. This might be one of those
instances. The decal is intended for the M&StL aluminum box car. I
know that the Alton aluminum box cars did indeed have red lettering,
at least for a short spell. Were the M&StL aluminum box cars
lettered in M&StL green?

Gene correct me if I am wrong on this, but I think at least one of
the aluminum box cars ended up in passenger train service. Did the
RDC-4 cars pull it on the Minneapolis-Des Moines run?

Tom