Topics

Flat Car Load Placement

Nelson Moyer
 

A while back, there was a thread on transformer loads on flat cars, and there was no consensus on where to place a single heavy load, i.e. in the center of the car or over one of the trucks. I was cutting out decals for the Owl Mountain SP F-50- 10 flat car tonight, and there is a stencil to be placed on the center of the side sill that reads:

 

CONCENTRATED LOAD HERE MUST

            NOT EXCEED 50000 LBS

 

The car has a capacity of 100000 lbs. and a load limit of 134900 lbs. with a light weight of 34100 lbs., so any single load between 50000-100000 lbs. would be placed over one of the trucks. I don’t know if this load restriction is unique to the SP, or SP is following a standard practice for heavy single loads. Apparently the fishbelly center sill on the F-5--10 had a deflection at the center of a linear load restriction of 50000 lbs.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

 

Garth Groff
 

Nelson and Friends,

WP steam-era 50' fishbelly flat cars had similar lettering. It was seen on PC&F-built 2351-2400 and on nearly-identical AC&F-built 2401-2700. The early 1950s bulkhead conversions from the latter group, 2851-2925, retained this lettering. Similar lettering was included on one of the old Walthers stock lettering sheets they stuffed into the package with almost every roadname. I will use this on my Chad Boas WP models (if I ever find time to build them, and if the decals don't fall apart).

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 8/13/19 10:44 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

A while back, there was a thread on transformer loads on flat cars, and there was no consensus on where to place a single heavy load, i.e. in the center of the car or over one of the trucks. I was cutting out decals for the Owl Mountain SP F-50- 10 flat car tonight, and there is a stencil to be placed on the center of the side sill that reads:

 

CONCENTRATED LOAD HERE MUST

            NOT EXCEED 50000 LBS

 

The car has a capacity of 100000 lbs. and a load limit of 134900 lbs. with a light weight of 34100 lbs., so any single load between 50000-100000 lbs. would be placed over one of the trucks. I don’t know if this load restriction is unique to the SP, or SP is following a standard practice for heavy single loads. Apparently the fishbelly center sill on the F-5--10 had a deflection at the center of a linear load restriction of 50000 lbs.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

 


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Nelson;

Loading at one end, unless balanced, was highly frowned on. I know we've seen a few of those loads at one end, but it was not acceptable practice. The unloaded end could lift under certain circumstances, and potentially cause a derailment. Loading and securing instructions from the AAR show all loads centered, with the exception (theoretically) of diagonal loads. The ORERs also show info on how some individual flats and gons should have the load distributed. Depressed center and well flats were especially vulnerable to collapse if loaded wrong.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Nelson Moyer
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:44 PM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Flat Car Load Placement

A while back, there was a thread on transformer loads on flat cars, and there was no consensus on where to place a single heavy load, i.e. in the center of the car or over one of the trucks. I was cutting out decals for the Owl Mountain SP F-50- 10 flat car tonight, and there is a stencil to be placed on the center of the side sill that reads:



CONCENTRATED LOAD HERE MUST

NOT EXCEED 50000 LBS



The car has a capacity of 100000 lbs. and a load limit of 134900 lbs. with a light weight of 34100 lbs., so any single load between 50000-100000 lbs. would be placed over one of the trucks. I don't know if this load restriction is unique to the SP, or SP is following a standard practice for heavy single loads. Apparently the fishbelly center sill on the F-5--10 had a deflection at the center of a linear load restriction of 50000 lbs.



Nelson Moyer

Nelson Moyer
 

That suggests that since a concentrated load in excess of 50000 lbs. can't be distributed or placed over one of the trucks, the shipper would need a car with a higher center load capacity.

For modeling, I guess load weight is a moot point, as few of us calculate load weight and assign a load to a specific car on that basis. I guess the best alternative to load weight calculation is to use photos of actual loads together with the AAR and ORER loading instructions as the inspiration for out loads. Actually, that approach can result in some improbably loads like the M&StL culvert flat car load Clark Probst posted to the Proto-Layout group that must have challenged height clearance limits. I suspect a modeler would be ridiculed for building a load like that. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:37 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io; RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Flat Car Load Placement

Nelson;

Loading at one end, unless balanced, was highly frowned on. I know we've seen a few of those loads at one end, but it was not acceptable practice. The unloaded end could lift under certain circumstances, and potentially cause a derailment. Loading and securing instructions from the AAR show all loads centered, with the exception (theoretically) of diagonal loads. The ORERs also show info on how some individual flats and gons should have the load distributed. Depressed center and well flats were especially vulnerable to collapse if loaded wrong.

Elden Gatwood

Bruce Smith
 

Nelson, Folks,


On Aug 14, 2019, at 7:36 AM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

That suggests that since a concentrated load in excess of 50000 lbs. can't be distributed or placed over one of the trucks, the shipper would need a car with a higher center load capacity.

EXACTLY!  So, the deal here is that the optimal loading position for a flat car for ride characteristics is the center of the car, BUT, almost all flat cars were restricted to significantly less than their capacity if the load was carried on the center of the span. What we have are two competing issues. NOTE, that a load, at the center of the span, placed on stringers or other supports at 1/3 and 2/3 of the span is NOT loading the center of the span. There were a few, very specifically and typically short cars that were designed to carry the full load at the center of the span. The Milwaukee Road welded gun flats (ancient Roundhouse car) and the PRR F22/23 “gun flats” are examples.


For modeling, I guess load weight is a moot point, as few of us calculate load weight and assign a load to a specific car on that basis.

Hmmmm… I do.. and it bugs me when I see obvious fails, such as the use of a 70 ton flat to carry one M4 Sherman tank (which is too little load for efficient car use).

I guess the best alternative to load weight calculation is to use photos of actual loads together with the AAR and ORER loading instructions as the inspiration for out loads. Actually, that approach can result in some improbably loads like the M&StL culvert flat car load Clark Probst posted to the Proto-Layout group that must have challenged height clearance limits. I suspect a modeler would be ridiculed for building a load like that. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith            
Auburn, AL
"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."



Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Nelson;

Truth is indeed stranger...

To add to what Bruce wrote:

I know a "high and wide" guy that was tasked with making sure things fit back in the day, that told me some hair-raising stories. Shippers would get a car, then try to load it either at greatest convenience to themselves, or to as great a capacity (weight or cube) as they wished for.

There is a collection worth of photos of loads gone bad in the PRRT&HS archives. That included loads that slipped off, or through a car end, toppled loads, shifted loads, and loads that rolled around in box cars and destroyed car interiors, sides and ends. Shippers did not usually follow the AAR rules to the letter, but winged it.

An "over the trucks" example, but balanced, was the loading of hot coil, in small groupings, at each end. This was quite common. I have several of those modeled.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Nelson Moyer
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 8:36 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Flat Car Load Placement

That suggests that since a concentrated load in excess of 50000 lbs. can't be distributed or placed over one of the trucks, the shipper would need a car with a higher center load capacity.

For modeling, I guess load weight is a moot point, as few of us calculate load weight and assign a load to a specific car on that basis. I guess the best alternative to load weight calculation is to use photos of actual loads together with the AAR and ORER loading instructions as the inspiration for out loads. Actually, that approach can result in some improbably loads like the M&StL culvert flat car load Clark Probst posted to the Proto-Layout group that must have challenged height clearance limits. I suspect a modeler would be ridiculed for building a load like that. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:37 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io; RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Flat Car Load Placement

Nelson;

Loading at one end, unless balanced, was highly frowned on. I know we've seen a few of those loads at one end, but it was not acceptable practice. The unloaded end could lift under certain circumstances, and potentially cause a derailment. Loading and securing instructions from the AAR show all loads centered, with the exception (theoretically) of diagonal loads. The ORERs also show info on how some individual flats and gons should have the load distributed. Depressed center and well flats were especially vulnerable to collapse if loaded wrong.

Elden Gatwood

Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 07:55 AM, Gatwood, Elden J SAD wrote:
I know a "high and wide" guy that was tasked with making sure things fit back in the day, that told me some hair-raising stories. Shippers would get a car, then try to load it either at greatest convenience to themselves, or to as great a capacity (weight or cube) as they wished for.
And checking clearances was important. I had a great story told to me by a Soo Line engineer... 

The Soo had a secondary line to Manitowoc WI which was where they connected with the cross lake car ferries. This line also served Manitowoc Shipbuilding, which was also a maker of very large construction cranes. One day in the sixties their train had a huge slewing ring (the circular ring the crane rotates on) perched on a flatcar at the head end of the train. Nobody gave it much thought; big loads were normal out of Manitowoc. Ron says as they left the yard and started their run for the grade out of the Lake Michigan basin, as they passed under the C&NW bridge, there was a resounding DONG, and the crew turned to see the ring rolling along next to the train like a giant hula hoop. They watched as it rolled down the riverbank and flopped into the Manitowoc River. It didn't even derail the car it had been on.

Dennis Storzek

Charlie Vlk
 

All-
I can tell you from personal experience that flat cars need to be loaded in
a balanced manner....
....I have two 7 1/2" gauge flat cars equipped with pivoting boat seats for
riding cars. The first has a seat that has a more or less central column
pivot and is bolted to the center of the car. It tracks very well and does
not cause derailments.
The other has a seat that has the support column aligned at the seat back
but it is also bolted to the center of the car. This puts the weight
distribution more to one truck than the other and causes the car to derail
frequently to the point it is unusable in its purchased configuration and
has to go back into the shops for a new seat (repositioning it is not a
solution as the seat needs to be able to pivot for backup moves).
When you are the load in question the distribution of weight causing
derailments becomes a matter of great interest!!!
Charlie Vlk

PS- Yeah, I know, but even a heavy duty depressed center flat would have the
same issues for those thinking about a comment about excessive loading!!!