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Military loads - "Roco" depressed center flat for foriegn service - photo

Steven D Johnson
 

Dan,

 

Attached is a photo of one of the “Roco” cars, with the information that these were for foreign service.  I can’t make out the car number.  Note the three gauges listed.

 

Steve Johnson

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Daniel A. Mitchell
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 11:43 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Military loads.

 

I found a photo on the internet showing a T43 (M-103 prototype) on a depressed-center flatcar like the Roco model.

 

 

Unfortunately, the ends of the photo are cropped, so the presence or absence of buffers cannot be determined. The car is clearly lettered USA and carries the ordinance corps. symbol. The trucks are older-style Buckeye trucks with external equalizer bars. Roco got this right … their regular 6-axle USA flat has normal Buckeye trucks.

 

In an actual shipment the turret would be reversed and the gun clamped in the travel-lock shown at the back of the vehicle. Note the blocking and tie-down rods. Compared to other photos of M-103’s in transit these seem  inadequate …usually there are more blocks and more rods or chains.

 

Anyone have a better photo of this?

 

Dan MItchell

==========

 

 

On Feb 5, 2019, at 9:58 AM, Daniel A. Mitchell <danmitch@...> wrote:

 

Your position is reasonable. I do have a loading diagram for the M-103 (or one of it’s look-alike predecessors) on a depressed-center 6-axle flat that appears identical to the Roco model.

 

I too have photos of the M-103 loaded on the standard Army 6-axle “Roco" flat. The weight of the tank (about 65 tons) is well within the car’s 100-ton capacity.  Related issues are …

 

1) the M-103 Heavy Tank was substantially taller than it’s smaller cousin the M-48 Medium Tank. I suspect the issue may be overall height … in olden days with tighter clearance some movements may have required the lower overall height offered with transport on a depressed-center car.

 

2) For whatever reason the M-103 was often loaded on huge timbers running the length of the vehicle's track, between the track and flatcar deck. these were 8"-10” thick. This raised the height of the load by the same amount. Why? To spread weight? To reduce damage to the flatcar’s deck? Such timbers were often, but not always, used with the Army’s 6-axle “Roco” flat.

 

3) With the depressed-center car loading would be more of an issue. The tank is almost as long as the depressed center part of the car. Loading would almost have to be done with an overhead crane (common anyway). While turning the tank with a “neutral steer” (pivot) might have been possible, it would likely result in some huge stresses to the flatcar, and also tear-up the wooden deck.

 

In all cases, the tank is considerably wider than the flatcar’s deck (this is also true for the smaller M48-M60 tanks). The tracks overhang the edge of the deck by about a foot on either side. Side-clearance issues were a problem as the M-103’s Technical Manual clearly states.

 

Tie-down of such a vehicle in the “steam" era consisted of the use of MANY, large wooden blocks, cut-to fit, and jammed into several locations … in front and behind the tracks, and between the road wheels. Cleats along the inside-run of the tracks prevened side-to side shifting, possibly the use of large timbers under the tracks (above), and multiple (like 12-16) tie-down rods, chains or cables. Assorted loose items from the tank’s exterior (“pioneer tools”, machine guns), spare parts, etc. were packaged in wooden crates and strapped to the flatcar’s deck. Sometimes the main gun tube was removed and also packed in a wooden crate.  Sometimes the whole load was tarped or partially crated.

 

Nowadays they seem to use mostly a spider-web of chains (6-8 on each end) and little or no blocking. The modern flatcars also have full-length tie-down channels set into the deck.

 

Dan Mitchell

========== 

On Feb 4, 2019, at 5:21 PM, spsalso via Groups.Io <Edwardsutorik@...> wrote:

 

I will disagree with Dan's statement that "The depressed-center flat is the transport carrier for the M-103 Heavy Tank...".

First, while there is a photo that appears to show an M-103 on such a car, there is some doubt that the car and load ever traveled more than a few feet.  There is also doubt that these cars ever operated in the US.

Second.  The shop manual for the M-103 shows a drawing of one loaded on the (prototype) non-depressed Roco car.  I presume this drawing was presented as a typical loading.

I intend to place my (HO) M-103's on the plain vanilla Army 6-axle flats.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

 

 

Tony Thompson
 

Dan Mitchell wrote:

In an actual shipment the turret would be reversed and the gun clamped in the travel-lock shown at the back of the vehicle. 

      Some loading diagrams for tanks do show the turret pointing forward and the barrel lock located there.

Tony Thompson



Daniel A. Mitchell
 

Nice! … however, BROAD gauges?  … 60” Russia? .. who used 5’-6” gauge?

Thanks,

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Feb 5, 2019, at 8:14 PM, Steven D Johnson <tenncentralrwy@...> wrote:

Dan,
 
Attached is a photo of one of the “Roco” cars, with the information that these were for foreign service.  I can’t make out the car number.  Note the three gauges listed.
 
Steve Johnson
 
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Daniel A. Mitchell
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 11:43 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Military loads.
 
I found a photo on the internet showing a T43 (M-103 prototype) on a depressed-center flatcar like the Roco model.
 
<image002.jpg>
 
Unfortunately, the ends of the photo are cropped, so the presence or absence of buffers cannot be determined. The car is clearly lettered USA and carries the ordinance corps. symbol. The trucks are older-style Buckeye trucks with external equalizer bars. Roco got this right … their regular 6-axle USA flat has normal Buckeye trucks.
 
In an actual shipment the turret would be reversed and the gun clamped in the travel-lock shown at the back of the vehicle. Note the blocking and tie-down rods. Compared to other photos of M-103’s in transit these seem  inadequate …usually there are more blocks and more rods or chains.
 
Anyone have a better photo of this?
 
Dan MItchell
==========
 
 
On Feb 5, 2019, at 9:58 AM, Daniel A. Mitchell <danmitch@...> wrote:
 
Your position is reasonable. I do have a loading diagram for the M-103 (or one of it’s look-alike predecessors) on a depressed-center 6-axle flat that appears identical to the Roco model.
 
I too have photos of the M-103 loaded on the standard Army 6-axle “Roco" flat. The weight of the tank (about 65 tons) is well within the car’s 100-ton capacity.  Related issues are …
 
1) the M-103 Heavy Tank was substantially taller than it’s smaller cousin the M-48 Medium Tank. I suspect the issue may be overall height … in olden days with tighter clearance some movements may have required the lower overall height offered with transport on a depressed-center car.
 
2) For whatever reason the M-103 was often loaded on huge timbers running the length of the vehicle's track, between the track and flatcar deck. these were 8"-10” thick. This raised the height of the load by the same amount. Why? To spread weight? To reduce damage to the flatcar’s deck? Such timbers were often, but not always, used with the Army’s 6-axle “Roco” flat.
 
3) With the depressed-center car loading would be more of an issue. The tank is almost as long as the depressed center part of the car. Loading would almost have to be done with an overhead crane (common anyway). While turning the tank with a “neutral steer” (pivot) might have been possible, it would likely result in some huge stresses to the flatcar, and also tear-up the wooden deck.
 
In all cases, the tank is considerably wider than the flatcar’s deck (this is also true for the smaller M48-M60 tanks). The tracks overhang the edge of the deck by about a foot on either side. Side-clearance issues were a problem as the M-103’s Technical Manual clearly states.
 
Tie-down of such a vehicle in the “steam" era consisted of the use of MANY, large wooden blocks, cut-to fit, and jammed into several locations … in front and behind the tracks, and between the road wheels. Cleats along the inside-run of the tracks prevened side-to side shifting, possibly the use of large timbers under the tracks (above), and multiple (like 12-16) tie-down rods, chains or cables. Assorted loose items from the tank’s exterior (“pioneer tools”, machine guns), spare parts, etc. were packaged in wooden crates and strapped to the flatcar’s deck. Sometimes the main gun tube was removed and also packed in a wooden crate.  Sometimes the whole load was tarped or partially crated.
 
Nowadays they seem to use mostly a spider-web of chains (6-8 on each end) and little or no blocking. The modern flatcars also have full-length tie-down channels set into the deck.
 
Dan Mitchell
========== 
On Feb 4, 2019, at 5:21 PM, spsalso via Groups.Io <Edwardsutorik@...> wrote:
 
I will disagree with Dan's statement that "The depressed-center flat is the transport carrier for the M-103 Heavy Tank...".

First, while there is a photo that appears to show an M-103 on such a car, there is some doubt that the car and load ever traveled more than a few feet.  There is also doubt that these cars ever operated in the US.

Second.  The shop manual for the M-103 shows a drawing of one loaded on the (prototype) non-depressed Roco car.  I presume this drawing was presented as a typical loading.

I intend to place my (HO) M-103's on the plain vanilla Army 6-axle flats.


Ed

Edward Sutorik 
 
 

<USArmydepressedcenterflatcar.jpg>

Daniel A. Mitchell
 

It depends on the vehicle. You need info on the particular vehicle being represented. Most all have some form of gun-tube travel-lock to protect the somewhat delicate rotation and elevation machinery. Some machines have front-mounted travel-locks (most of the M4 Sherman tanks). Some have internal travel-locks (the M-18 and M-1 Abrams), but most (including the M-103 and the Patton series (M-46, M-47, M-48, and M-60) have rear mounted travel-locks. 

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Feb 5, 2019, at 8:45 PM, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:

Dan Mitchell wrote:

In an actual shipment the turret would be reversed and the gun clamped in the travel-lock shown at the back of the vehicle. 

      Some loading diagrams for tanks do show the turret pointing forward and the barrel lock located there.

Tony Thompson



Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 06:29 PM, Daniel A. Mitchell wrote:
Nice! … however, BROAD gauges?  … 60” Russia? .. who used 5’-6” gauge?
 
Parts of the rail network in India and Pakistan use 66" gauge.

Dennis Storzek

Garth Groff
 

Dennis and Daniel,

Add to that, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Chile and Argentina. According to Wikipedia, 11.37% of the world's track is 5' 6" gauge. In WWII US forces contributed heavily to the defense of the Indian sub-continent on the Burma front, and supplied Nationalist Chinese forces through India via air and the Burma Road. What rail equipment the US might brought to India is beyond me, but this experience probably influenced the later purchase of cars to this gauge. No doubt strategic planning for possible "intervention" in South America was also on the minds of the Generals.

It isn't clear if the cars in the photo were made and stored in these gauges, or if the cars were convertible. Some diesel locomotives manufactured for use by the US military overseas could "easily" be converted to narrow or broad gauge.

Perhaps unknown to most of the list (and irrelevant, as well, since the railroad doesn't own freight cars), but the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in the San Francisco Bay region uses this gauge.

For a list of gauges and the countries that use them, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_gauge .

As a former librarian, I would be remiss if I didn't remind all of you that training, maintenance, and shipping manuals for military rail equipment were printed by the War Department and later the DOD. There are U.S. Government Depository Libraries in every state which hold these materials. The University of Virginia (where I worked) was one such library, and although not all the manuals were in their collection, there were still quite a few of interest. The War Department series would be of great use to some on this group. Also of value is the Army Corps of Engineers "Port Series" books, which have detailed information and maps of facilities (including railroads) at US shipping points, and have been updated regularly since series began in the 1930s.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 2/5/19 10:58 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 06:29 PM, Daniel A. Mitchell wrote:
Nice! … however, BROAD gauges?  … 60” Russia? .. who used 5’-6” gauge?
 
Parts of the rail network in India and Pakistan use 66" gauge.

Dennis Storzek

Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 01:44 AM, Garth Groff wrote:
It isn't clear if the cars in the photo were made and stored in these gauges, or if the cars were convertible.
My bet is convertible. The key point would be trucks designed to clear wheels spaced to the widest gauge. The cars could have been converted by changing the wheels sets and brake beams before they left the states for their intended destination, or, with the foresight to provide long wheel seats on the axles, just run through the shop to have the wheels pressed to the desired gauge.

Dennis Storzek

Gene Green
 

Sixty inch gauge is Russia and Spain but where is 66" in use or was in use?

Garth Groff
 

Gene,

As noted, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Chile and Argentina use 5' 6"/66"/1,676 mm. The South Asian countries had the gauge imposed upon them by the British Raj. IIRC, Chile and Argentina had at least part of their rail system developed by British investors/contractors.

Russia, and other states of the former Soviet Union use 5'/60"/1520 mm gauge, a leftover from Imperial Russia which chose this gauge to blunt feared European invasions. This gauge was used in Panama, from the 1850s when US investors built that country's first railway as a portage to avoid sailing around Cape Horn to get to the California gold rush. This gauge was continued with the Panama Canal project. I thought Panama still used 5', but according to Wikipedia the line was rebuilt to standard gauge in 2001. The electric mules that still haul ships through the canal locks remain 5' gauge.

Spain and Portugal use the so called "Iberian gauge" of 5' 5 1/2" or 1,668 mm, though I have no idea why.

We are getting far away from US freight cars, so this will be my last comment on gauges, unless it comes up again in the US Army context.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 2/6/19 9:52 AM, Gene Green via Groups.Io wrote:
Sixty inch gauge is Russia and Spain but where is 66" in use or was in use?

Richard Townsend
 

Adding to what Garth says, I also have found the US Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, VA (Newport News) to be helpful. I went there several years ago and, among other things, they had several Army rail cars outside. I remember a single-dome tank car especially, but there was quite a bit of other equipment there as well. Looking at Google Earth, I don't see the cars stored outside, but there appears to be anew building with RR tracks entering it, so I'm guessing they are displayed inside now. But they also have a library and a helpful staff. I recommend a visit highly. Canadians and other foreigners: give them at least 45 days notice of your visit. All: be prepared for a brief but rigorous screening and vehicle inspection before you're allowed onto the base.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


From: Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Feb 6, 2019 1:45 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Military loads - "Roco" depressed center flat for foriegn service - photo


As a former librarian, I would be remiss if I didn't remind all of you that training, maintenance, and shipping manuals for military rail equipment were printed by the War Department and later the DOD. There are U.S. Government Depository Libraries in every state which hold these materials. The University of Virginia (where I worked) was one such library, and although not all the manuals were in their collection, there were still quite a few of interest. The War Department series would be of great use to some on this group. Also of value is the Army Corps of Engineers "Port Series" books, which have detailed information and maps of facilities (including railroads) at US shipping points, and have been updated regularly since series began in the 1930s.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


Benjamin Hom
 

Richard Townshend wrote:
"All: be prepared for a brief but rigorous screening and vehicle inspection before you're allowed onto the base."

Not if you're active duty, reserve, guard with a valid CAC, or retired military (barring random FPCON increases).

Visited before I retired from the Navy Reserve in the Summer of 2017 - the railroad rolling stock has been moved under cover.  Makes photography challenging, but it's much better for the equipment in the long run.


Ben Hom

Carl Marsico
 

Does anyone know of any "domestic" prototypes that can be built using the Roco model as a starting point?