[Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Photo: Seamless Pipe Fitting Load On GN Flat Car 60031 (1956) now PRR cars
Gatwood, Elden J SAD
It may be semantic, but take a look at these oddball flat cars (which I love), as examples of well and well hole flats.
The PRR FN was a 37-car class of well hole flats (I guess as opposed to well “pocket” flats), constructed between 1902 and 1915, to accommodate loads that could not be accommodated by other cars due to the intended height of the load, so were suspended over the rails on a pressed steel assembly of riveted steel members sandwiched one next to another. I am sorry I do not have a photo to show you, but there are several in the PRRT&HS flat car book.
The FNA is a well flat with removeable flooring to convert it to well hole flat when needed. These 20 cars were converted from FN between 1926 and 1929 for things like vessel screws (like the G25 screw cars, there were never enough during war time), but with more load capacity atop a wooden floor that could be removed. FNA were very popular during WW2 for other loads, like for 40mm Bofors twin gun tubs, perhaps mounted horizontally (I am looking forward to those photos).
With wartime demand, PRR constructed an additional 20 flats as slightly longer versions of the FNA in 1942, as class F37. The removable flooring and structural cross-members remained.
During 1950-53, 31 FN and FNA were rebuilt as 14 F37A (the remainder scrapped or held in reserve for conversion to F37B). They also had floors atop structural members crossing the well.
The F37B were converted between 1948 and 1952, from original FN, with newer ends (longer) to accommodate their new brake gear at both ends of the car. They were well hole flats, not provided floors, but with structural members on either end of the pocket. See photos.
Semantic, no doubt, but interesting to some of us that find them fascinating.
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Photo: Seamless Pipe Fitting Load On GN Flat Car 60031 (1956)
I don’t read that from either ORER or pic. It has a wood floor, something you don’t generally have in a well HOLE flat, which has no cross-members beneath the “hole”, which this car has no evidence of. No shadows beneath the car, either, which you usually see on well hole cars.
This looks to me to be a conversion of a “standard” flat car, to one with a shallow well, in which the cross-members/bearers have been replaced in the well, by I-beams either welded, bolted, or riveted (I cannot see), to the bottom of the side sill, and reinforced beneath, for support of the five replacements. Removable floor supports generally have evidence of them in the form of brackets or additional reinforcements into which bolts are inserted, which do not appear here.
I pondered whether this might be a “sectional” well hole flat like PRR’s F49’s, but nothing appears different around a potential removable “section” that comes out to allow a further drop through the floor, like the excellent photo on the cover of the PRRT&HS flat car book.
All that being said, I remain open to convincing!
Elden, that is DEFINITELY a well-hole flat. You can see in the panel where the LD LMT is shown that the bottom of the “pipe fitting” is below the deck. And all that bracing, the timbers and the tie rods, are clearly temporary.
These GN cars are very interesting. I know next to nothing about them, except what I can glean from photos. I believe it is a well flat, not a well HOLE flat, since it does not look like the floor supports are removable. I have wondered what GN needed these cars for, since it is usually an on-line customer that needed them. These shipments were just lucrative enough that RRs could be convinced the roster them, otherwise….not.
The side members are surprisingly slender for a more typical well flat, which generally had deep side sills, but there is that u/f, which indicates the well is not that deep….
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Photo: Seamless Pipe Fitting Load On GN Flat Car 60031 (1956)
A photo from the Wisconsin Historical Society:
Appears to be a well hole flat car.