[Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] More boring well car stuff pt 6, was: Photo: Reading Well Hole Flat Car 99009 (Undated)
Gatwood, Elden J SAD
How about this combo of well car AND depressed center flat?
It used a GSC casting to combine load-bearing well floor with depressed well, to boot.
Load distributed on end decks and side sills.
USS Homestead Works was a particularly good customer.
Listed as “FD”.
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2020 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] More boring well car stuff pt 5, was: Photo: Reading Well Hole Flat Car 99009 (Undated)
Then there are these guys.
I DARE you to build one. (The F&C kit is a great start). Prepare for some interesting fabrications!
PRR took a handful of regular F25, and took the floor out and replaced it with thinner cross bars as shown in F25C interior. (Thanks to the great Craig Bossler)
This dropped the load inches closer to the floor, but not suspended, but on a load-bearing floor. Note how load is secured in 435482.
The diagonal plate or tank head loaders did the same thing, but with the additions of the racks onto which the load rested, on that one side of the cars.
These cars were heavily notated about load distribution, as you can guess.
The B&M cars that served GE were a hybrid of well and well hole. (F&C kit, also) They had a non-load-bearing well, being more of a protection for the bottom of the load, than something bearing weight. Those bore the load entirely on the end decking, by use of long beams that spanned the length of the car. Take a look at that kit, for a really nice build.
Then there are the well cars with no floor, like the FN.
Here is Jack Consoli’s fabulous rendition (featured in TKM) in which the load is both suspended and distributed to side sills and ends, but blocked inside the well with distribution to the end members shown in the photo of 470026. Yes, stenciled merely as “FW”.
The F37B got the very tallest loads that could be accommodated on a railroad. Obviously they traveled widely, since nothing else could do what they did.
One of the interesting engineering problems in those days was how to distribute a load across the car without destroying the car.
For well cars with floors that were load-bearing, it generally involved distributing part of the load to the inside of the car where the load attached, but also to the (generally) more rugged (and deeper) side sill, by means of a series of load-bearing shapes connecting well bottom/side cross members, to the outside sill.
RDG 99009 is one of those. This load is clearly resting on the floor. No load is transferred to the ends or side sills.
But, Here are a couple shots illustrating a load being transferred to the side sill:
Concentration of a load on the floor would punch through the generally thin or shallow cross bearers in these cars. The Otis load is being spread out broadly.
I thought maybe one or two of you would be interested in this murky subject:
There are at least several kinds of well cars, interestingly not separated in the AAR classification, which just lumps them together as “FW” – “Flat well-hole car for special transportation of plate glass, etc. This car is a flat car with hole in middle to enable lading to be dropped down on account of clearance limits.”
Clear as mud.
To a shipper that has a vertically oversized load to ship, there are some important considerations I would want to know. Does the car have a floor in the well? How far is it from the rails? Is the floor load bearing? If my load added on top of that still exceeds clearance, are portions of the floor removable in order to drop it closer to the rail without touching (especially important in the shipment of giant rings or circular ductwork or piping/valves)? If this still doesn’t work, is there a car that has no floor that I could suspend the load into, that would work? We are literally talking inches here….
None of that is clear in an AAR classification, forcing one to look at each car in detail, a shipper’s nightmare.
I can’t answer why, but they never did fully flesh this out.
PRR clearly had shippers in mind when they put more info in the ORER under each car, as notes (more on that in a follow-on).
Attached, the earliest PRR well hole car, the FN, with no floor, and the FNA with a nominal floor that can be removed if needed. It is clearly not a load bearing floor.
The last photo is interesting. The shipper needs both flooring partially (at the least) removed, AND a tilt to the load to get it within clearance limits. They have clearly supported the edges of the load above the rails by installing supports beneath on either side of the rim. How’s THAT for an innovative solution?
These guys were smart!
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Photo: Reading Well Hole Flat Car 99009 (Undated)
A photo from the National Archives of Canada:
This photo can be enlarged quite a bit.
Car built 1924, photo taken 1938 or later.