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Spine Cars -- Why is the B care loaded backwards

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  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • 5 posts
Spine Cars -- Why is the B care loaded backwards
Posted by JohnPenn74 on Sunday, October 29, 2017 3:24 PM

Fellow Modelers,

Does any one have a good manufacturing excuse why one car of a 3 or 5 pack spine set is built and has the B car backwards from all of the other cars in the set?  Seems like it would not be difficult to put the platforms on the other end and load all the other trailers in the same direction. 

JP  

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,286 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 29, 2017 3:31 PM

The "wheel well" could not fit above the truck if the trailer were turned around.  So you'd either have to lengthen the car about 10-15 feet to fit the wheel well NEXT to the truck, or raise the wheel well up to clear.  I think neither is very appealing to the designers of the car.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • 5 posts
Posted by JohnPenn74 on Sunday, October 29, 2017 10:06 PM

Make sense to me.  I see now how the wheel platform is not over the trucks now, and how it would be different (inlength) from the A Unit due to physical limitations. 

From a manufacturing standpoint, that would mean you would have to have different A vs B vs CDE units.  

I must admit I am surprised.  I would have thought the economics of the yard tractors orientating trailers in both directions for loading and unloading would have justified them all the same way.  But then again, I suppose there is no guarantee that the trailers are going to arrive forwards or backwards when the train arrives at the intermodal yard.  Am I correct to assume there is no prefered or required direction or on the cars?

JP

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,286 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 29, 2017 11:22 PM

It's easy to orient a trailer the other direction.  You just drive around the lot and come in from the other direction.  If necessary.  Loading and unloading is a big ballet done by people who are good at it.  They practice a lot.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 6,791 posts
Posted by zstripe on Monday, October 30, 2017 5:00 AM

The hostler can spin it around, right where it is......no big deal...takes about three minutes or less. It's amazing what You can do when You know how.......

I was a crane operator/hostler driver for 15yrs at CSX Intermodel Bedford Park Il.

If a crane was loading/unloading a train and he run across a chassis and or trailer facing the wrong way, He would continue on to the next trailers/containers....He would not wait for someone to fix the spotting error. A hostler/spotter would correct the problem and a side loader would load/unload it.

Some video's to watch, If You like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1E9IEs3hLY

 

I worked for Pacific Rail Services Seattle Wa. and also was a crane operator at the port. Railroad employees DO NOT unload/load Intermodal Trains. It is done by outside contractors like Pac Rail, which believe it or not are Teamsters.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 22,967 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, October 30, 2017 7:00 AM

 Plus the top pickup cranes can just spin the trailer around too, so if the yard is using that sort of lift instead of the glorified fork lift type, it's easy to orient the trailers on the pavement any way they want. 

 As Frank said, any truck driver worth his weight can do some amazing things. Not quite as neat as those little British trucks - the Scammell Mechanical Horse. They had a single front wheel that could be turned perpendicular to the length of the truck to instantly spin around with their own length - both straight bodies AND with trailers. Designed for tightly confined areas like docks and streets built when the live horse was the primary means of travel. 

                      --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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