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TOFC: is it just for vans?

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TOFC: is it just for vans?
Posted by NWP SWP on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 11:25 PM

I stumbled upon this picture of tank trailers on a flatcar, how often were trailers of another type other than FlexiVans shipped via flatcar?

Steven

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 11:43 PM

NWP SWP
how often were trailers of another type other than FlexiVans shipped via flatcar?

All the time.  That's because the original NYC Flexi Vans were just the container portion of the trailer which was slid off its chassi via a special loading device onto a flatcar.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 4:42 AM

Milk express cars:

http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/non-nyc/images/picx-101.jpg

Note the steam line, buffers and safety chains for passenger service. These MDT cars also had turntables, similar to the Flexi-Van setup.

Ringling Brothers used to move a variety of trailers on flat cars occasionally, too.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 6:01 AM

NWP SWP

I stumbled upon this picture of tank trailers on a flatcar, how often were trailers of another type other than FlexiVans shipped via flatcar?

Have you not seen the typical TOFC traffic?  The Flexi van was by far the least common type.  Most TOFC traffic has been standard trailers (and not Flexi van trailers) on standard TOFC flat cars.

The types of trailers were mostly dry vans but tank trailers and flat bed trailers were also on flat cars.  The D&RGW regularly hauled flat bed trailers (usually loaded with pipe).

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:22 AM

Quite apart from tank cars, I have seen flatbed trailers (loaded and empty) on TOFC flatcars, and have seen many photos of auto carrier trailers on flat cars,  in the interim beween double door automobile boxcars and actual double or triple deck auto racks.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:35 AM

Please forgive me, I made a mistake in my terminology. I was meaning closed in trailers or vans, I did not realize FlexiVan was a different type of trailer.

Anyways, that's what my question was, were flat trailers, tanks, etc... transported via flat, that's what I wanted to know.

Steven

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:42 AM

I saw a really weird site one day in the early 1990s when I was working in the old location for the Florida Rock limestone quarry off of Alico Road in Lee County, Florida.

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There was a string of flatcars with open top dump trailers being loader by one of the elevators.

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I have no idea where it was going or why it was being loaded this way. I wish I had a picture, but it was an opportunity forever lost.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:38 AM

NWP SWP
were flat trailers, tanks, etc... transported via flat, that's what I wanted to know.

Yes, bazillions.  There are tons of photo's of them in books and on the internet etc.  Since you are young and maybe don't live anywhere to see many freight trains, I'd guess that's why the question about something which most of us have seen lots of for many years. 

TOFC (Trailers on Flat Cars) traffic is far less common now than in the past as intermodal has evolved and changed to embrace containerized shipments, you still see some but typically they are more on spine cars and I have seen some passing through northern Virginia.

COFC, Containers on Flat Cars was also fairly common and evolved quite a bit in the 1960's and 1970's and in the late 1970's when well cars began being developed to more efficiently handle containers:

http://www.railgoat.railfan.net/spcars/byclass/flat/f070-81.htm

Here is a history of the Trailer Train or TTX corporation which has pretty much been the primary rail company supplying flat cars to the carriers which have hauled trailers - the trailer on flat car traffic started to really boom in the 1960's and evolved over the next several decades:

https://www.ttx.com/about/our-history/

 

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Posted by NWP SWP on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:43 AM

Yeah mainline freights aren't in my rail fanning reach, the closest currently operating line is a short line between two plants and the traffic is mostly tank cars and covered hoppers, the other day though I saw a string of flats loaded with pipe, the power on this line is a ex-ConRail SW1500 that's about it.

Steven

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:50 AM

Google and Youtube are your friends.  You should be able to find tons of info on TOFC  and COFC freight trains there.

Since I am modeling the late 1970's thru early 1980's, I've been working on plenty of 85 and 89 foot long flat cars and 40 and 45' trailers to go on them.  I've gone a little nuts collecting the Athearn Fruehauf trailers which are very accurate for 1970's trailers but getting hard to find and up up up in price.  Trainworx has been recently producing 40 foot straight frame and drop frame trailers in HO as well - not cheap but very nice.  Athearn's used to come in 2-packs for around $22 to $24 but several years ago decided to sell singles for about the same price, effectively doubling the cost!

While 45' trailers did exist in the 1970's, they appeared to be relatively uncommon until about 1982 when changes occurred allowing them to become standardized on railroads.  Companies began rapidly stretching existing 40' trailers to 45' long in 1982 and after and 89' flat cars were rapidly modified to carry 2 45' trailers.  Prior to 1982, they could only carry 2 x 40' trailers or 1 each 40' and 45 trailers.

 

Here is some data you can read if you are having trouble sleeping at night:

 

Trailer Train reporting marks from RMC magazine article (August 1990): 

(I noted that the 89' flat car PTTX markings are not included but keep in mind the date of the article) 

ATTX - 75' all purpose flatcar (center and side tiedowns) 
BTTX - 89' flatcar equipped with bi-level auto rack) 
CTTX - 89' low level flatcar equipped with partially enclosed autorack 
DTTX - 265' Five platform, articulated well-type COFC car capable of carrying double stack containers 
ETTX 89'4" low level flatcar equipped with totally enclosed tri-level autorack 
FTTX 89'4" flatcar equipped with tie down devices for loading automobile or truck frames 
GTTX 85' and 89' General American built flat car equipped with collapsible hitches and bridge plates for transportation of trailers 
HTTX 60' Flatcar equipped with 38 heavy duty chains, snubbers and turnbuckles for carrying earthmoving equipment 
ITTX 89'4" flatcar equipped with special fold away pedestals and 62 tie down winches with chains and bridge plates for carrying trailer tractors saddle back style. 
JTTX 50 - 89'4" flatcar with misc devices applied for lessor special service 
KTTX 89'4" "Twin-45" standard level flat car with fixed hitches at both ends for handling two 45' trailers back to back (over head loading only) 
LTTX 89' Low level flatcar equipped with collapsible hitches and bridge plates. 
MTTX 60-85' 60 foot flatcar with stake pockets for gen service or 85' flatcar with 16 stake pockets, 8 per side for tansporting long pipe. 
NTTX 249' 5-unit articulated COFC car for transporting containers (spine car) 
OTTX 60' Flat car equipped with 36 chains, with snubbers each secured to movable and retractable tie down winches in for longitudinal channels for transporting agricultural equipment 
PTTX 60' flat car equipped with bulkheads space 48'6" apart for transporting plywood and wallboard etc. 
RTTX 89'4" "Twin-45/Tripple 28" standard level flatcar with fixed hitches on ends of car and retractable hitch at center of car. For handling two 45' or three 28' trailers (overhead loading) 
STTX 89'4" "Twin-45" standard level flat car for handling two 45' trailers, equipped with sliding bridge plates for circus style loading 
TTAX 89'4" Standard level flat car equipped with foldaway container pedestals and hitches for TOFC and/or COFC service. 
TTBX 89'4" flat car equipped with bi-level auto rack, rack can be either open or shielded on the sides but does not have roof or doors. 
TTCX 60' and 89' flat car equipped with container pedestals for COFC service. 
TTDX 89'4" flatcar equipped with 16 tie down winches with chains and bridge plates for transporting military vehicles 
TTEX 181'9" two unit TOFC car for hauling four 45' trailers or three 57' trailers (over head loading only) 
TTFX 187'6" four platform TOFC car capable of carrying four 45-trailers 
TTGX 89'4" flatcar equipped with totally enclosed bi-level auto racks 
TTHX 60' 60-foot flat car equipped with 18 heavy duty chains anchored to stake picket castings 
TTJX 68' 68-foot 100-ton flatcar equipped with 22 screw type tie-down devices and stake pockets. 
TTKX 89' flatcar equipped with hinged "B" deck tri-level auto rack. Rack can be either open or shielded on the sides but doesn not have roof or end doors 
TTLX 89' "Twin-45" low level flatcar specially equipped by participant railroads with container pedestals or fixed hitches for assigned corridor. 
TTMX 68' 68-foot 100-ton flatcar equipped with stake pockets and lading strap anchors for general service 
TTNX 89'4" flat car equipped with bi-level auto rack without end doors but with sides and roof panels. 
TTPX 68' 68-foot flat car equipped with bulkheads spaced 62 feet apart and 34 transverse tied down anchors with chains used for transporting plywood etc. 
TTRX 89'4" flatcar equipped with fixed tri-level rack without a hinged "B" deck. Rack can be either open or shielded on the sides but does not have roof or door. 
TTSX 89'4" flat car equipped with coverless enclosed bi-level autorack. 
TTUX 50'6" Single platform TOFC car with single axle trucks capable of carrying one trailer 40-48 foot and up to 102-inches wide w/ nose mounted revering unit over head loading only. 
TTVX 89'4" Low level flatcar equipped with tri-level auto rack with shielded sides without end doors and without or without roofs 
TTWX 89'4" Twin-45 standard level flat car equipped with fold away container pedestals and hitches for TOFC and/or COFC service. 
TTX 50'-89' flatcar equipped with one or two hitches for TOFC service. 
TTZX 64' to 76' 100-ton bulkhead car equipped with center partition and winch type tie down system for carrying lumber products. 
UTTX 256' Five platform articulated TOFC car capable of carrying one trailer per plat forum 40-48 feet and up to 102 inches wide w/ front mounted refridge unit, over head loading only 
VTTX 60' and 85' flatcar equipped with fixed container pedestals for COFC service only 
WTTX 89'4" "Twin-45" standard level flat car with two hitches for TOFC service 
XTTX 89'4" flat car equipped with 4 hitches for TOFC service 
ZTTX 85' flat car equipped with 30 stake pockets for transporting long poles or pipes



Of the 40,260 cars in service in 1978, the number of cars per reporting mark were as follows: 
GTTX 2260 (6%) General American design 
LTTX 1840 (5%) Low Flats 
TTAX 5750 (14%) All purpose flats 
TTCX 700 (2%) container flats 
TTX 29000 (72%) trailer only flats 
XTTX 710 (2%) four-hitch Triple-28s 


July 1982 ORER: 

TTX - 18,831 (AAR Type F877) 
WTTX - 66 (Type F877) 
TTAX - 11,416 (Type F077) 
TTWX - 0 
RTTX - 44 (Type V681 & V682) << Autoracks 
KTTX - 44 (Type V681) << Autoracks 
STTX - 359 (Type F877) 
TTCX - 686 (Type F977) 
TTEX - 0 


April 1985 totals: 

TTX - 17,492 (AAR Type P712 & P812) 
WTTX - 943 (Type P824) 
TTAX - 903 (Type P818) 
TTWX - 13,496 (Type P829) 
RTTX - 0 
KTTX - 1,364 (Type P833) 
STTX - 738 (Type P814) 
TTCX - 674 (Type P736) 
TTEX - 0 


October 1988 ORER (corrected date) 

TTX: 9,367 (includes some 85' and 50' as well) 
TTWX: 14,500 
RTTX: 5,400 (all types, including channel side) 
KTTX: 2,750 (all types, including channel side) 
TTAX: 0 
WTTX: 2,180 (all types, including channel side) 
STTX: 649 
TTCX: 944 (only 445 are 89' cars) 
TTEX: 129 (all types, including channel side) 


October 1991 ORER 

TTX: 2,112 (includes a few 85' and prototype cars) 
TTWX: 14,035 
RTTX: 5,099 (all types, including channel side) 
KTTX: 2,352 (all types, including channel side) 
TTAX: 2,201 (5 unit articulated all-purpose spine car) 
WTTX: 1,283 (all types, including channel side) 
STTX: 166 
TTCX: 665 (only 171 are 89' cars) 
TTEX: 197 (all types, including channel side) 

Posted at MRH forums:


Sun, 2017-06-04 12:49 — ctown2gn19
So after crunching some numbers I figured out the percentage of 85' flats to total flats owned by TTX. This includes 60', 87' 89', 48', 75'. Of the 53339 cars that TTX owned, 12891 of them were 85' flats as of April 1970. Now this number is sure to change after April, as the ORER's are published quarterly. So 10 years later in 1980, the numbers maybe completely different. That said, here's the complete listing of all 85' flat road numbers according to the ORER. This does not mean that all of these 85' flats were used in container/trailer service either.

Read more: http://atlasrescueforum.proboards.com/thread/5568/ttx-reporting-marks-orer-data#ixzz5Je4VUpMz

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:42 PM

    I guess it depends on where you live but there is no shortage of trailers on flatcars or spine cars in southern California. Trains almost always have plenty of both style railcars mixed together. Every day several trains entirely of trailers leave here heading east. Most of the trailers are standard box style but an increasing number of them are refrigerated.
    There are more trains full of trailers than there are containers but there are a lot of containers. Trailers and containers are the top two types of trains these days. Sometimes trains coming from the east will have both trailers and containers but almost all of the ones originating in California heading east are solid trailers or solid containers. Containers are not always on double stack well cars. Sometimes there are containers loaded on all purpose flatbed rail cars.
    Once in a while I will see a few empty container chassis on flatbeds. It is very rare to see flatbed trailers and I never see tank trailers. Sometimes I see a trailer that the 5th wheel is on one flatbed railcar and the wheels are on another one. I guess there is no rule saying that a trailer has to be completely on one railcar only.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:46 PM

I live near an east-west N-S mainline west of Manassas VA and there is a lot of traffic but mostly here the intermodal are containers but there is a significant ammount of Trailers too, mostly really long trailers - nothing like what I remember from the olden days.

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 1:03 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe

Sometimes I see a trailer that the 5th wheel is on one flatbed railcar and the wheels are on another one. I guess there is no rule saying that a trailer has to be completely on one railcar only.

 

 

That would be a TTEX flat.  They are two old flats connected with a drawbar.  Thus, they officially ARE one railcar. 

A regular 89' flat can only carry one 53' trailer.  A TTEX flat can carry 3, with one bridging the two parts.

 

They seem to be in dramatic decline these days.  Also 89' flats, for that matter.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by chutton01 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 1:53 PM

I realize it's only 'anecdata' without real numbers, but judging from images of 'early' TOFC (say to the mid-1960s), there was a greater mix of non dry-van trailers (and refeers) vs. flatbeds, dump trailers, tank trailers etc., maybe more in line with their ratios on the road.  By the early 1970s it seems van trailers greatly predominated.
Of course, by the start of this decade COFC outnumbered TOFC by a (IIRC) 9 or 10 to 1 ratio.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 5:08 PM

Will Stephen make the association with the music, or did he not see the movie? Devil

Henry

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Posted by NWP SWP on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 6:41 PM

I'll try to watch it in a little while, PTTX also could be a flat loaded with pipe, at least that's what I saw the other day.

Steven

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Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, July 04, 2018 9:40 PM

"Modern" TOFC started in 1936 on the CGW, where private trucking companies shipped on railroad-owned flats.  The NH was the 2nd modern TOFC carrier in 1937 and used the CGW method.  The NH was the #1 TOFC railroad in the USA until SP got into the act in the early 1950's.

A common trailer-type hauled on these early railroads would have been "rag tops".  These looked like regular vans but they had a removable canvas roof.  This allowed easy loading/unloading from above.  See pics: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/fileSendAction/fcType/0/fcOid/40145252483919200/filePointer/40849089162899856/fodoid/40849089162899852/imageType/LARGE/inlineImage/true/image.jpg
https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/fileSendAction/fcType/0/fcOid/40145252483919200/filePointer/40849089286875947/fodoid/40849089286875945/imageType/LARGE/inlineImage/true/image.jpg

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