Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Loading dock to car clearance

3054 views
12 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 175 posts
Loading dock to car clearance
Posted by jwar41 on Thursday, August 09, 2012 10:16 PM

Is there a standard clearance between the loading dock to the standing car.  I'm thinking 24 inches is minimum but not sure.

Thanks in advance for the info....John

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: San Joaquin Valley, CA, USA
  • 4,922 posts
Posted by ericsp on Thursday, August 09, 2012 11:12 PM
  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • 146 posts
Posted by Boise Nampa & Owyhee on Friday, August 10, 2012 6:22 AM

John...

Scale must be set aside for this question.  Find and NMRA gauge and rely in it.  Most hobby stores or directly through NMRA.

Stand up the gauge on the rails and move your structures up to the side of the gauge.  Easy.

see ya

Bob

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 7,469 posts
Posted by dknelson on Friday, August 10, 2012 8:15 AM

Boise Nampa & Owyhee

John...

Scale must be set aside for this question.  Find and NMRA gauge and rely in it.  Most hobby stores or directly through NMRA.

Stand up the gauge on the rails and move your structures up to the side of the gauge.  Easy.

see ya

Bob

The standard NMRA track gauge does indeed show the clearances for sides of most cars on straight track.  If the siding has a curve you need more space.  Also don't read Bob's suggestion to say that the building should touch the side of the gauge.  Tthat is not the point.   it should clear it. 

Note also that some modern freight cars exceed Plate C or other such standard measurements and thus may need even more space if you have such cars on your layout (extra wide loads, ditto). 

The NMRA track gauge is an often underestimated and misunderstood item.  There is a pretty good video on this website where Jim Hediger rather quickly walks us through its various uses, including this side clearance use

http://mrr.trains.com/en/Videos/Expert%20Tips/2011/09/Video%20How%20to%20use%20an%20NMRA%20gauge.aspx

 

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 175 posts
Posted by jwar41 on Friday, August 10, 2012 11:20 AM

Thanks Dave. Yes i am well aware of using the track gauge, however it is not applicable for my project as you kindly stated.

My project is an industry that has never been modeled that I'm aware of. Being that I have very straight loading dock's on both sides of this complex ( to facilitate using four types of cars) I'm thinking a two foot clearance should look prototypical.

When I worked for the railroad I remember it just wasn't a short step or small gap across from the car to the dock, as one had to make an effort to make a short jump to it LOL Also walking between the dock and car was rather tight of which I am thinking two feet. The project for my layout is in very tight quarters and have to compress a tad to get everything to look prototypical.

Originally I wanted a road directly across the length of the  the front of the fascia, for a 5 to 6 inch setback as it is on the upper level,  however now it just may be a creek along this front side. I guess we all should own an aircraft hanger, but then we would expand beyond that LOL.

A big  thanks to all the replies of this thread, have a great day....John

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 7,821 posts
Posted by dehusman on Friday, August 10, 2012 2:03 PM

Short answer, no.

The standards for tracks are to the centerline of the track, not to the car.

The UP standard for industrial tracks is 9 ft from the centerline to loading docks,

See page 5:

http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/operations/specs/attachments/amended/track_design.pdf

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 1,790 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, August 10, 2012 2:58 PM

Here's a picture that might be of use:

 

 

Ed

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 7,821 posts
Posted by dehusman on Friday, August 10, 2012 3:12 PM

A standard AAR photo, notice the road name and reporting marks on the cars has been airbrushed over and replaced with "North & South" railroad. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 12,882 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, August 10, 2012 3:39 PM

Let's look at from the prototype view..

First there is no room to stand between car and the dock or  building.I been there when I worked at a warehouse..The dock door was wide enough for me to open the boxcar door.

Why?

Simply put a forklift doesn't have wings and it must go from dock to freight car floor.

A dock plate can be used at doors to reach the load but,there are safety and OSHA rules to follow while placing a dock plate.A dock plate is also known as a dock bridge..

As far as tank cars and covered hoppers there is plenty of room since you're using a hose and air powered vibrators or pumps to unload these cars.

And yes there is a hose that fits on the unloading gate of a covered hopper.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 175 posts
Posted by jwar41 on Friday, August 10, 2012 10:35 PM

 

 

BRAKIE

Let's look at from the prototype view

Great...Been there....Done that..

First there is no room to stand between car and the dock or  building.I been there when I worked at a warehouse..The dock door was wide enough for me to open the boxcar door.

A warehouse...I take it you only worked at one sir ???

 

Why?

Simply put a forklift doesn't have wings and it must go from dock to freight car floor.

No kidding...yer joking...did I ask that LOL

That's kinda like opening a dock door...didn't know they had cellarsBow

 

I too retired from the railroad as a foreman and know for a fact there are various clearances depending on the year and codes, as stated above before your reply, UP is 9 feet from center of track, that's close to three feet of clearance of which you can check with your scale rule.

A dock plate can be used at doors to reach the load but,there are safety and OSHA rules to follow while placing a dock plate.A dock plate is also known as a dock bridge..

Don't agree, I never put any employee in jeopardy of personal injury, concerning Safety,  we used dock plates an were secured per our company's safety policies, A loaded forklift due to height of dock to car, and the gap can be an accident waiting to happen as not all forklifts have big tires, OR balanced loads, we too had an area very close dock, we still used dock plates. Also some load had a very Hi center of gravity, four foot height of forks moving over  two tons.

As far as tank cars and covered hoppers there is plenty of room since you're using a hose and air powered vibrators or pumps to unload these cars.

 

And yes there is a hose that fits on the unloading gate of a covered hopper.Dots - Sign

Thank you for your reply....John

  

 

Tags: e
  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 12,882 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, August 11, 2012 4:04 PM

A warehouse...I take it you only worked at one sir ???

---------------------------------

No..I've worked at two(first was to little pay and I quit and I quit since I was tired of working 12\0/7) after being laid off from the railroad..I operated a forklift-A Clark and a Toyota be to exact..

I have used dock plates/bridges before and as long as the safety rules are followed there is little danger..I don't like 'em but,they can be a necessary evil.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,487 posts
Posted by mlehman on Saturday, August 11, 2012 11:57 PM

There's the standard stuff -- then there's narrowgauge. However, the point applies to both SG and NG, so bear with me.

The Rio Grande C-class locos were slim little darlings for the most part. The HOn3 works well for gauging clearance with these.

The C-25 is one exception (there may be others, as I think the C-21s were about as wide). She's wide in the cylinders, so the gauge will steer you wrong.

Bring in the Ks and things get sticky. The K-27 is around 10' across the outside of the cylinders, the K-28 and K-36 just a tad wider.

As I noted, this does apply to both SG and NG. The NMRA gauge works pretty well with diesels, but is not so definitive with steam, where things can be more irregular and protruding near the rails. Always check critical clearances with what you know will be your widest motive power that you plan to use on that track.

Yep, curves need special checking with the longest rolling stock you plan to operate there and don't cut it so narrow there's no clearance, either, leave some slack.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 12,882 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, August 12, 2012 10:09 AM

Always check critical clearances with what you know will be your widest motive power that you plan to use on that track.

------------------------------

I keep the space close as possible without fouling the movement of the car being spotted.

As far as locomotives like the prototype I do use restrictions on where a locomotive is allowed to operate since that adds to the overall realism.

Also I'm not above using idler cars when necessary-again just like the prototype does in some cases.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook

Loading...