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Boxcar with hoops

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Boxcar with hoops
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:12 PM

"What is it?" is a lame title for a thread, but that is my question

Henry

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Posted by Mark B on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:28 PM

It appears to be a car to check clearances for the over size load behind it.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:34 PM

I thought of that but in light of the thread where car carriers got their roofs peeled back passing through an overpass, would it be news too late?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:40 PM

And to actually make sure there's nothing obstructing the clearance, similar to the protective framework on the Boeing transport cars:

Dan Bennett from Seattle, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

"Checking" clearances is one thing. Whacking something out of the way can be a better option. Some roads in colder climates used hopper cars with steel framework to knock chunks of ice out of tunnel and snowshed linings, too.

Sometimes, a little more protection is needed:

Regards, Ed

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Posted by mvlandsw on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:49 PM

The Boeing frame may be able to wack something out of the way but the hoops on the boxcar look too light for that.

I suspect that they slow way down anywhere that there is any doubt about the clearance. Then if the hoops contact something they can stop before the load hits.

Those escort vehicles on highways do the same thing with their height probes.

Mark Vinski

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Posted by oldline1 on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 9:19 PM

Love it! After working on the 737 for 35 years seeing them in the river is awesome! Now THAT's water pollution!

oldline1

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Posted by DSchmitt on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 9:37 PM

Car to check clearance.  Note the car behind it.  The hoops are just a little larger and the same shape.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, September 24, 2020 1:11 PM

Space Shuttle SRB segment feeler car.  That's a booster segment container behind it.

If that's a recent picture, those are for the Artemis-1 launch.

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Posted by cx500 on Thursday, September 24, 2020 6:53 PM

When a supersized dimensional load is being handled, it usually will be in a special train with riders to chaperone it.  Whenever there is any question it can stop and do a visual check, then inch cautiously ahead to confirm.  I have seen a stepladder set up on a loaded heavy duty flat. 

Most major railroads have good enough records that they don't need to modify a "feeler gauge".  They also usually allow a few inches margin of error before agreeing to handle it.  They know ahead of time where there are obstructions that need to be moved temporarily, such as signal masts.

Needless to say, the railroads charge accordingly for such special moves.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, September 24, 2020 8:43 PM

Our dimensional loads move with restrictions of various kinds.  The larger the load, the more restrictions.  Some are to only use specific tracks (in multiple track areas) over some bridges.  Others are speed restrictions over certain bridges.  Still others are where the load can meet/pass other trains on adjacent main tracks and at what speeds the trains can move while meeting/passing.

In practice, after a high value dimensional load got sideswiped, all trains with high-wides get more attention.  Even for those loads that are only slightly larger than the largest car and otherwise wouldn't have any restrictions, they now make positive meets on multiple main tracks. 

Jeff

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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, September 25, 2020 9:25 AM

That car is something of a unique car, along with the flat cars themselves.  They're modified and pooled specifically to be used for SRB segment moves.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, September 25, 2020 9:41 AM

One railroad technology company was using video game designers to design a wide load clearance program.  The software would create a "tunnel" the size of the clearances around the tracks, then would run a computer generated version of the wide load through the tunnel along the route to see if it "touched" the wall.  Detector cars with laser measurement equipment measure the clearances along the line.  They also take video so the railroad can then "see" what the obstruction is.

Due to overhangs, a wide load changes width depending on the curvature of the track.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by leewal on Thursday, October 1, 2020 8:15 AM

Not sure what it is exactly. But if it is for checking clearance for the car behind it wouldn't it be better if the car it was measuring for was a little further back? A train can't stop on a dime and the spacing doesn't seem to allow much time to stop.

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Posted by gregc on Thursday, October 1, 2020 8:41 AM

i assume they've already run the check car across the track long before they actually move the car with cargo having a clearance issue

and assume that they slow down whenever there is a potential clearance issue when pulling car with cargo.   isn't that the locomotive just in front of the check car giving the engineer a good view of the check car? 

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by CNSF2 on Thursday, October 1, 2020 9:49 AM
I'm going to be the contrarian here and suggest that the lead car was becoming crooked, so they decided to give it braces.
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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, October 1, 2020 10:17 AM

leewal

Not sure what it is exactly. 

NittanyLion

Space Shuttle SRB segment feeler car.  

Although now it would be more properly the SLS SRB segment instead of Space Shuttle, but that is what they were built for.  The hoops are more for knocking transient objects (ice, tree branches, etc.) out of the way than make sure there's no large, stubborn object in the way.  The shape is a 1:1 match on the profile of the SRB hoods.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/748270/

There's not any real wiggle room on defining what these cars (I think there's two) are.  They're purpose modified for these moves.

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