Designation of rail car ends

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Designation of rail car ends
Posted by JustWonderin' on Monday, January 29, 2018 9:14 PM

I just read the News Wire article about the Santa Fe tool car.  In it was the comment that the "B" end truck had been disassembled.

Are the designations of (I presume) "A" and "B" ends just for convenience and clarity when describing something about the car (e.g. location of needed repair or perhaps records of work done) or are the "A" and "B" ends of a car physically different?   If the ends are physically different, what typically are the differences?

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Monday, January 29, 2018 9:35 PM

If I read things correctly, B end has the brake wheel.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Monday, January 29, 2018 10:29 PM

Chuck is correct, when there is only one carbody and one handbrake.  

If both ends have brake levers (many articulated double-stack cars, for example), the end is designated.  The units are identified according to the end of the car they represent (on a three-unit car, the units are A-C-B; on a five-unit car the units are A-E-D-C-B).

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Monday, January 29, 2018 11:41 PM

CShaveRR

Chuck is correct, when there is only one carbody and one handbrake.  

If both ends have brake levers (many articulated double-stack cars, for example), the end is designated.  The units are identified according to the end of the car they represent (on a three-unit car, the units are A-C-B; on a five-unit car the units are A-E-D-C-B).

That almost sounds like a lyric from "Gitarzan" by Ray Stevens!  Not as funny as "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival" but close.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:33 AM

ChuckCobleigh
That almost sounds like a lyric from "Gitarzan" by Ray Stevens! Not as funny as "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival" but close.

Reminds me of the old joke about the merger between the advertising agencies Doyle Dane Bernbach and Batton, Barton, Durstine & Osborne in New York.  Question was what the merged company would be called.  The answer was

BBDODDB-the-the-that's all, folks!

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Posted by JustWonderin' on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:38 PM

Thanks, everybody!

I should have thought about the brakes on a single unit, but I never thought about the articulated cars.

I appreciate the training (puns intended)!

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:00 PM

Here's one to ponder.  Cabooses?*  Or if you prefer; shoving platforms, gang cars, etc.

Jeff

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Posted by NP Eddie on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:55 PM

I picked up a conductor and engineer at Northtown about 5AM one morning about 2000 and knew the conductor very well. I said, "One caboose, two cabooses, why aren't two cabooses cabeese". He laughed and said I had too much time on my hands.

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, February 01, 2018 9:30 AM

jeffhergert
Here's one to ponder. Cabooses?* Or if you prefer; shoving platforms, gang cars, etc. Jeff *Sorry, I don't use cabeese.

Cabin cars. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 01, 2018 10:59 AM

zugmann
 
jeffhergert
Here's one to ponder. Cabooses?* Or if you prefer; shoving platforms, gang cars, etc. Jeff *Sorry, I don't use cabeese.
 
Cabin cars. 

If a Engineer kicks a group of Cabin Cars hard do you end up with Cabins in the Woods?

         

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, February 01, 2018 12:06 PM

jeffhergert

Here's one to ponder.  Cabooses?*  Or if you prefer; shoving platforms, gang cars, etc.

Jeff

*Sorry, I don't use cabeese.  

Just "cabs."

I use "cabeese" in the spirit of the plural of moose (not) being "meese..."  Just a little fun...

 

 

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Posted by Dave Phelps on Monday, February 05, 2018 3:50 PM

Back in the '70s when GE was building EMU rail cars, time came to designate A, B and F ends for the Silverliner IV cars.  A and B were no problem; as stated, the B end was the one with the hand brake actuator.  Married pairs were no problem, the F end was the cab end, and that corresponded with the A end.  Then came the single cars, which of course had cabs at both ends.  Uh oh... Now, I honestly do not remember for sure what it was (vague memory says pantograph location...), but something requiring consistency with the married pairs caused the F end of the single cars to be the B end.  Needless to say, we in engineering got some "are you sure?" questions, but it was what it was.

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Posted by jumper on Monday, February 05, 2018 7:56 PM

I've heard a caboose or the plural however you choose also called a van or several vans. John

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 6:55 AM

In a similar vein, I can remember that South Shore's Insull-era MU cars, which were all single units and double-ended with two pantographs (except trailers), had one end designated as the F end.  I have no idea what the deciding factor was.

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 7:04 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

In a similar vein, I can remember that South Shore's Insull-era MU cars, which were all single units and double-ended with two pantographs (except trailers), had one end designated as the F end.  I have no idea what the deciding factor was.

F denotes the "official" front of the unit.  I've seen units with a "1", too.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 8:22 PM

jeffhergert

Here's one to ponder.  Cabooses?*  Or if you prefer; shoving platforms, gang cars, etc.

Jeff

*Sorry, I don't use cabeese. 

 

Everyone seems to focus on the plural for cabooses when I mentioned to ponder them.  What I meant to ponder was that they are a single car with a brake wheel at both ends.  Do they have an A and B end?  How can you tell if they do?

Jeff

(If I remember right, at least Zug and I know the answers.  I seem to remember discussing this once before on the forums some time ago.)

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 8:36 PM

jeffhergert
Do they have an A and B end? How can you tell if they do?

   Just an outsider's thoughts:

   I figure they must have an A and B end if for nothing else than record keeping for maintenance, maybe just arbitrarily labeled with a stencil or such.   The only thing I can think of off hand that's not symmetrical would be the orientation of the brake cylinder.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 10:08 PM

Aaaaand I think we have a winnah!

I was taught that the brake-cylinder piston (the 'pointy end') points to the B end.

And facing the B end, you number any bad journals or wheels, L1 to L4 on your left, going away toward the A end, and R1 to R4 on the other side.  Which is why you need a 'convention' to know which end is which.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 10:38 PM

Overmod

Aaaaand I think we have a winnah!

I was taught that the brake-cylinder piston (the 'pointy end') points to the B end.

And facing the B end, you number any bad journals or wheels, L1 to L4 on your left, going away toward the A end, and R1 to R4 on the other side.  Which is why you need a 'convention' to know which end is which.

 

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Posted by JustWonderin' on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 8:35 PM

Overmod

And facing the B end, you number any bad journals or wheels, L1 to L4 on your left, going away toward the A end, and R1 to R4 on the other side.  Which is why you need a 'convention' to know which end is which.

 

 

This makes a lot of sense.

How then do you number the bearings or wheels on an articulated car?   Do you just keep counting all the way to the front?   Might you have an L9 or R12 on some of these really long well cars?

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, February 09, 2018 4:49 PM

jeffhergert
(If I remember right, at least Zug and I know the answers. I seem to remember discussing this once before on the forums some time ago.)

I usually just look for the stencil that say A end or B end.  *shrugs*.  Usually it's pretty obvious if there's something wrong with a wheel or bearing, though.  Just look for the wheel that looks like this:  []

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Posted by traisessive1 on Friday, February 09, 2018 11:57 PM

JustWonderin'

This makes a lot of sense.

How then do you number the bearings or wheels on an articulated car?   Do you just keep counting all the way to the front?   Might you have an L9 or R12 on some of these really long well cars?

 

 
R/L 1-9 and then Z-A
 
Eg. RZ = 10, RY = 11
 
I have forgotten what it is when you have even more than 34 axles. I have seen it on permanently articulated rail trains. 
 
Also, CN doesn't even teach this to conductors.

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:34 AM

traisessive1
Also, CN doesn't even teach this to conductors.

Yep, never heard the full scheme until now.  Thanks!

Are those Herzog rail trains considered one car, or do some sections have different car numbers?

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Posted by traisessive1 on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:59 AM

Those Herzog rail trains are exactly what I was referring to. I do believe they are considered one car. 

They have the individual car designation on the side of them. It's a whole lot more than B C D E A! You get into double letter designations. I wish I could remember it exactly. The axle designations is even crazier. I will try to find a video of picture. 

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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