Articulated spine or well cars in even multiples?

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Articulated spine or well cars in even multiples?

  • Are there any articulated spine or well cars with an even number of units? 

    According to an article I just read on this site, there have been some 1200 pairs of 89' flats articulated to carry three trailers (with one over the middle truck).  But are there any articulated spine or well cars with an even number of units?  I've seen lots of 3-unit and 5-unit cars but never any with 2 or 4 units.

    Chuck
    Allen, TX

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  • Take a deep breath and think about that question. It's not even a question. It's just dumb. How in the hell could that happen? you could not have less than 3 wells, right? So the more units you can have with one car number, the more revenue per car.  Pretty easy to see that when you go to the bank to finance it, the more revenue per car, the more likely you are to get a loan..

    Now look at your return on investment. 4 trucks will haul 3 wells. That's 3/4 per well or .75 wells per truck. 4 wells is 4/5 trucks or .8 wells per truck..  5 wells is 5/6 trucks or .83 wells per truck. Obviously more wells means more capacity per truck, which is the most expensive part of the car.

    Shouldn't be too had to understand.

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • tdmidget

    Take a deep breath and think about that question. It's not even a question. It's just dumb. How in the hell could that happen?

    Let me draw you a picture.  Where ______ is a spine or well unit and oo is a truck, a typical 3-unit car would look like this:

    ________ ______ ______

    oo          oo          oo       oo

     

    and a 4-unit car would be:

    ________ ________ ________ ________

    oo          oo             oo             oo            oo

    Chuck
    Allen, TX

  • tdmidget

    Take a deep breath and think about that question. It's not even a question. It's just dumb. How in the hell could that happen? you could not have less than 3 wells, right? So the more units you can have with one car number, the more revenue per car.  Pretty easy to see that when you go to the bank to finance it, the more revenue per car, the more likely you are to get a loan..

    Now look at your return on investment. 4 trucks will haul 3 wells. That's 3/4 per well or .75 wells per truck. 4 wells is 4/5 trucks or .8 wells per truck..  5 wells is 5/6 trucks or .83 wells per truck. Obviously more wells means more capacity per truck, which is the most expensive part of the car.

    Shouldn't be too had to understand.

     

    Your modified post asks rhetorically if there could be less than 3 wells.  There certainly could be only 2 wells riding on 3 trucks; I just haven't seen any.  And, of course, one well on two trucks would not be articulated.

    Following the logic of the second paragraph of your modified post, a 10-well car (with 9 trucks) would be .91 wells per truck.  The wells per truck ratio that you propose will obviously increase (improve???) proportionally to the number of wells; approaching but never reaching 1.

    But my question was not about the economics or ROI of articulated cars.  I only asked if there are any with an even number of spines or wells.

    Chuck
    Allen, TX

  • Boy - we had a derail before we even got started!

    I was enjoying the question until...

    I, too, have noticed that spines and wells come in odd numbers.  Why?  And, thank you.

     

    She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

  • cefinkjr

    tdmidget

    Take a deep breath and think about that question. It's not even a question. It's just dumb. How in the hell could that happen?

    Let me draw you a picture.  Where ______ is a spine or well unit and oo is a truck, a typical 3-unit car would look like this:

    ________ ______ ______

    oo          oo          oo       oo

     

    and a 4-unit car would be:

    ________ ________ ________ ________

    oo          oo             oo             oo            oo

    While I agree that this discussion is getting a little too "chippy" TDM did not try to say that a 4 well stack car was impossible to build. If you carefully re-read the post he is referring to the efficient distribution of weight per truck in an articulated car set, and he explained why an "odd numbered" set offers better weight distribution than an "even numbered" set would would..

    "I Often Dream of Trains"-From the Album of the Same Name by Robyn Hitchcock

  • Evidently you are more well educated than I am because I didn't get anything like that from the reply to the post.  And I initially read the post 3 times. 

    But I think you explained what we wanted so we can understand. 

    Thank you.

     

    She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

  •    Seems to me that some of us are asking one question, and others are answering a different question.

    ________

       "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."  .... Benjamin Franklin

  • Some of the original articulated intermodal cars, the Santa Fe "Fuel Foilers", were built and operated in groups of 10 articulated spine platforms.

    As with many business decisions, the number of platforms/wells involves a trade off.  The more platforms/wells on a car the less flexibility there is. You end up dragging more empty spaces around.   The current preferred well car now has three wells - which seems to be the optimum balance between efficiency and flexibility.   At least for now.

    "By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
  • greyhounds

    Some of the original articulated intermodal cars, the Santa Fe "Fuel Foilers", were built and operated in groups of 10 articulated spine platforms.

    As with many business decisions, the number of platforms/wells involves a trade off.  The more platforms/wells on a car the less flexibility there is. You end up dragging more empty spaces around.   The current preferred well car now has three wells - which seems to be the optimum balance between efficiency and flexibility.   At least for now.

    Perfect!  

    -Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

  • Keep in mind each additional multiple boogie adds maintenance cost, and the opportunity for something to break.

    While these things are not all that complicated, they do require periodic maintenance, so which would you rather have, 3 wells and 6 boxes or 5 wells and 10 boxes to deal with if you have to repair something, or 4/6/8 cars and corresponding number of containers out of service.?

    Say you had a 6 well car, and the set has an issue, that’s 12 containers that won’t make their ship or final destination on time, and that’s a lot of money sitting still, not a good idea.

    And after a certain number of wells riding on joint boogies, you get close to the limit where string line derailment becomes more common, (remember, you have to have some slack action and the ability of a coupler to swing wide, whereas the boogie has no slack and no swing.) which is one of the reasons that the AutoMax articulated auto racks are only in 2 car configurations, you could do a 3 or 4 car set, but that would limit the routes the cars could travel based on the curves.

  • I work at the Pittsburgh Terminal & have to admit that I've never seen well or spine cars with an even number of platforms. I have noticed that the 40ft wells are commonly in 5 unit sets & the 53ft cars are usually in 3 unit sets. Spine cars are common in both 3 &5 unit sets. I think the overall length of the car influences the number of platforms,(a 5-unit  car is around 300ft long). I can still remember when the Sante Fe 10-packs were split into 5-unit sets,they were easy to spot due to all the hitches faced the same way,(cars built as 5-packs have 1 hitch one way & 4 the opposite way). Have you also noticed that TTX has been stretching 48ft spine cars into 53's for about 3 years now? They don't even bother to paint the whole car, just the added section, with a 5 added to the origional number.

  • I was thinking that I remembered some drawbar-connected TTX well cars with four platforms (eight trucks), but I can't check it out at the moment.

    My thoughts had been that there might be some reason to keep cars to an even number of trucks, but there are a number of articulated auto racks the put the lie to that one.  Also, don't forget those two-unit articulated spine cars for carrying trash containers on each of their 40-foot sections.  Those have three trucks, also.

    Carl

    Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

    CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

  • CShaveRR

    I was thinking that I remembered some drawbar-connected TTX well cars with four platforms (eight trucks), but I can't check it out at the moment.

    You thought right.  Also some drawbar connected (not articulated) well cars in three and five platform configurations according to a diagram chart on how to figure the number of operative brakes on multi-platform cars.  Both articulated and drawbar connected. 

    Those paired 89' flats for three trailers, I don't think they are articulated either.  I think they are two cars drawbar connected.

    Jeff

     

  • greyhounds

    Some of the original articulated intermodal cars, the Santa Fe "Fuel Foilers", were built and operated in groups of 10 articulated spine platforms.

    I had thought of those, but my only memory of them was having seen them offered as HO scale models and didn't know if the models were accurate or not.

    I understand from another post in this thread that they have been split into 5-unit cars.  I can think of several reasons why that might have been done.

    Chuck
    Allen, TX