THE magazine of railroading

SEARCH TRAINSMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

News Wire: Canadian Pacific, Canadian retail company unveil 60-foot intermodal container

1781 views
30 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
Moderator
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 471 posts
Posted by Brian Schmidt on Monday, May 01, 2017 1:54 PM

CALGARY, Alberta — Canadian Pacific and retail giant Canadian Tire Corp., recently debuted North America’s first 60-foot intermodal container, according to a CP news release. The 60-foot container, which was developed by the Canadian Tir...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/05/01-canadian-pacific-canadian-retail-company-unveil-60-foot-intermodal-container

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 817 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, May 01, 2017 3:16 PM

We had an open discussion about something like this a few years ago. It was brought out that we were close, and perhaps already there, to the practical limit in length of a container well car. Is there an intermodal car to go along with a 3 TEU container?

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 3,413 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Monday, May 01, 2017 4:25 PM

Should be fun trying to get a 60 ft. container into some of the Canadian Tire stores around here... barely enough room for a 53 ft. container. 

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 11,900 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, May 01, 2017 4:33 PM

D.Carleton
We had an open discussion about something like this a few years ago. It was brought out that we were close, and perhaps already there, to the practical limit in length of a container well car. Is there an intermodal car to go along with a 3 TEU container?

89 feet is the nominal length of 'long' cars on the railroad.  If highway regulations would permit it a 80 foot container would easily fit on a 89 foot car.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 149 posts
Posted by GERALD L MCFARLANE JR on Monday, May 01, 2017 4:42 PM

It wouldn't take much to stretch a 53' well car to accomodate a 60' container...don't go looking for them south of the border anytime soon though...I'd say there's to much invested in 53's and they can't hold any more weight.  Weight is the limiting factor, in Canada they do have a season for 90k lb. GVW, so this does allow more lightweight commodities to fit inside..as long as the commodity is less than 7 ft.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • 2,834 posts
Posted by NorthWest on Monday, May 01, 2017 4:45 PM

I don't think any 60-foot wells exist, so these would have to ride on top of another container. I think the maximum is 56 feet currently. Not sure how the disadvantages are outweighed by the advantages here.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,143 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, May 01, 2017 7:32 PM

As I understand it, Canadian Tire is the only expected user of them so far; tires will 'cube out' before they 'weigh out', so that makes sense.

Here are some informative links: 

From http://www.canadiansailings.ca/sixty-foot-containers-expected-on-canadian-roads-this-year/ dated March 2, 2015 (2 years ago !): 

"The testing involved strapping 3.5-foot blocks of Styrofoam to each end of a 53-foot container to mock up the dimensions of a 60-foot container. That process helps determine if the containers are suitable for intermodal rail. The containers would be transportable by either truck or rail.

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/canadian_pacific/news/CP-Canadian-Tire-unveil-60-foot-intermodal-container--51495 

From "Western Railroad Discussion > Get Ready for 60' Trailers...Containers?" at 

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,3596323 

"Its getting tough to make corners on older roads but for point to point in newer industrial parks with wide feeder roads to the interstate I could see a use."

Previous thread here from Feb. 2017:

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/261220.aspx 

 - PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,003 posts
Posted by M636C on Monday, May 01, 2017 9:51 PM

Looking at the publicity photo, I thought "Wow, they already have a well car to take them!" but on closer inspection, the container in the well car was 53 feet and only the road trailer mounted container on the left was 60 feet long.

There should be no problem on individual well cars stacking a 60 feet container above 40, 48 or 53 feet containers. In articulated sets there might not be room to stack two 60 feet containers above 53 feet containers, but one 60 with 48 feet either side might work.

I'm reminded of a case where the loader operator wasn't concentrating, and he was supposed to load a 40 feet container in a forty feet well and a 48 feet container on top. He put them on in the wrong order, so the 48 feet was sitting above the well on the deck (provision was made for that) but the 40 was on top about three feet higher than anticipated. It scraped many bridges, one a hundred yards from the yard but it finally hit a highway overpass about a hundred miles north and was completely demolished.

Peter

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 5,796 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, May 01, 2017 9:55 PM

Ulrich

Should be fun trying to get a 60 ft. container into some of the Canadian Tire stores around here... barely enough room for a 53 ft. container. 

 

      I'm with Ulrich on this one. In my OTR career Trailer length went from 42' to 53', incrementally over time.    Main problem, as I see it, is that increases in the issues of infrastructure, lag far behind the overall vehicle length, and in many places structures ( poles, signs, emergency call boxes, tend to be found on corners, and buildings.)  Cities, in particular, can have their own issues with truck loading and unloading facilities that were built long before the current times and their larger vehicle sizes. 

 If the Canadian Tire [and anybody eles] is going to adopt that 60' length, and the Government will approve it..God Bless 'em!  I just remember trying to get around in Montreal , and Ottawa with 53's and 48's...Glad, I am retired! Whistling

Sam

 

 


 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Rhododendron, OR
  • 1,429 posts
Posted by challenger3980 on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 9:43 AM

GERALD L MCFARLANE JR

It wouldn't take much to stretch a 53' well car to accomodate a 60' container...don't go looking for them south of the border anytime soon though...I'd say there's to much invested in 53's and they can't hold any more weight.  Weight is the limiting factor, in Canada they do have a season for 90k lb. GVW, so this does allow more lightweight commodities to fit inside..as long as the commodity is less than 7 ft.

 

Over 90K# GVW is already allowed, at least in some places in the US, on single combinations. I don't haul any where near heavy enough to need the 5 axles I already use, but 8 axle single combinations are common on the West Coast, I believe that they are allowed the 105,500# limit as are triples, but I wont swear to that.

 Just yesterday, on I-5 between Portland and Tacoma, I did a double take, I saw a 9 axle Log Truck, it was the first 9 axle single combination that I have seen, and I don't know what the allowable GVW was on that.

 I do also see 7 axle single vehichle/no trailer Dump trucks with the standard Tandem drive and 3 smaller axles between the steer and drive axles, plus a fold over extention/drop axle that folds over the dump bed while dumping, those look like a very short centipede, with only room for very small fuel tanks, but that is not a problem for dump trucks as they generally(yes I know there ARE exceptions) have shorter hauls. I don't know what the allowable GVW is on that short of a wheelbase.

 Many complain about heavier/longer vehicles, but then also complain about too much truck traffic. Do you want longer/heavier trucks on the road, or do you want more trucks on the road? Pick your poison, the freight hsa to move, and there is a LOT of it that the railroads aren't even an option for.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,143 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 9:51 AM

An additional 10,000 lbs. - essentially to 90K - for intermodal shipments has been allowed in Pennsylvania since the mid-1990's.  Minor annual permit cost - $150 last time I looked - but no requirements or restrictions regarding axles as far as I know. 

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: Lombard (west of Chicago), Illinois
  • 12,881 posts
Posted by CShaveRR on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 4:44 PM

If you're talking about 60-foot doube-stack wells, I'd find them highly unlikely. Especially the thing about rebuilding shorter ones into 60-footers.  They have done some 48-to-53-foot rebuilding, but the usual thing for rebuilds is to shorten them from 48 to 40.  I would think there might be structural reasons for not doing that (but what do I know?).

There used to be (maybe there still is) a series of 56-foot well cars out there for handling a pair of 28-foot (think UPS) "pups" on the lower level.  Not sure what they'd handle above them, except for a second layer of 28-footers.

However, TTX still has some 60-foot standard-level flat cars that were modified to handle containers...three 20s, or a 40 and a 20.  Shouldn't be hard to use those for 60-footers, if their age doesn't undermine the fleet size.

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)

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,412 posts
Posted by overall on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 7:34 AM

If the truckers go to 60 foot trailers, that will make them more efficient than they already are. Making the trucks more efficent will make them more competitive with trains, yet it is a large railroad, CP Rail, that is partnering with the Canadian Tire Company to bring this about. Here is my question:Isn't it a bad idea for a railroad to help their competition get better? Hasn't CP Rail undermined them- selves and the rest of the industry by doing this? Is there something I'm missing?

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,095 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 2:20 PM

overall
yet it is a large railroad, CP Rail, that is partnering with the Canadian Tire Company to bring this about

Just today a story came out that "Skippys" Peanut Butter is being discontinued in Canada only two days after a story that "Dad's" Chocolate Chip Cookies are being discontinued up here as well. American readers will just have to trust me, they are both very good.

Both companies, subsidiaries of US companies, have both cited distribution costs as one of the factors leading to their demise. This new CPR/Canadian Tire partnership may be a necessary "Made in Canada" solution to a Canadian problem. 60' foot containers may not ever appear in the US.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

RME
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 1,997 posts
Posted by RME on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 5:06 PM

Guys, we discussed these 60' containers a while ago, when the idea was described.  Going by memory, the containers are 'captive' to Canadian Tire, and as noted they are use because the loads in 53s were cubing out before loading out.

Do not expect them in the United States until Canadian Tire opens stores there.  Or some American company reverse merges with them to get the benefit of foreign ownership... that's apparently much less of a priority since Hill lost.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Winnipeg, Mb
  • 478 posts
Posted by traisessive1 on Thursday, May 04, 2017 3:07 PM

This comes out as official not long after CN stole (negotiated with CT) some more of the Canadian Tire product from CP. CN only had a small portion of the CT contract and now there are many CT containers on our domestic trains. 

Canadian Tire is a huge retailer here in Canada and seeing CT cans on CN trains west of Toronto is pretty great. 

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

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 86 posts
Posted by IslandMan on Friday, May 05, 2017 4:24 AM

BaltACD

 

 
D.Carleton
We had an open discussion about something like this a few years ago. It was brought out that we were close, and perhaps already there, to the practical limit in length of a container well car. Is there an intermodal car to go along with a 3 TEU container?

 

89 feet is the nominal length of 'long' cars on the railroad.  If highway regulations would permit it a 80 foot container would easily fit on a 89 foot car.

 

 

A boxcar could be regarded as a flatcar with a container permanently fixed to it. Since railroads have tracks into customers' premises they do not need to consider highway regulations when determining the optimal sizes for boxcars.

An 80-foot container with ISO twistlocks and doors on the sides instead of at one end could be carried on a flatcar and the tout ensemble treated in exactly the same way as a normal boxcar.  Being detachable, the container could be loaded onto a ship.  If compatible with the loading gauges of other countries' rail networks, the 80-foot box would allow siding-to-siding international transport.

From shipping lines' point of view, a bigger box would offer the prospect of shorter loading/unloading times.  From railroads' point of view,  they could offer international transport to their rail-connected customers without the constraints imposed by the need to use trucks.  For shippers,  the cost of international transport would be less.

Trucking companies would no doubt lobby for regulations to be amended to allow trucks to haul 80 foot long trailers.  Since even 53 foot trailers are a bit awkward to maneuver in many locations and virtually physically impossible to use in many (especially European) countries, this would probably be a no-no.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,143 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:10 AM

Exceptionally wide trailers - 102" (8'-6") - are already allowed on the "National Network" (NN) Interstates and others, within a mile or two of exits for "Reasonbable Access" (to fuel and service), and wherever else a state chooses to let them.  As a result, I see a lot of signs to the effect of "No 102" trailers (or 28' doubles, etc.) beyond this point". 

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/size_regs_final_rpt/index.htm#width 

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/size_regs_final_rpt/index.htm#net 

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/size_regs_final_rpt/index.htm#access 

I could see something similar happening to allow 80' long trailers - not in favor of it, but I could see it.  However, I doubt if the weight limits will go up commensurately - the incremental damage to roads and bridges especially would be horrendous.  

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/size_regs_final_rpt/index.htm#length 

- PDN.

P.S. - Some of here will recognize the odd coincidence of the 8'-6" trailer width dimension with the length of a standard wood crosstie . . . Smile, Wink & Grin

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
RME
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 1,997 posts
Posted by RME on Friday, May 05, 2017 10:34 AM

IslandMan
An 80-foot container with ISO twistlocks and doors on the sides instead of at one end could be carried on a flatcar and the tout ensemble treated in exactly the same way as a normal boxcar. Being detachable, the container could be loaded onto a ship. If compatible with the loading gauges of other countries' rail networks, the 80-foot box would allow siding-to-siding international transport

That's an awful lot of big 'ifs', particularly considering the modifications that would have to be made to ships and other countries' railroads to make it possible, even apart from the capital cost of the underframes (presumably compatible with 40' ISO standard boxes) and other special handling equipment.  Assume also that these containers must be built, and maintained, to support two 40' containers stacked above, and that practical control over the temptation to overload the 80' boxes can be maintained, and that there are enough individual loads and consignments to make the additional time and fun to load and unload these things at end-on docks, or spotting one between two similar trailers, practical.

You're far from the first person who has proposed double-length containers, and you might take a useful lesson from the absence of such things in current intermodal 'commerce'.   

  • Member since
    June, 2013
  • 73 posts
Posted by cprtrain on Monday, May 08, 2017 10:18 AM

The question that I have is "What is the maximum length of a trailer allowed on local roads?" I just checked and in Manitoba it is 53ft. What is it in other provinces and states? I've seen truckers struggle to navigate intersections with 53ft trainers. I can't imagine what a 60ft trailer/container would be like.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Hope, AR
  • 1,926 posts
Posted by narig01 on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:47 AM

Technically one might be able to "get away" with a 60' container in the US. Current regulations state that the body of a trailer must not exceed 53'. 

      The wiggle room here is this, one is allowed a 5' overhang off both the front and rear of a trailer. It is what allows companies pulling refrigerated trailers to have a 53' trailer the same as a dry trailer(non refrigerated) and still mount the refrigeration unit on the front of the trailer.

     With a flatbed trailer one could put a 60' container on a 50' trailer, have it overhang 5' on each end and still be legal. Get too many though and someone will "correct" the rules. 

      This will not work with a conventional container chassis as one would be extending the body of the trailer. 

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,143 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 7:09 AM

Find a 53' trailer that can hold a 60' container (even if ti has to be chained down), let 5' overhang on the front, then only 2' on the rear - heck, the red flag won't even be needed then !

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
RME
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 1,997 posts
Posted by RME on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 8:33 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr
Find a 53' trailer that can hold a 60' container (even if it has to be chained down)...

... and it almost certainly would have to be chained; if you had twistlocks, by far the 'best' solution for securing the container on a flatbed or any other suitable underframe, the length limits for container chassis would be applied, and probably with gusto by local "officials" ...

...let 5' overhang on the front, then only 2' on the rear

Don't think you'll get 5' on the front of most applicable flatbeds without fouling the stuff on the back of the cab, if not the cab or sleeper rear wall itself, on the first curve or transition grade. I think it more likely that you'd take the full 5' possible at the rear, and let the front fall where it may.

Note that the entire length of the bed has to sit up at fifth-wheel height, there can be no 'gooseneck' at all at the front, and I doubt you'd want to go to the familiar old container expedient of substantial 'uphill' deck rake with the front sitting on the plate and the rear bogie twisted on its articulation point.  So there are going to be high-clearance issues that may restrict possible routing considerably, perhaps more than expected from the nominal container dimensions.

Even tongue-in-cheek this is a very dubious thing.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 3,413 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Thursday, May 11, 2017 8:16 PM

[quote user="overall"]

If the truckers go to 60 foot trailers, that will make them more efficient than they already are. Making the trucks more efficent will make them more competitive with trains, yet it is a large railroad, CP Rail, that is partnering with the Canadian Tire Company to bring this about. Here is my question:Isn't it a bad idea for a railroad to help their competition get better? Hasn't CP Rail undermined them- selves and the rest of the industry by doing this? Is there something I'm missing?

 

[quote]

 

I don't think truckers are going to 60 ft trailers any time soon. There's currently no incentive to make such long trailers.. not with platooning of trucks around the corner and greater acceptance of turnpike doubles.  60 ft. trailers would be hard to get around in areas that are already challenging for the 53 footers. 

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 11,900 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:29 PM

[quote user="Ulrich"]

[quote user="overall"]

If the truckers go to 60 foot trailers, that will make them more efficient than they already are. Making the trucks more efficent will make them more competitive with trains, yet it is a large railroad, CP Rail, that is partnering with the Canadian Tire Company to bring this about. Here is my question:Isn't it a bad idea for a railroad to help their competition get better? Hasn't CP Rail undermined them- selves and the rest of the industry by doing this? Is there something I'm missing?

 I don't think truckers are going to 60 ft trailers any time soon. There's currently no incentive to make such long trailers.. not with platooning of trucks around the corner and greater acceptance of turnpike doubles.  60 ft. trailers would be hard to get around in areas that are already challenging for the 53 footers.

One thing everyone get hung up on is the size of the trailer.  That is total BS when it comes to the shipping public.  To be most efficient, trailers have to be sized to their loads.  The reality is that all trailers have nearly the same gross weight capability.  That gross weight is set by the maximum weight government highway authorities will permit on their roads. 20 ft, 27 ft, 40 ft, 48 ft, 53 ft or 60 ft - they all have nearly the same gross weight values.  Moving a heavy, dense commodity in a 53 ft or 60 ft trailer is a waste of trailer space.  Trying to move light commodities in a 20 ft trailer(container) wil have the loaded trailer not getting anywhere near it's maximium gross weight.  If your load doesn't come near maxing out the vehicles GVW you are being wasteful.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 3,413 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Friday, May 12, 2017 7:30 AM

Good point Balt.. even the current 53s can be tricky to load given the need to distribute the load correctly to avoid axle overweights. 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,307 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:03 AM

Ulrich

Good point Balt.. even the current 53s can be tricky to load given the need to distribute the load correctly to avoid axle overweights. 

 

And, different shippers have different ways of distributing heavy loads, as I saw when we changed our supplier of sulfuric acid in drums. It always came in 53 footers--and a forty footer (if it were so constructed as to hold the weight) would have held the same quantity, as I recall. 

Johnny

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • 371 posts
Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:19 AM

I asked multiple drivers what they though of going to 60 ft trailers.  Now these are drivers that go into cities like Boston NYC Baltimore Philly Atlanta Pittsburg among multiple others routinely.  All of them answered with a praise of Are you F****** Crazy Lady.  They have a hard enough time getting into and out of our customers with a 53 footer in Boston and Philly let alone adding an extra 7 foot of trailer.  You would have to redesign truckstops restareas warehouses and even the exit and on ramps for the interstates.  Let alone the Bridge Law in CA where your limited to max of 40 feet between the kingpin and the center of your trailer tandems on a trailer longer than 48 feet.  Your talking 15 feet before you even got to the back tires on the trailer in CA. 

 

The idea they want a 60 foot container is beyond stupid your giving up about another 1K lbs in tare weight on the container 1k on the chassis.  The customers come up with this stuff and we have to deal with it.  Boy talk about putting the cart before the horse. 

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 3,413 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:29 AM

That happens alot.. shippers requesting a 53 ft when a 48 ft will do. They do this I guess because they feel they're getting better value...i.e. more capacity for the same dollar. Biggest problems occur when trailers are dropped for loading at shipper's convenience. Shipper will often pay no attention to balancing the load, and will simply load everything as far front as possible, leaving alot of empty space on the back. This causes problems where freight is very heavy, and results in axle overweights. 

Of course, requesting a 48 ft. is often nolonger an option as most fleets have gone to 53 ft as their standard. Still though, anyone who services the Northeast US should have a fleet of 48 ft. as the 53's aren't allowed on many secondary highways and NYC. 

But having a mix of lengths in the fleet causes problems too, as drivers obviously need to swing wider with the longer trailers. It's easy to forget, and then.. ooops.. there goes a lamp post, or worse. So probably best to have a fleet/division that is dedicated to serving the Northeast. 

 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • 371 posts
Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Friday, May 12, 2017 11:44 AM

Heck there are places in and around Chicago we refuse to serve with a 53 foot trailer.  We have several customers that if you show up with a 53 foot trailer you physically can not back into their door with a sleeper tractor.  Yet the Mega carriers that is all they order and then wonder why they have fairings ripped to pieces on their tractors when they ship as my drivers call them Steering Wheel Holders into places in and around the Northeast.  When you see a truck that went under a bridge to low or removed a light pole or the best one removes a sign from a truck stop entrance according to my drivers your looking at a steering wheel holder.  They tend to belive all tech is infallable aka GPS will not lead you wrong they can not read a map to save their lives and more than likely and this is the scarey part where trained to drive after CDL school by another driver with less than 1 year OTR driving.  My husband's father trained drivers after he had 20 years on the road.  He flunked more people than he passed.  Why he could tell they would not make it based on his 3 million miles of driving experience. 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Trains free email newsletter
NEWS » PHOTOS » VIDEOS » HOT TOPICS & MORE
GET OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Connect with us
ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Search the Community