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Is there a standard or maximum car width?

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  • Member since
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Is there a standard or maximum car width?
Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, June 25, 2017 1:48 PM

Hello all,

Does anyone know if there is a standard and/or maximum car width?

Also, with flat cars would the width include the stake pockets?

Thank you for all your input.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    May 2004
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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, June 25, 2017 2:11 PM

Yes, sort of.  There are "plate" dimensions.  Starting with "B" and going upwards to "F", or so.  The B plate is for the smallest cars, and they go up from there.  Each plate shows various maximum dimensions.

Plate B maximum width is 10'-8" overall.  That includes grabs and ladders.

If you go up to Plate F, that dimension remains at 10'-8".  But various heights change.

Yes.  It also includes stake pockets.

 

Widths can be less than that.  From the Official Railway Equipment Register, N&W 203410 has an extreme width of 10'-6".  It also has an inside width of 10'-6".  Being a flatcar, I would think that means that the deck projects out beyond the stake pockets.

There is at least one midification to the maximum.  That's for dealing with curves.  "Long" cars tend to overhang a lot in a curve.  And so they might be forced to be narrower than the standard maximum width.  Athearn makes an LPG tank car that has a flat section on the sides.  I believe that's to maintain curve clearances.

An even more obvious example of modification of extreme width was for classic 65' mill gondolas from the middle of the 2000's.  GN 78900 was a 52'-6" inside length gondola.  Its extreme width was 10'-4".  GN 79000 was a 65'-5" inside length gondola.  Its extreme width was 8'-8".  My belief is that the narrowing was for clearance on curves.  Nominal 65' gondolas built back then were typically built narrower. 

Ed

  • Member since
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  • From: California - moved to North Carolina 2018
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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, June 25, 2017 2:23 PM

7j43k

Yes, sort of.  There are "plate" dimensions.  Starting with "B" and going upwards to "F", or so.  The B plate is for the smallest cars, and they go up from there.  Each plate shows various maximum dimensions.

Plate B maximum width is 10'-8" overall.  That includes grabs and ladders.

If you go up to Plate F, that dimension remains at 10'-8".  But various heights change.

Yes.  It also includes stake pockets.

 

Widths can be less than that.  From the Official Railway Equipment Register, N&W 203410 has an extreme width of 10'-6".  It also has an inside width of 10'-6".  Being a flatcar, I would think that means that the deck projects out beyond the stake pockets.

 

Ed

 

The PLATES show widths and heights.  Note that length is also a factor. 

http://www.icrr.net/plates.htm

 

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.

  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, June 25, 2017 2:30 PM

There are several.  They are published by the AAR and called "plates" and lettered.

The defacto standard now is Plate C, Just search for images of "AAR plate C".  The width of the car cannot exceed 10'8" (that's over the grabirons and door fixtures).  Most of the other plates are taller, but not wider.

A car can be wider than that but cars over 11 ft are "dimensional" and over 12 ft are "excessive dimension loads" (wide loads).  They must be cleared by the railroad before moving.  It may take a year for figure out the route and get the clearances on a load over 13 ft wide that travels over several railroads.

Really long loads are "wider" on curves because the ends and the middle hang over the track.   That's why early 65 ft gons may be a bit narrower than 40 ft gons.

The plate clearances are over the extreme outside dimensions of the car.  The ORER (equipment register) dimensions are typically inside dimensions.  A 40 ft boxcar is 40 ft inside the box, its actually about 45 ft over the drawbars. On a car IL or IW is "interior" length or width, EL or EW is "exterior" length or width.  The "interior" width of a flat car is the width of the decking inside the stake pockets.

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

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, June 25, 2017 2:36 PM

Dave,

The ORER gives both inside and outside dimensions.

 

Ed

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