Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

where would you be likely to find a scale house used for weighing RR cars

1999 views
10 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Columbia, IL
  • 394 posts
where would you be likely to find a scale house used for weighing RR cars
Posted by wdcrvr on Thursday, December 24, 2020 3:36 PM

I have seen articles about building a scale house but I don't know where to expect to see them in use.  All help will be greatly appreciated.

 

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,452 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, December 24, 2020 3:56 PM

Hi,

Just a brief mention here:

http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net/exhibits/structures/scale-house

I have seen them on railroad maps and the most prominant locations I've come across are at locations where the majority of bulk shipments may be assembled, such as a yard near a coal mine(s) or grain silos (elevators) where cars would be loaded.

Also near interchanges where cars may be weighed before being consigned to another carrier and near large car shops where repaired cars may be reweighed for their empty weight or "tare" weight can be stenciled on them after repairs.

Some larger industries would have a scale so the shipper can weigh their own cars before being turned over to the railroad for shipment.

There was actually a town in Pennsylvania, near Shamokin, called Weigh Scales, Pa.

Here's an example of the location of the scale house in the middle of a large PRR yard in Canton, Ohio:

 PRR_Canton by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,735 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 9:53 AM

Most freight shipments are based on weight. If a shipment needs weighing, you usually do it close to the point of origin to fill in the shipping rates. I also understand there was a way send a shipment with a "weigh ticket" so that it could be weighed elsewhere if there wasn't a convenient scale near the point of origin and have the weight information sent back to the shipper/originating RR.

Most significant yards that originate loads from nearby industries will have a scale track to weigh loaded cars. Large industries might have their own. Might also be strategically located in certain areas serving significant amount of loads.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 12,904 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 3:27 PM

I know that on the Missabe Road, loaded ore trains were weighed on their way into Proctor Yard. Normally the road engine, like a Yellowstone, would take the first half of the train through. Then a switcher from the yard would take the second half through.

Stix
  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,554 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 5:37 PM

I thought of putting a scale by my carfloat terminal.  Weight and balance is important on a carfloat, but would this be a prototypical use?  Would a carfloat terminal have a scale?

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 906 posts
Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 7:58 PM

Google maps. 39°58'11.4'' - 76°43'20.0''.

York, Pa. Old Jail building at York st. and Loucks Mill rd, Poorhouse yard north east of city's center square. Google maps shows this right now, you should see four covered hoppers on the north track of the yard, looking north, now put two on your left and two on your right make an about face to the south and cross the yard tracks. That is what is left of the scale house.

Google maps. 39°56'56.4'' - 76°46'10.5''

York, Pa. west york. Lincoln yard. between W.Market st. and Hokes Mill rd. east end of the yard close to Hokes Mill rd., south yard track. The scale house and rails are still there.   

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 12,904 posts
Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 4:39 PM

MisterBeasley

I thought of putting a scale by my carfloat terminal.  Weight and balance is important on a carfloat, but would this be a prototypical use?  Would a carfloat terminal have a scale?

 
I wouldn't think they would need one. They would know whether the cars were loaded or empty. The cars data would have their empty and max loaded weight marked on them. The workers at the terminal would then know within a reasonable amount how heavy each car was. They wouldn't need to know the exact weight down to the pound; at least, I wouldn't think so?
Stix
  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Canada
  • 1,735 posts
Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 4:45 PM

wjstix
 
MisterBeasley

I thought of putting a scale by my carfloat terminal.  Weight and balance is important on a carfloat, but would this be a prototypical use?  Would a carfloat terminal have a scale?

 
I wouldn't think they would need one. They would know whether the cars were loaded or empty. The cars data would have their empty and max loaded weight marked on them. The workers at the terminal would then know within a reasonable amount how heavy each car was. They wouldn't need to know the exact weight down to the pound; at least, I wouldn't think so?
 

 

Are the cars loaded within the same terminal? There might be a scale for the same reasons other terminals have a scale as well as knowing the balance for the barge.

If the cars originated elsewhere, they'd (very likely) already be weighed elsewhere, and the weight would already be known on the shipping documentation. A shipment only needs to be weighed once.

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,745 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 5:18 PM

Amost all of the railroad car shops had one.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,327 posts
Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 6:32 PM

Cars could be either weighed at origin or destination.  It would be marked on the waybill where the car was to be weighed.  When the car was weighed the information would be written, typed, stamped or pasted onto the waybill.

Hump yards have a scale built into the hump so the system will know how far the car will roll, in order to properly retard the car.  Early scales required each end of the car to be weighed, then they got big enough scales to weigh a whole car, but they were "static, uncoupled" scales.  Each car had to be spotted on the scales by itself.  Later scales were able to weigh static, coupled and finally modern scales can weigh "coupled in motion".

Early scales had a gantlant track there engines or cars could be switched to "dead rails" and keep the weight off the scales.  Older scales used a series of large balance beams or levers to calculate the weights.  Modern scales use tranducers or strain gauges.

If your scale has dead rails and a scale house, its probably an uncoupled, static scale.  Each car has to be spotted individually, uncoupled to anything else while being weighed.  By the 1980's most of those scales were abandoned as obsolete.

Also in more modern times, for repeat shipments that were in the same type of car, they went to weight agreements.  During a trial period they would weigh a certain number of cars and then use the average of that test period as the default weight for the next year or so.  Also many bulk commpodities were weighed as they went into the cars, things like coal and ore had scales on the loading equipment.

A car float would use the weights on the waybills, the weights on the cars would be useless for boxcars, a "load" could be any amount from the minimum shipment up to the max tonnage.  A carload of styrofoam cups would completely fill the cubic footage but come nowhere near the weight capacity of the car.  Historically boxcars only carry, on average, about half their weight capacity.  If you were shipping by a car float the car would most likely be weighed before it got there.

 

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

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • From: SE. WI.
  • 8,016 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, December 31, 2020 12:52 PM

The MILW had a scale in Waukesha, WI. for weighing loads that originated at the Waukesha Lime and Stone quarry.  

It wasn't right at the quarry, but a short distance away on a siding.  The scale lasted into the WC days, it was hit by a lightning strike, and never put back into service.

The WC used the track that the scale was on, for spotting tank cars at an industry that made electrical transformers.

When that business moved, the track and what was left of the scale were all removed.

Mike.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!