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Would P2K tank cars ever have shelf couplers?

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Would P2K tank cars ever have shelf couplers?
Posted by Remeyer53 on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 7:33 AM

I have several Proto 2000 8,000 & 10,000 gallon tank cars. Their build dates are in late the 20s and 30s. Assuming a 40-50 year life span would any of have been given double shelf couplers?

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 10:26 AM

"The bottom-shelf Type E was adopted as the industry standard following extensive testing in the 1970s. The Type F coupler is commonly found on hazardous-material tank cars, while the even more complex Type H “tight-lock” is standard on passenger cars." implementation date for cars carrying liquified gas (viewed as the most dangerous and urgent) was 1977, with later dates for other ladings.  So depending on what the car is carrying and when it was built (1921 vs 1939), it depends. If you stipulate a 50 year life for a car, then any car built prior to 1927 would not have them. After that, an increasing percentage of the fleet would have them – I'm guessing 100 percent by circa 1989 – hazmat and flammable materials having priority. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know when they were required by type of material nor what percentage of the national fleet was what age per year. So I'd go with hazmat cars having them by 1982 (5 years after S Day) and all of them by the end of the decade

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Posted by Rambo2 on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 9:22 AM

If i may please ask what is a shelf coupler and if possible what do they look like ? Are they the type seen on freight cars now a days?

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 11:14 AM

Rambo2

If i may please ask what is a shelf coupler and if possible what do they look like ? Are they the type seen on freight cars now a days?

 

The "shelf" is an extra bit that extends below and/or above of the main coupler head casting.

In a derailment, the shelves help prevent couplers from sliding up and apart from each other. Tank cars that may carry hazardous good are equipped with these couplers to help prevent the ends of the tank from being punctured by the coupler of the next car in a wreck.

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 11:37 AM

BEAUSABRE
implemantation date for cars carrying liquified gas (viewed as the most dangerous and urgent) was 1977, with later dates for other ladings.  So depending on what the car is carrying and when it was built (1921 vs 1939), it depends. If you stipulate a 50 year life for a car, then any car built prior to 1927 would not have them.

Tieing into that is that the age restriction rules for cars in interchange service were implemented in 1974. Cars built after July 1 1974 are allowed a 50-year service life. Cars built before July 1 1974 are restricted to a 40-year interchange service life.

I was trying to find it again, but I read a message on one of the freight car groups about how the "40 year rule" was ushered in. When the age rule came into effect in 1974, cars older than 50 years were eliminated from interchange service. Then every year the maximum age for cars built before July 1 1974 was lowered by a year. e.g. in 1975 the oldest car was 49, 1976 max 48, etc. until a maximum age of 40 was hit by 1984 in order to phase out the older cars.

So the oldest car in *interchange* service by year would be:

1973 no rule

1974 1924

1975 1926

1976 1928

1977 1930

1978 1932

1979 1934

1980 1936

1981 1938

1982 1940

1983 1942

1984 1944

1985 1945

Also considering that 33,000 gallon LPG cars like the Atlas ACF car were a thing by the late 1960s, 10,000-11,000 gallon cars in liquified gas service that could only carry a third of the capacity of the later cars would have been prime candidates for retirement or conversion to other commodities simply due to their extreme obsolescence by that point.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 12:36 PM

Chris, tanks! I mean thanks!

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 4:35 PM

Consider the differences between real tank cars and our models, though.  If real couplers are designed to guard against tank puncture, what would the same implementation do to models?  Our model tank cars are not going to puncture,  but they can sustain damage by being dragged along in a string or worse, falling to the floor far below.

Prototypical safety features may actually be a modeling hazard.

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

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Posted by ndbprr on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 9:01 PM

if you look at pictures of the north dakota amtrak wreck recently you will notice that even though the cars are all on their sides they are all coupled together due to the shelfs.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 9:53 PM

Or type H tightlocks.

 Won't Be Stopping in Riverside by Craig Sanders, on Flickr

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Remeyer53 on Thursday, July 21, 2022 11:14 AM

Thank you everybody for your information. I don't think I'll put shelf couplers on these P2K cars,

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Posted by Rambo2 on Friday, July 22, 2022 3:57 PM

Thankyou for the great information next time im train watch i will look to see these couplers

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