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Coil Cars

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Coil Cars
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 14, 2003 6:01 PM
Does anyone know when coil cars came into being and where one might get some history of them?[:D]
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Posted by AltonFan on Friday, November 14, 2003 9:44 PM
I believe they were introduced in the late 1960s. For a time, covered gondolas were used for this service. In the steam era, steel coil was shipped in gondolas or flat cars.

Dan

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Posted by DTomajko on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:49 PM
According to the instruction sheet in my Ambroid coil car kit,Evans Products Co. introduced the "coil car" in 1964.Gondolas with longitudeanal racks were and are still used for mostly "black" or unfinished coils.Flatcars would probably only be used to ship flat sheet steel versus coils,due to the difficulty in blocking and securing it.As an example,look at how a truck loads a coil on a flatbed trailer.I also believe that some of the earliest covered gons were owned by the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad.Good luck and good modeling.
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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 10:43 PM
Several kinds of coil cars are shown in the 1966 Car & Locomotive Cyclopedia, of a variety of types and not all of them being the kind that Evans marketed.
None are shown in the 1937 Car Builders Cyclopedia (they surely used gons back then for coiled steel, and even now I see it shipped that way now and again). So many different kinds of coil steel cars are shown in the 1966 Cyc that I assume the cars were well accepted well before then , maybe into the 1950s, and were not brand new or experimental. Perhaps someone with a more complete collection of Cycs can trace this for us

By the way a Car & Locomotive Cyclopedia is exceptionally useful to understand what cars were new in what era. I have a 1970 Cyc (my era), and a 1966 Cyc (figuring not all cars were brand spanking new so I needed a slightly older perspective) and the 1937 Cyc, figuring that the oldest cars I would typically see in 1970 were around 35 years old. The problem is, these Cyc are collectors items and sell for $100 plus each. Fortunately the Trainshed Cyclopedias offer selected reprints that are also useful.
Dave Nelson
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  • From: East Lansing, MI, US
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Posted by GerFust on Thursday, November 20, 2003 12:30 PM
Another argument for railroads over trucks! When truck drivers load coils, the have to decide if it will ride normally (roll off side) or SUICIDE (roll forward/backward).

-Jer
[ ]===^=====xx o o O O O O o o The Northern-er (info on the layout, http://www.msu.edu/~fust/)
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 20, 2003 6:10 PM
Here I need to step up and assist with Information regarding Coils.

I have about a year's worth of hauling Steel and Aluminum on a Covered Flatbed known as a "Covered Wagon"

Aluminum Coils usually are larger than steel coils and not as heavy. These usually get shipped "Eye to the sky" or standing on end. The pallets on these recieve a wood bracing nailed to the deck at each corner and 3 straps on each side going over the top to to the opposite tiedown (Chain hook)

Aluminum coils get shipped to Busch Brewing etc for Cans for the Beer. They are also shipped to a variety of other users. And they usually get 3 coils on a 48 foot trailer. That is just about 48-52000 pounds payload.

Steel coils get loaded slightly differently. The best way is to place a coil down between two long peices of wood cut at a 45 degreee angle for the bed. A large peice of rubber is laid across the bed and the coil set down into it. The wood is held from underneath by small irons to keep them together. The coil is thus loaded the long ways down the length of the trailer. Chains of 1/2 or 3/4 inch thickness is passed thru the core to the oppsoite tie down. They are secured with Binders. Straps are then thrown over the top to the same tie down on the other side.

It usually took 6 chain and 4 straps before I felt that a 30,000 pound coil is secured properly. The other thing about coils is that there are LARGE coils also these get very special treatment...

A large coil of steel is one that is 15 feet long and about 100 inches wide. (Or high) These are 50,000 pounds on 15 feet of trailer space. There are certain flatbeds capable of such concentrated loads. Because of thier size and mass to take a load around a curve such as a exit ramp marked "25" mph requires you to slow down to as much as 10 before you get to the curve. There will be a rollever if you dont slow down.

GerFust made a reference to "Suicide Coils" these are loaded eyes to the sides being able to roll forward and backwards if they are not secured properly. I want to mention that if you cut off a big truck with these coils and he has to stop or slow down quickly these coils will kill the driver and possibly grind you into hamburger. and then go into the oppsing traffic and destroy and kill some more.

Straps and Chains are used on coils according to federal regualtions. I have always chained and strapped em to the point that "God" can pick up my truck and turn it upside down and the coil (s) will stay attached.

Steel coils are used in factorys to stamp out walls for washers and dryers, panels for car doors, cans, etc etc etc.

Even Brass or Bronze is shipped in coils I have run loads of these from Buffalo NY to a Ammuntion Plant (Remington Arms) in Lonoke Arkansas. They will make rifle cartriges out of the material.

I used a Box trailer for these for best protection from the weather. A reefer was even used to maintain 65 degrees and 40% humidity escpecailly to protect the brass from weather changes between NY and AR.

So theoratically you can use reefers to haul small coils and claim protection from elements as a reason.

Good Luck everyone!

Lee
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Posted by dknelson on Friday, November 21, 2003 8:14 AM
Interesting information Lee, thanks
This changes the general topic of this thread but a potentially interesting subject for an article in MR would be the basic rules for bracing and shipping large loads on trucks and on flat cars (and gons too of course). I have started to take photographs of how this is done at a large factory I know that still ships by rail. They frequently weld pretty large steel jigs on the top of the flat car (stand on a bridge over a yard and you will see flat cars that show numerous weld marks). Obviously someone at this factory knows how to build these braces and jigs out of steel and wood and steel threaded rod, and perhaps they use a source of information that I am not aware of. But expert information on this topic would make us all better modelers.
Dave Nelson
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 21, 2003 11:07 AM
I also wanted to add a few more tidbits about coils..

The cars designed for coil business was made by Evans and introduced in the mid 60's

I wanted to assist those who are contemplating modeling coil facilities. In Louisville Ky there is a Maytag Plant that makes Washer and Dryers as well as other appliances. They eat coils by the mile. These coils come from a facility 2 hours away on what I believe was the "Ohio" River.

There is a large covered barge that is placed full of coils stacked onto each other, fresh from a Steel Mill up (or down) river. A large crane on rails reached out over water and moved these into a storage area. I think I counted some 80 coils on the barge and twice that number in the building.

For those who are modeling a complete brewey, the coils moved from central ky to a Anhauser Busch plant in Williamburg Va 3 at a time (Aluminum) per truck. Consider they need about roughly 40 coils a day on a 24/7 3 shifts span... There were large stamp machines driven by computer that would eat the sheet from the coil (About 11 miles im told. I have to see it to believe it..) stampimg out about 190 complete cans (Caps, sides etc) every 2 seconds. There were about 6 of these being fed coils all day as the Midatlantic population literally drinks up the brew as it is being made.

That is all I have on coils for now. I hope this information is of value to who ever wants to use coils on a layout but not necessarily model a huge Steel Mill.

Lee
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 21, 2003 11:13 AM
Can you stand one more coil post?

For a sea port one could model a "coil" dock. I witnessed a large ship of some 600 feet long being emptied of coils onto the dock. The resulting pile of steel coils on the peir had to be seen and believed I am told there were roughly enough steel on that dock to build 10 copies of the very vessal that brought it in. One could model this with about 3 ranks of model coils and 10 files long stacked about 3 high. This would offer a convincing model shipment of coils by ship on a model layout. One does not necessarily need 600 scale feet of dock. (7 Actual feet)

Lee
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Posted by DTomajko on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 9:23 PM
I worked for a steel hauling trucking company for 19 years and the only thing that determines how a coil is loaded,(suicide,shotgun,or eye-up),is the customer.The coils are placed as to how they will be unloaded because not everyone has an overhead crane like most mills.Coils can be handled with a forklift from the side or by driving on the trailer from a dock.Also,the customers equipment determines how heavy a coil is.It takes some large equipment to handle a 48,000# coil.The larger the coil utilized to feed a production line,the fewer interuptions from changing coils at the feed point and the less waste at the ends of the coil.By the way,skidded coils aren't always loaded eye-up,I had 3 skidded suicide coils from J&L Midland(Pa) mill once.Also,all the overseas(to or from) coils I have seen were covered in an outer layer of metal in addition to the usual water-proof paper.Also,most finished coils,(galvanized,zinc-coated,oiled,etc),are usually paper wrapped to protect the material from the weather.An individual tarp or Highiron2003ar's "covered-wagon" tarp(full trailer length) or the coilcar's hoods provide the required additional protection from the elements.Uncovered coils are typically "black" or unfinished coils used for making pipe or to be finished or rerolled at another plant.By the way,all the information I have seen shows that the "Evans Coil Car" was introduced in the early 1960's.Good luck and good modeling.

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