Intermodal rail cars guide,caboose hobbies brass,news new york city weather - Step 3

Foster the growth of piggybacking, provide its members with the best available equipment, and keep its members abreast of new developments.
The first Board of Directors meeting for Trailer Train in December 1955 quickly set about meeting these objectives; authorizing the purchase of Trailer Train’s first equipment – 500 75’ flat cars from the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Trailer Train went into operation in March 1956 and a young and growing company faced its first challenge in 1957, when Congress considered the Interstate Highway Act and trailer sizes increased to 40’ in length. The new 85’ flat cars of 1958 featured standardized components such as hitches, trucks and brake equipment.
The adoption of the 85’ flat is intertwined with Trailer Train’s formation and the growth of it and intermodal as a whole. The first 85’ flat was introduced by Pullman Standard in December 1958 and was followed by ACF in 1959 and Bethlehem Steel in 1960. ACF developed the first screw-operated TOFC hitch in 1955 and it is likely that all 85’ flats were delivered with an ACF Model A hitch. To combat this, early Trailer Train intermodal flat cars featured provisions to secure the rear of the trailer to the flat car with chains. All cars were delivered in the Pennsy influenced mineral red paint with an off-white anti-skid paint. Pullman Standard built almost 4,000 85’ flat cars for Trailer Train between 1958 and 1963, with a design that prominently features additional side sill support over the trucks and disaster chain tie-down bars at the mid-point and A end of the car. American Car and Foundry built just over 3,500 85′ flat cars for Trailer Train, between 1958 and 1963. The later phase of cars, such as TTX 650114 built in 1962-63, lack the side sill wings but still include a thin rod on the sill for trailer tie-down, which may have also been later removed as cars were serviced. By the time Bethlehem started building its version of the 85′ flat car, confidence in the trailer hitches ability to adequately secure the trailer to the flat must have increased. In 2012, Trainworx released models of the Pullman Standard 85ft Flat Cars in both drop-sill and straight-sill variations.
Ever the resourceful company, Trailer Train soon found other uses for these cars and many found second lives in MTTX (multi-purpose), ZTTX (long pole) service and JTTX (shipper specific) service.
The author would like to acknowledge the assistance of Jim Eager, Jim Kinkaid, John Gillies, Chris vanderHeide and Kent Charles for the information and photographs supplied and to the modelintermodal Yahoo Group members for their efforts in documenting and discussing intermodal transportation equipment and operations. Casdorph, David “The Freight Car Data Book: Trailer Train Company TTX Company” Society of Freight Car Historians, 1st Edition, 1995. Panza, Jim “Thirty-five years of Trailer Train” Railroad Model Craftsman Magazine, Carstens Publications, July 1990, Page 72. Panza, Jim “Thirty-five years of Trailer Train – Part 2” Railroad Model Craftsman Magazine, Carstens Publications, August 1990, Page 74. Panza, Jim “Trailer Hitches, Part 2: Modelling ACF Model 2 Hitches in HO” Railmodel Journal Magazine, Golden Bell Press, July 2001, Page 40. Wilson, Jeff “The Model Railroader’s Guide to Intermodal Equipment and Operations”, Kalmbach Books, 1998. As more industries shift towards containerizing their goods, congestion and cost arising from the increase in intermodal traffic will demand partnerships among rail carriers, truck and ocean carrier. Short haul intermodal services, generally defined as rail moves between 200 to 1,000 miles, like any other services, are driven by performance and cost.
In a recent survey5 of more than 4,000 trucking executives, the American Transportation Research Institute revealed that driver shortage was the greatest concern amongst truck operators.
Can shippers in short haul, low density markets realize the benefit of rail intermodal services? A successful rail intermodal service requires several elements, including sufficient freight to justify the service, access to rail services between the origin and destination, and an intermodal marketing company or logistics service to manage the service for the shipper.
Rail Length-of-Haul (LOH), rail rates, rolling stock costs, terminal costs and dray charges at origin or destination all contribute to door-to-door short haul shipping costs.
Three methods available for short haul shipping include multi-unit well cars, multi-purpose 89’ flat cars, and RailRunner® bi-modal technology.
3-Unit Well Car: The 3-unit well car, a typical example of multi-unit well cars, is approximately 203’ long and weighs about 45,500 lbs. RailRunner: RailRunner products vary in weight and length, and depends on whether a 53’, 40’ or 20’ shipping container is being transported.
In order to fully appreciate their relative efficiencies, it is necessary to evaluate each type of intermodal railcar operation by considering its line haul costs, lift expenses, equipment and rolling stock costs, terminal requirements, surface preparation costs and other factors over annual container transaction volume. This asset optimization study concludes that competitive short haul rail intermodal services can be provided for short haul and low density markets most effectively with RailRunner technology. Capital Cost Comparison: Capital cost comparison - A 3-unit well car capital cost is typically less expensive, per container payload than RailRunner bogie and chassis combinations because well cars are a double-stack technology while RailRunner is a single stack technology. Rail Operating Cost Comparison: Line-haul costs of a 3-unit well car train, when compared with a RailRunner train carrying the same number of containers, has slightly less trailing tonnage and may offer marginal efficiencies in train running costs. Intermodal Operating Comparison: A well car must be loaded or unloaded at a terminal that has container lift capabilities. General: It should also be noted that well car operations are limited to railroads that have double-stack clearances, which are not always available in short haul lanes. Product-to-Product Comparison: Product-to-product comparison – A multi-purpose 89' flat car, like RailRunner, carries containers in a single stack configuration. Rail Operating Cost Comparison: Line-haul costs of a multi-purpose 89' flat car train, when compared with a RailRunner train carrying the same number of containers, has similar in length and trailing tonnage and therefore, has comparable efficiencies in train running costs. Intermodal Operating Comparison: An 89' flat car, as per the well car, must be loaded or unloaded at a terminal that has container lift capabilities. General: Costly investment in lift equipment and terminal surface preparation for a flat car operation, paired with the added lease cost of marine chassis needed for drayage creates high unit costs in low-density markets.


Optimal utilization of rail and terminal assets is critical for successful intermodal operations.
In order to effectively model the circumstances required for comparison, initial assumptions have to be made about rail operating conditions, rolling stock deployed and terminal assts and infrastructure built or acquired. In the models, rolling stock units are determined by train length and frequency; train frequency required to generate the appropriate number of annual payloads. 89' Flat Cars are of a similar density per unit length as RailRunner, so for a given maximum length train, the number of consists required to achieve an equivalent number of annual payloads will be quite similar to RailRunner. Another variable is the use of additional power as trailing tonnage crosses certain boundaries.
Both the total cost and operating costs have been calculated for each type of terminal and applied to the overall model.
All analyses (equipment, rolling stock, surface prep, and labor) are presented in terms of cost only.
Figure 4, above, shows the comparison of line haul cost between RailRunner and 89' flat cars.
Terminal infrastructure and operating costs for flat cars are essentially the same as those of well cars. The Pennsy had seen its Truc-Train service, between South Kearny, NJ and Chicago become immediately successful due to their new 75’ flat car’s ability to carry two 35’ trailers at a time – the standard trailer length of the day. Now that railroads were focusing on truckers as a source of revenue, this was a major problem – 75’ flat cars could not handle two 40’ trailers at a time and the efficiencies of piggyback would be lost.
It was a bold decision for the young company, that had now grown to represent 10 companies and it strengthened its management and capability away from the conservative elements, for it (collectively) wore the financial risk of the new cars. Trailer Train’s membership continued to grow and by 1959 member railroads accounted for more than 40% of Class 1 mileage in the United States. In 1960 the General American transportation freight car pool was disbanded and most members joined Trailer Train, Class 1 mileage for the company now accounted for 74% of the US total. These cars had a standard deck height of 3’-5 ? ” and they all featured the same basic raised side sill design where the top of the sill extends above the deck.
These “disaster” chains were wrapped around the trailer bumper and hooked to a bar heavily secured to the side sill. These were often incorporated into the Trailer Train fleet when the railroads joined the Company. Cars built before 1960, such as TTX479357 shown above in the article header featured a fishbelly side sill profile (“early” phase) and those built 1960 and after feature a straight sill side profile (“late” phase), such as TTX473930 below. Like the late phase ACF car, these cars only feature a thin rod on the side sill as alternative method of tie-down.
Industry experts forecast that by 2010, as much as 89% of global general cargo will be shipped in container2.
Continued growth of the global economy translates into greater intermodal and domestic freight volumes.
However, even though rail intermodal traffic has continues to grow, intermodal terminals are being closed, consolidated and relocated. In the past, lack of rail density, expensive terminal costs, competitive highway service, costly container lifting equipment and rolling stock availability have kept short line rail carriers from offering intermodal services. Driver availability combined with high and unpredictable diesel fuel prices, new hours of service regulation, driver retention problems, increased congestion, high tolls and environmental issues increase truckers' costs and restrict their ability to add capacity. Typically rail costs are 30% of highway costs, but this advantage can be eroded in short-haul situations. The following sections support this conclusion in direct comparisons of Well Car and Flat Car operations to RailRunner-based service. These lifts, whether gantry crane or reach stacker, are expensive to acquire, operate and maintain, and can only be cost efficient in terminals with high container volume throughput.
A flat car train, with its single stack capabilities, is approximately the same length as a RailRunner train, requiring development of similar terminals and terminal track lengths. 3-Unit Well Car shows that the line-haul cost of RailRunner and a 3-unit well car are close, with the principal variation arising when additional consists are added because of the lower density of RailRunner. Well Car above shows a comparison of a RailRunner terminal fixed cost per payload to a double-stack or flat car terminal as a function of annual payloads. RailRunner - The study confirms that it is possible to establish a cost effective and efficient short haul, rail served intermodal service. RailRunner - Flat cars per payload capital cost are less expensive than RailRunner, but are more expensive than a well car per payload costs. One of the most commonly seen Intermodal Well Cars seen riding the rails today is the MAXI-I 40’ Intermodal Car. While its base well is 40', it can accept larger containers such as 45', 48' and even 53' in the top position, making the car a versatile addition to a railroad's intermodal services.
One of the most commonly seen Intermodal Well Cars seen riding the rails today is the MAXI-I 40’ Intermodal Car. The first two hundred of these cars were built by Bethlehem Steel in 1954 and the final 300 were built in-house at the Pennsy’s Hollidaysburg (PA) shops, all were assigned in PRR class F39.
As an interim measure, Trailer Train bought 256 50’ flat cars from the Pennsy to cater for this emerging load and equipped them with a newly developed trailer hitch. The railroads were impressed with Trailer Train’s ability to manage and maintain its growing fleet.
The first era of intermodal was coming to an end and most of the early problems such as equipment standardization, load fastening, interchange and adoption had been solved. As these cars were loaded “circus-style” the raised sills were used to assist the reversing of trailers into position.


These risers were made from 3-inch by 10-inch by 10 foot long oak boards with a 12 inch chamfer on each end. Some cars were delivered with CTTX reporting marks and these cars were equipped with removable bolsters and pedestals to carry containers and some were delivered with STTX reporting marks to signify cars that were leased to a specific shipper – they were in a special rate schedule (Plan IV) were the shipper provides the trailer and the flatcar. Other leasers, such as the Transport Leasing Company, also purchased these cars for intermodal service. These volumes are concentrating in key hubs (very often in major metropolitan areas) and are distributed from these hubs via a network of highway and rail services.
These on-going restructuring efforts are mainly due to rail mergers, line rationalizations and efforts to increase operating efficiencies, but often leave smaller secondary markets stranded without any reliable intermodal service.
However, given current trends in the trucking industry, continued closure of rail intermodal terminals, and developments in new rail technologies, distances as short as 130 miles can be successfully served by rail4. A fundamental question is whether or not current intermodal technology can offer advantages to short-haul or low-density markets. All well car operations require specialized container lift equipment at either end, used for changing the container transport mode from rail to road, or vice versa. Operating costs and challenges, for the flat car, are similar to that listed for well car operations – heavy container lifting equipment, costly surface preparation and a need for spare equipment all contribute to operating costs. In addition, terminal surface preparation required to accommodate heavy container lifts is more expensive than the surface required for a RailRunner operation. Costly investment in lift equipment and terminal surface preparation for a well car operation, paired with the added lease cost of marine chassis needed for drayage, creates high unit costs in low-density markets. Although well car per payload capital costs are lower than RailRunner per payload capital costs, and well cars offer certain efficiencies because of its double-stack capabilities, such benefits are negated by the cost of terminal surface preparation and investment in heavy container lift equipment, . Flat car benefits are negated by the cost of terminal surface preparation and investment in heavy container lift equipment, which is similar to that required for well cars, This model creates an even stronger case for the RailRunner technology and, as shown in Figure 5 Total Cost RailRunner vs. Run as a set of 5 Wells, these cars are designed to carry 40 foot containers in the bottom position while being able to accept larger sized containers in the top position. The MAXI-I is a five-unit well car, unlike its 53' cousin, giving each car a greater capacity even though the individual wells are a smaller size. Run as a set of 5 Wells, these cars are designed to carry 40 foot containers in the bottom position while being able to accept larger sized containers in the top position. These cars used tie-down chains and loops on the center sill to secure trailers to the cars, prior to the development of the trailer hitch. After losing most of the new automobile distribution traffic to trucks, the railroads turned to Trailer Train to provide cars for automobile service and the first auto racks were mounted to 85’ standard level flat cars. In the early 1960s the 89’ length flat car was introduced for autorack and intermodal use and would be the industry backbone for the next thirty years, but that will be covered in future articles. They were all equipped with bridge-plates to transfer the trailer from car to car in their long strings. Beginning in late 1977 these wooden risers were replaced with steel risers of 3 inch by 4 inch by 10 foot long formed channel, with a 10 inch long chamfer on each end. As hitches proved their reliability over time, the requirement for disaster chains disappeared and side sill design evolved on the 85’ cars. CTTX and STTX marks were not in use for very long and these cars were reassigned TTX reporting marks in TOFC only service. In a short haul corridor, these escalating levels of freight are predominately carried by trucks, on the same highway corridors where there is increased personal travel (expressed in vehicle miles traveled (VMTs), and creating levels of compound congestion on highways. A RailRunner operation does not require any lift or costly terminal surface preparation, and can be operated at a dedicated terminal or any siding or spur that has a level grade.
A RailRunner operation does not require any lift or costly terminal surface preparation and can be operated at a dedicated terminal or any siding or spur that has a level grade. Using the RailRunner Terminal Anywhere® System provides a much lower breakeven point than the well car operation. Flat Car, the total cost per payload for RailRunner is lower across the entire annual volume range.
Further information on the F39 cars can be found in Jim Panza’s article in the July 1990 Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. From this very beginning, Trailer Train provided the flat car to the member railroad that owned the auto rack and even today owns very few racks itself. Typically, 4 risers were used each side of the hitch, but cars with 3 or 5 risers have also been observed.
These VMT levels are growing at rates which cannot be sustained in a continued growth scenario.
This switch of transportation mode can be preformed on relatively inexpensive dedicated terminal, or on remote rail sidings or spurs that have been level graded.
In the mid-1970s, Trailer Train worked with ACF to improve the Model A hitch resulting in a hitch with beefier vertical struts and modified top plate. Well Car, showing the total cost per payload, RailRunner is profitable for container volumes ranging between 5,000 and 45,000 containers per year.
These improvements were based on the improved ACF Model 2 hitch that had been released on the 89’ flats of the early 1960s.



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