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 Post subject: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 640
There are (or at least were) a pair of relatively short (c.30-35 feet) flats with traces of C&O markings at the Bergen Power Piping plant in Donora, PA. This is one of my frequent bicycling venues, as the surrounding industrial park (once the USS Donora Works) has great roads and no weekend/evening traffic. The flats were occasionally used to move large piping assemblies in and out of the plant. They have no loco, but moved the flats with something else. Have not seen them in use for a year or so, but never saw any sign of their being disposed of. Probably still inside the large plant buildings. Might be worth an inquiry if freight equipment preservation is your thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
By any chance, do you have a photograph available?

Item of interest: a model company once offered a short steel flat in HO scale, billing it as an "older" prototype, but in reality, it was a fairly modern special purpose car--a short, high-capacity flat, meant to be used in pairs, for longer and heavy loads; it's my understanding that at least some of these cars were intended for the movement of large-caliber navy rifles (i.e., 16-inch guns). The Pennsylvania, the Delaware & Hudson, and the Baltimore & Ohio had some of these cars, and I recall seeing a such B&O car in maintenance service in Ohio, perhaps in the 1980s.

Examples from the PRR, in class F-22:

http://www.billspennsyphotos.com/apps/p ... d=83602141

http://www.billspennsyphotos.com/apps/p ... d=83602142

http://www.billspennsyphotos.com/apps/p ... d=83602143

http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiag ... &sz=lg&fr=

F-23:

http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiag ... &sz=lg&fr=

This model manufacturing firm offered its short flats in C&O colors, but I was not aware of the C&O having such cars. Whether or not they are of some C&O origin, if these flats are of this type, they probably would be considered rather rare, considering the special service they were built for.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4992
The Milwaukee Road also had some of these short, heavy duty, flats.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 620
Location: Albany, Georgia
When we were researching the best way to move the Central of Georgia flatcar, one Board member stumbled upon this YouTube video of a short, former US Army flatcar that has been preserved at the Silver Creek & Stephenson RR Museum at Freeport, IL. Great stuff!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_PY5lPBxLs

Interesting to note how the rail was put on the flatbed trailer for the move. You can see it quite well toward the end of the video, but I don't think you ever see who the trucking company was.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:08 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 640
No photos available. The cars presently bear numbers 100 and 101, but when first sighted, perhaps 10-12 years ago, traces of previous lettering and logos were quite evident.

Next time I see one of them left outdoors I'll investigate further. This company changed hands a couple years ago and use of the cars seems to have diminished since that time.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:55 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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I mentioned previously, that the Milwaukee Road had some of these short, heavy duty flat cars. Here is a photo.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 640
Those little MILW flats are certainly beefy types, Les. The cars at Donora, PA are not quite this short, and I believe they are fabricated and not cast.

I do recall seeing similar cars on PRR. In particular one such car, probably that F22 class (AAR designation FG, for Gun Flat) was used in a work train to support a big crawler backhoe that was doing ditch cleaning.

Another local industry, Pennsylvania Transformer Technology at Canonsburg, has a fleet of ex-PRR cast body flatcars of 40' length. These are used within the plant to move large transformers to test and paint areas. They are then typically transloaded to drop center flats for outbound moves to P&OC RR. There are about 6 such former PRR cars in this captive fleet. Those cars are as straight today as the day they were cast. The only one on which I could find data showed a 1947 build date. The others all had been thru the paint area so often all ID was covered over with many layers. The PRR numbers are visible on the underside of a couple of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4992
Thanks for the additional info David. If anyone has a question as to why the Milwaukee Road would have these short "gun flats" on the roster, the answer is the Crane Naval Weapons Station located in southeastern Indiana. The Milwaukee serviced the plant, so movement of large naval guns might be expected. The Monon also shipped ordnance out of the plant and I have seen photos of Navy turrets of the type that housed 5" guns for Navy destroyers that were moved on flat cars over the Monon. For those moves, I think the flats were longer than these 30 footers. Bridge clearances were certainly a problem with turret moves.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:51 pm
Posts: 125
Two gun flats, ex-PRR?, existed at Mason City on the newly sold Iowa Traction as of a year ago. I don't know why they were acquired. Cars have been there for at least twenty years.
Alex Huff


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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Alex Huff wrote:
Two gun flats, ex-PRR?, existed at Mason City on the newly sold Iowa Traction as of a year ago. I don't know why they were acquired. Cars have been there for at least twenty years.
Alex Huff


Alex -

I saw a photograph of a short gun flat that IATR had added a large flat blade on to one end making it into a snow plow. I don't know if it is still on the railroads roster or not, nor if it was one of the two gun flats you referred to in your note. Perhaps someone has a photo that they could post.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:40 pm
Posts: 33
Shot it when I visited in march of 09...

It just looks awesome and scary. There was also some other oddball "snow plow" flat.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4992
Boblenon -

Thanks for the photo. Hard to see in this view, but the car has arch bar trucks. If this is one of the two flats that Alex Huff said were on the IATR property, I wonder if it is really ex-PRR? Iowa Traction seems to have quite a bit of ex-Milwaukee Road stuff around, and I wonder if it might make more sense being ex-CMStP&P? Of course, those arch bar trucks might negate that logic.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:09 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:05 am
Posts: 169
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Les,

Those arch bar trucks could be an IATR modification. They may have had another car that needed a replacement set of trucks and just swapped the original trucks on this car for an old pair of arch bar trucks that happened to be on hand, since all it now carried was the plow and whatever scrap "ballast" the MOW crews had placed on the deck, instead of 8" or 16" naval rifles (plus it obviously wasn't in interchange service, so it wouldn't matter what the trucks were if they were adequate for the purpose).

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:01 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
A couple of notes about that former "gun flat:"

One, of course, it that it is a fabricated car, as can be seen by the rivets.

Two, take a look at the builder's photos of the PRR F-22 and F-23, and note that these cars have a nominal capacity of 190,000 lbs. (95 tons) for the F-22 and 150,000 lbs. (75 tons) for the F-23, and both were built on arch bar trucks!

I won't say Mike's comments about the trucks being changed out by IATR are wrong, but I do note, at least in this photo, that they look hefty for arch bar trucks. with large journals, like what you would see under a steam wrecker--another place to see high-capacity trucks of this type.

I wonder what the story really is.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of old, small flatcars.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:17 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:40 pm
Posts: 33
I just so happen to take a few extra pics :)


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