Railway car

by: Frey, Ronald L.;

A railway idler car used as a spacer car between loaded cars that carry very long objects, such as plates, girders, structural steel, pipe, poles and the like. The car is of a skeleton design and is incapable of carrying freight.


This invention relates to a railway car. It relates particularly to a skeleton railway car used as an idler car to be positioned as a spacer car between conventional railway cars loaded with very long objects.

When long objects such as plates, girders, structural steel, pipe, poles, timbers and the like are shipped by rail and are longer than the length of the car, American Association of Railroads (A.A.R.) rules require a flat car be connected to the loaded car so that the flat car is spaced under, but not usually supporting, the projecting ends of the long objects.

Railway flat cars are built without sides or ends but have a very strong flat structural floor to permit the flat car to carry large, heavy or bulky objects, such as machinery, that cannot otherwise fit in a gondola or freight car. The use of a conventional flat car as an idler car or spacer between cars carrying very long objects is wasteful and expensive since it prevents the railroad from using the car for which it was designed, i.e. carrying large, heavy, bulky freight, and requires the shipper to pay high rates to use the flat car as a spacer car.

Skeleton cars, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,577,933 to Ferris, have been designed in the past to carry special loads such as ocean freight containers in "land bridge" operations. However, such prior skeleton cars have required a complex, strong structural truss design in order to carry the vertical loads of the shipping containers placed on the cars.


It is an object of this invention to provide an idler railway car that is adapted to serve as a non-revenue carrying spacer car between conventional railway cars loaded with very long objects.

It is another object of this invention to provide an idler railway car that is lighter in weight and is easier and less expensive to construct and maintain than conventional flat cars.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an idler car which will permit the railroads to use their inventory of conventional flat cars primarily for the revenue producing carrying of large, heavy, bulky loads instead of being used as spacer cars.

It has been discovered that the foregoing objectives can be attained by a skeleton car having an open, lightweight frame, floorless and incapable of carrying vertical payloads and with sufficient strength only to carry train action loads and to support and operate conventional railway car equipment required by A.A.R. regulations, such as brakes, ladders, couplers and the like.


FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a train showing a railway idler car of this invention positioned between a conventional flat car carrying a very long structural steel girder and a gondola car.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a railway car of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of one end of a railway car of this invention.

FIG. 4 is a section taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a section taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 2.


The preferred embodiment of the railway car of this invention is shown in FIG. 1. The car is structurally designed to carry only its own weight and the weight of required standard railway car components, such as brakes, ladders, couplers and the like. Since it is designed to carry no revenue producing payload or freight, the trucks and springs are also light duty.

Referring especially to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, the preferred embodiment of this invention comprises a car 1, having a longitudinal box girder center sill 2, a plurality of spaced horizontal crossties 3, extending outwardly from both sides of the center sill 2 and a pair of parallel longitudinal side sills 4. The last pair of crossties 3 at each end of the car 1, comprise the transverse end sills 5.

The space between the side sills 4 and between the crossties 3 is completely open and is not covered with structural flooring. The crossties 3 provide substantially all the structural support for the car between the center sill 2 and side sills 4 which in conventional cars, is provided to a large extent by the floor structure of the car. Short end panels 6 are secured to the top of the side sills 4, end sills 5 and center sill 2 to provide a walkway as required by A.A.R. regulations to permit a brakeman to mount the car and operate the hand brake.

The center sill 2 is designed to carry primarily only axial loads that result from the pushing or pulling of the car in a train. Since the car will not be carrying any vertical loads from freight, the center sill 2, crossties 3 and side sills 4 can be constructed of relatively lightweight structural members.

As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, conventional, but lightweight bolster assemblies 7 are positioned at each end of the car 1. Conventional, but light duty trucks (not shown) and springs are secured to each of the bolster assemblies 7. This feature also reduces the overall weight of the car. It is estimated the car of this invention will have a total weight of only about one-third that of a conventional flat car. The car of this invention saves considerable energy when a number of these cars are used in a train.

The car 1 of this invention can also be made shorter than the conventional flat cars. The preferred embodiment of the car of this invention is approximately 36 feet long between strikers.

The car of this invention is used for the sole function as an idler or spacer car. While the car is not designed to carry vertical freight loads, it is designed with sufficient strength to carry all train action loads and has sufficient weight to be stable on curves. The car meets all A.A.R. regulations.

While we have shown our invention by illustrating and describing the preferred embodiment of it, we have done so by way of example and are not to be limited as there are modifications and adaptions that could be made within the teachings of the inventor as claimed.

Hollow fiber separatory device

Shot gun shell tracer wad

Digital phase comparison apparatus

Fast circuit switching system

Vertical storage toolbox

Cervical traction device

Mower deck bumper

Developer powder supply cartridge

Direct conversion receiver per-selection

Electromechanical preparation of photoengraving cylinders

Decoupled integrated circuit package

Pulse width modulation operation circuit

Thin floss brush

Electromechanical toy

Window sash

Method for purifying acetone

Fuel system

Light distribution device

Thread wound golf ball

Asymmetric wire rope isolator

Automated nut-cracking apparatus and method

4-Aminoaliphatic-2,3,5,6-[dibenzobicyclo[5.1.0]octanes] and salts thereof

Tissue anchoring system and method

Clothes hanger

Front vehicle body structure

Expandable tire building former

Valve timing adjusting device

Photographic film and film cassette

Outdoor enclosure with heated desiccant


Variable delivery compressor

Surface modifier composition

Aqueous coating composition

Multiple pouch bagging apparatus

Electrical coupling unit for electrosurgery

Nitrogen detection

Unitary key holder

Optical device, system and method

Facial sun block mask

Variable delay memory system

Perfusive chromatography

Ribbed clothlike nonwoven fabric

Process for decoking catalysts

Fluid flow reversing apparatus

Arrangement for moving an object

Flexible chain conveyor

Moisture-curing polyamides

Manual floor sweeper

Pest bait station

Thermosensitive recording sheet

Electronic voting machine

Polishing apparatus

Printer control system

Fishing hooking device

Inter-LAN connection method using ISDN

Cotton gin control

Fuel system for multicylinder engines

Intraocular lens

Simultaneous telecommunication between radio stations

Neck towel and adjustable clasp

Antimicrobial cationic peptides

Security and deployment assembly

Ion-channel forming peptides

Support for a torch

Wheelchair motorizing apparatus

Internal combustion engine

Pharmaceutically active morpholinol

Probing with backside emission microscopy

Brake pressure control valve

Door clip

Soybean cultivar 40064423

Glass compositions

Process for coating glass

Lime sludge press unit

Facsimile compression for transmission

Water filtration assembly

Power-generating control apparatus for vehicle

Catalyst patterning for nanowire devices

Modular nuclear fuel assembly design

Compartmentalized basket truck

Cover connecting mechanism

Modular station platform construction kit

Drum construction

Stabilized throttle control system

Medical garment

Shutter time control circuit

Actuator and actuator system

Flash memory device

Polysaccharides and preparation thereof

Process for concentrating fluids

Somatostatin receptors

Gravity particle separator

1-(2-Aryl-4,5-disubstituted-1,3-dioxolan-2-ylmethyl)-1H-imidazoles and 1H-1,2,4-triazoles

Baby blanket

Plastic orientation measurement instrument

Fuel dispensing nozzle

Output regulator

Lock for sliding doors

Method of treating melanoma

Plain bearing

Magnetic blanket for horses

Metering apparatus


Powder dividing device for camera

Automatic reversal mechanism

Preparation of 2-amino-4-fluoropyrimidine derivatives


Extrusion machine

DNA sequence encoding N-acetyl-galactosamine-transferase

Device in clearing saws