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.

Drum construction

Solar thermal propulsion unit

Focused image tremble correcting device

Collapsible wheelbarrow

Thin layer ablation apparatus

Method of preparing ferroelectric ceramics

Automatic trimming machine

Door clip

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

Control means for ground hydrants

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

Neck towel and adjustable clasp

Fuel system for multicylinder engines

Vertical storage toolbox

Structurally efficient inflatable protective device

High temperature diesel deposit tester

Outdoor enclosure with heated desiccant

Catalyst patterning for nanowire devices

Surface modifier composition

Variable delivery compressor

Plastic orientation measurement instrument

Output regulator

Naso-gastric tube retainer

Golf putt training apparatus

Compact and robust spectrograph

Non-aqueous electrochemical cell

Thread wound golf ball

Method for preparing microemulsions

Perfusive chromatography

Moisture-curing polyamides

Ion-channel forming peptides

Stacker bundler shuttle system

Magnetic domain propagation register

Stabilized throttle control system

Brake pressure control valve

Decoupled integrated circuit package

Facsimile compression for transmission

Reversible code compander

Tissue anchoring system and method

Start-up circuit for voltage regulators

Nitrogen detection

Thin floss brush

DNA sequence encoding N-acetyl-galactosamine-transferase

Developer powder supply cartridge

Gravity particle separator

Polysaccharides and preparation thereof

Motor vehicle wiper

Glass compositions

X-ray lens

Tricyclic amides

Isothiazole and isoxazole sulphoxides

Baby blanket

Expandable tire building former

Extrusion machine

Automatic reversal mechanism

Medical garment

Hollow fiber separatory device

Signal amplifier

Lime sludge press unit


Article transferring apparatus

Depth-resolved fluorescence instrument

Soybean cultivar 40064423

Simultaneous production of higher chloromethanes

Insulating insert for magnetic valves

Electromechanical preparation of photoengraving cylinders

Endoscope signal level control

Compartmentalized basket truck

Oxide-superconduction grain boundary tunneling device

Power-generating control apparatus for vehicle

Terminal grounding unit

Developing unit for electro-photographic apparatus

Inter-LAN connection method using ISDN

Metering apparatus

Modular station platform construction kit

Pest bait station

Process for concentrating fluids

Powder dividing device for camera

Light distribution device

Multiple unit cigarette package

Preparation of star polymers

Movement detector

Process for decoking catalysts

Fishing hooking device

Laterally supported flexible sign

Security and deployment assembly

Sod cutter

Clear impact-resistant syndiotactic polypropylene

Valve timing adjusting device

Process for coating glass

Ice body delivery apparatus

Fluid flow reversing apparatus

Portable foldable splint

Passive lavatory cleanser dispensing system

Clothes hanger

Cervical traction device

Digital phase comparison apparatus

Railcar straddle for material handling

Front vehicle body structure

Elongated flexible detonating device

Workpiece feeding-ejection mechanism

Method for purifying acetone

Manual floor sweeper

Floating inlet tube

Electrical coupling unit for electrosurgery

Wearable display

Power converter device

Splash guard

Catalyzed fluorination of chlorocarbons

Impact-resisting composites

Selective hydrogenation of olefins

Pulse width modulation operation circuit

Display hook system

Device in clearing saws

Golf club stand device