Empty Frame Flats Question

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Empty Frame Flats Question

Unread postby GreatLakesRailfan » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:45 pm

This pertains specifically to trains on CN/GTW that carry the flatcars with the equipment for transporting automotive frames.

My understanding is that the frames are manufactured in Canada and are shipped to either Flint or the Detroit area for assembly. Which means the empties go east to Canada and the loads come west to Michigan.

This morning I happened to observe a westbound train (coming from Canada with 4 empty frame flats in its train. I'm pretty sure I saw the same thing once before, in the past couple weeks, but don't recall exactly when or how many cars were going the wrong way before.

Has something changed regarding where frames are being shipped to/from? I can see one car getting misrouted, but these cars seem to be in a dedicated pool between specific destinations, seeing what could be an entire block of cars going the wrong way seems like something fairly significant might be, or has already taken place.

Thanks in advance if anyone knows what's going on and can share what they know.
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Re: Empty Frame Flats Question

Unread postby CR900945 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:31 am

This is not a guaranteed answer to your question. I think what is happening on CN based on personal observations: Light duty 1/2 ton truck frames are going east to GM Oshawa. Oshawa truck would be the only plant in Ontario using frames. 3/4 and 1 ton frames are going west to GM Flint or somewhere else. If you see them on the westbound frame flats, the side rails of the frames are noticeably taller and beefier. Don't know if they are using the same frame flats for both types. Hope this helps.
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