A and B car ends and special loading question

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A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby rustbeltrailroad » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:52 pm

I know that sometimes boxcars need a certain door placed on the unloading side and flat cars need this too for different unloading procedures. I am asking people if they can post the correct terminology for including these specifications in operational model railroading. And what type of other cars can need this attenetion by the shipper. Any info is appreciated!
Thanks for your time,
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Saturnalia » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:20 pm

The handbrake is the "B" end of any car.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Fred » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:29 pm

The B end of a car just refers to the end of the car where the handbrake is located. Has no bearing on how the car is spotted at an industry. Most times a crew doesn't know what car-door to place at the industry until he sees the "unload this side/or unload from other side" sign on the door of the car. Crew will have to wye the car in order the right side at customer's door.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby CSX_CO » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:16 pm

Saturnalia wrote:The handbrake is the "B" end of any car.


What about cars with brake wheels at both ends? Then what?

Fred wrote:Most times a crew doesn't know what car-door to place at the industry until he sees the "unload this side/or unload from other side" sign on the door of the car. Crew will have to wye the car in order the right side at customer's door.


Railroad charges to turn the car if the unloading door is on the wrong side. Because of that, pretty rare to have happen. Shippers aren't in the business of just giving the railroad money. Only seen it once or twice as a crew on a local. Most shippers will make sure to load the side that will correspond to the correct side when it reaches the final customer.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:02 pm

I found this on the internet about a car with 2 handbrakes. I don't know if it is true but makes some sense.

Yes, a caboose has a brake wheel on both ends. However, the pointy end of the brake cylinder only points one direction. On a normal freight car it points toward the brake wheel or towards the B end of the car. On a caboose the direction it points to is determined to be the B end of the caboose to match most all of the rest of the freight car fleet.


I think you give shippers too much credit. I wouldn't have a clue which side of the car to mark for unloading at a customer. I would need to know the route and the intricacies of the interchanges / yard moves. I think most shippers now load the cars so they can be unloaded from either side. As for the wying charges, my RR can't wye a car but our interchange partner charges $450 to wye a car. That's not much on a cross country $6000 freight bill.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Fred » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:56 pm

Yes, it would be impossible for a shipper to know what side of the car would be spotted at the industry. For example, here in Detroit at Jct Yard (Livernois) an inbound train could either enter the yard at CP Waterman or CP West Detroit. If thru CP Waterman & the South Receiving Yard, the cars would be wyed when set over into Livernois Yard to be switched. AJM Packaging frequently would need a car wyed again so it could be unloaded at their dock door.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby AARR » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:54 am

I've seen a few box cars in lumber and paper service marked with something to the effect of "unload from this side only".
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby M.D.Bentley » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:21 am

On cars with brake wheels on both ends ( cabooses, intermodal cars/5 pack well cars, specialty cars, etc ). The brake end is marked "B" end & the other brake marked "A" .
We mostly only turn cars that have damaged doors, caused by a hilo, shifted load, side swipe, etc. Some customers ( with multiple docks ) will request cars spotted on certain tracks for unloading. If its just a stuck door, a carman may go out and try to open it and then bad order the cars for repairs.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby CSX_CO » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:58 am

Raildudes dad wrote:
I think you give shippers too much credit. I wouldn't have a clue which side of the car to mark for unloading at a customer. I would need to know the route and the intricacies of the interchanges / yard moves. I think most shippers now load the cars so they can be unloaded from either side. As for the wying charges, my RR can't wye a car but our interchange partner charges $450 to wye a car. That's not much on a cross country $6000 freight bill.


$450 is almost a 10% increase on the freight bill you cited. As a shareholder of the railroad I appreciate your willingness to add to the carriers bottom line. I bet the shipper/receiver would like to avoid that charge if at all possible. I'd hope as the end consumer, who ultimately pays that bill, you'd like them to avoid it too.

Wouldn't take too many trips with those charges added on to figure out which side they need to be dictating as the unloading side either...
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:18 am

Victor Barnes up at Turner and at Reynolds was one customer that had to have cars with UNLOAD THIS SIDE placed correctly. The cars were loaded with pressboard/OSB and the loader would load right against the door opposite of the UNLOAD THIS SIDE DOOR. 95% of the time they wanted them turned before they would unload them.
As the cars came from various shippers from as far away as Oregon I surely surely doubt if the loader had any idea as to where the side of the car would be when it arrived at a destination....let alone the fact that they load multiple cars a day for multiple customers.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:40 pm

$450 / $6000 = 7.5% not 10% 2.5/7.5= 0.3333 or 33% error.

I just pulled a waybill and checked the pricing etc. Value of the load = $42,000. Approximately 900 mile haul, 4 railroads, 2 Class 1's, 2 shortlines. Published tariff is $8200 Transportation is prepaid. $450/$8200 = 5.45% I'm not sure the $450 would get billed to the receiver after the fact. If it was hundreds of cars, maybe; an occasional car, I doubt it.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby CSX_CO » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:45 pm

I said almost 10% in the example you cited...

More than likely the charge is billed after the fact. Customer might be on the hook for an interplant switch or a second spotting charge. Then that bill adds up quick. So you're looking at a minimum of $8650 for that load.

Never mind the end customer just lost 1% of the value of the load because they have to have the car turned.

Again, wouldn't take too many loads to figure out which way the car needed to be loaded at origin. Unless you don't give a crap about your bottom line.

Car routings are pretty constant. After about the second car needing to be turned, call the origin shipper, ask to have the unloading side changed. That, or don't load against a door so it's a non issue. Most customers do watch their bottom lines, hence why turning a car for 99% of them doesn't happen because it is an entirely avoidable expense.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:38 am

The simple solution is to tell the shipper not to load the car so it can only be unloaded from just one side. With the waybill I used, it's a partially finished material. Once the receiver gets done doing their thing and sells their product, the $450 may be 5.45% of the transportation bill but is a minuscule portion of the total cost of the product plus it's certainly is passed on to the customer

Railfans tend to forget that while materials / product can be transported cheaper by rail, the shippers / receivers are choosing trucks. The higher cost is just passed on to the final customer.
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Doktor No » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:08 am

And to top it off....the cars we need to turn are sometimes free astray cars...that is loaded with no destination upon departure. They are placed open to bid by brokers as they travel eastward, lets say from the plywood/OSB plant in Frog Leap, Oregon. When they get purchased and placed to a final destination THEN the unload this side may come into play.
With lumber products, thats the way it used to be anyway. We would get cars for the place on Judd Street with a Consignee in Pennsylvania on the waybill. Now try to find out where that car is really going when it arrives in the yard...you have to call PA sometimes to find out. One of the fun parts of reading waybills and customer service. I did it for ERB, I did it for Standard and Standale. I did it for Lumbermans (would that be going to Vans on the MQT or your place in Holland on the branch?) and one on the GDLK...BluePoint something or other right at the north end of GDLK, the old Weyerhauser place...
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Re: A and B car ends and special loading question

Unread postby Fred » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:29 am

I agree that IF the shipper loaded the car properly so that it could be unloaded from either door there wouldn't be any need to be turning cars to be unloaded. Like I said, Detroit is sort of a unique situation in that trains can enter Jct yard (Livernois) from more than one direction sometimes causing the entire train to be turned before being switched out.
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