Posted by J. Randall Banks on October 12, 2013 
Very interesting flatcar. I have to assume that the two sections on either end that are a different color are separate to alleviate slack helping to keep the load safe.
Posted by Erick Anderson on October 12, 2013 
That's not what they're for. The main body of the flatcar doesn't press directly on any of the trucks. Instead it's carried by two pivoting beams (called span bolsters), and those beams spread the load onto the trucks That way the car has all twelve axles holding it up, but can still go around curves because it has so many pivot points. The only reason they're a different color is because only the center of the car carries loads and gets dirty. As built the entire car would be that light blue color.
Posted by Dale Roth on October 12, 2013 
They are not separate. This is one 12 axle car used to help distribute the total weight. Even with 12 axles they each carry 25000 pounds. Even with a capacity of 730,000, each axle at capacity would be capable of 60,833 pounds.
Posted by Mike on October 12, 2013 
The ends of the car are the same same color as the middle. They're just more clean because those parts of the car are do not get anything welded to them. The center section is where all the welding-and grinding (to clean off the old welds)-takes place to secure the loads. Obviously, the rust from the welding and grinding is what discolors the center section, giving the appearance of three seperate sections. What 10 seconds of thought can accomplish is amazing!
Posted by Rob Jacox on October 12, 2013 
To add to Mike's comments above, most people don't even think of how these loads are secured to the decks. Sometimes they are held down with chains, but more often than not the loads are welded directly to the deck. You can see the large triangles on the end of the load and the smaller brackets along the sides. Weld em on, grind em off!
Posted by Mike on October 13, 2013 
Thank you Rob. When a customer uses one of these cars to ship a load, that customer is also responsible for "cleaning the deck". That means grinding off all of the welded attachments to secure the load. Failure to do so results in a substantial financial penalty for the customer. Moreover, if the stencils on the ends of the car could be seen in this photograph, I can guarantee that it will say "Do not weld in this area". I go by Kasgro's shop in New Castle PA on the train on a daily basis, and see these type of cars every day. Kasgro's cars are the the KRL cars, usually painted red. This is also a "home shop" for many other special duty flat cars of different owners, such as the one pictured. Kasgro has even been building heavy duty DODX (Department of Defense) flats lately. I must admit I am truly fascinated by the heavy duty flatcar stuff. Have been since I learned to walk back in 1977 or so LOL!
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