Otto Vondrak wrote:I'm authoring an article and my editor challenged where I got the concept that railroads have ramped up and rebuilt their infrastructure to handle "standard" 286K cars, and some can handle a maximum 315K. I also asserted that railroads are preparing for heavier loads in the future, perhaps 315K will be the next standard.
Question- did I make all this up? lol... Is there really a standard or a directive, maybe from the AAR, that railroads need to be "286K Compliant?"
Can someone direct me to some resources?
Here's a bit of info: http://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/plannin ... ilplan.pdf
in pertinent part from above:
The gross weight limit of a line is another indicator of track quality. It is also provides an
indication of the ability of a segment to interchange traffic with other segments. In the
1970s, much of the branch line network was restricted to gross car weights of 220,000
pounds, which allowed net loads of 70 to 80 tons. However, the need for effective use of
100-ton hopper cars resulted in branch line capacity limits being raised to 263,000
pounds. Today, the main line track of Class I railroads supports 286,000 pound cars,
which permits cargo loads of 110 to 115 tons, depending on the commodity density and
the tare weight of the rail car. There are some railroads operating 315,000-pound cars in
designated main line corridors. These high capacity cars permit net loads of 125 tons.
Larger capacity rail cars are more efficient for railroads because a higher net to tare
weight ratio generally means more railroad revenue per car without increasing the cost
per bushel for the shipper. But higher carload rates for higher capacity cars may have
economic consequences for shippers beyond the rate itself. With a carload rate structure,
shippers pay for the total capacity of the car regardless of whether they fully use it. For
example, at $4,000 per carload, a shipper who loads 111 tons on the car pays $36 per ton.
A shipper who loads the same car with 100 tons pays $40 per ton.