• Well cars and 8" low platforms: how to create clearance

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by mtuandrew
 
Out west, out of high platform territory in the Eastern US (not sure about Canada), the FRA is requiring new or renovated platforms to be 8" above top-of-rail. That interferes with some freight equipment, in particular the omnipresent container well car (possibly car carriers as well?), and Class I railroads are resistant to allowing these platforms to be installed without gauntlets or some other sort of exotic solution.

How do we fix this problem? I know why well cars are constructed the way they are, the deep walls keep containers stable and cradled so they don't easily tip. I also know that the FRA is rightly following ADA guidance for roll-on, roll-off passenger boarding. Can we start to reconstruct well cars with a notch at low platform level? It would take perhaps five years to reconstruct all the well cars being actively used in America and change the AAR Plate H standard.

It is easier to just give every Superliner/California Car/Surfliner/Talgo a ramp at each door, most likely, and would cost several orders of magnitude less, but humor me here.