• what is this boxcar used for and why is the door so far off

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by scharnhorst
what is this boxcar used for and why are the door's booth on one end of the car as seen in the photo?
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  by Gadfly
*IF* I remember correctly, they are that way in order to load long. bulky items that must be kept out of the WX. If the door was in the center, a forklift couldn't make the turn required to place the lading.

  by CarterB
Canstock boxcars were designed with very large offset doors. They were made to transport the fragile sheets of rolled metal used to make cans. These "Canstock" cars were delivered in a B&O scheme but got repainted into the Chessie colors. XL: Loader Equipped. Box car similar in design to "XM", with steel perforated side walls or equipped with interior side rails for securement of certain types of lading and/or permanently attached movable bulkheads.
  by Flat-Wheeler
I've seen "Offset door" boxcars on Conrail about 10 years ago, and I've seen a leased one with plug doors. I have photos of a couple somewhere in my collection. I always thought these were used for customers with short spaced, or unevenly spaced loading docks.

For example. Customers having large warehouses with multiple loading dock doors the length of the rail siding, would receive strings of boxcars at a time, with the docks/ramps spaced apart to match the door openings on a coupled cut of boxcars. Since the 70's the length of typical common boxcars expanded from 40' to 50', and then later to 60'. In many cases it was not cost effective to rebuild the shippers warehouse walls to respace the dock loading door centers. And plus, unlike in the past, it was no longer considered cost effective to pay the railroad to have a devoted engine and train crew to switch around the cars positions multiple times during the load/unload. Thus dock doors or ramps spaced 43' apart rather than on 53' centers could be fully utilized by including 1 or 2 offset door boxcars.

Also, I could see where the short length of a smaller customers siding would only allow the last car to be positioned such that the car's center does not line up with the last dock on the end of the warehouse building. Maybe the door on a typical boxcar, only lines up with the corner of the end of the building wall, and does not reach to the center of the last dock/ramp on the building wall.
  by CarterB
Like I said, it's a canstock car built originally for B&O, for rolls of steel can stock.
  by jwhite07
Good article on Canstock Cars starting on page 13:


There was a review in Model Railroader (not sure which one, but within the last year or so) of a HO Canstock Car produced by Spring Mills... had a little back story as well, but not in the same detail as the B&ORRHS article linked to above.
  by scharnhorst
vary cool I'll have to print that tidbit of news out for future reference. I also noticed that FOX Valley models is not making these cars in B&O / B&O Chessie, and in CSX all in N scale!