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Can someone identify this train car?
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mwu
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Can someone identify this train car?
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« on: Apr 3rd, 2014, 2:52pm »
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Hello, this is my first post here. I haven't really been into trains for most of my life, but my son is obsessed. I work in downtown Charleston, SC. My office used to be right next to a train yard which carries BMWs in on autoracks to the docks where they are then driven into a very large parking lot / staging area and then later driven onto a ship for transport. My office has since moved, but only a couple of blocks away. It was neat working in a building on the bay. When the cargo ships came by, it was strange -- They would fill most of the window, so it was like working in an office building where a skyscraper was moving across your view.
 
When going to and from work, I pass those train cars and occasionally I see a very odd-looking one. There are actually two which are similar to one another. One that is painted red and one that is painted blue. I have attached a photo I took of the blue one today. Each one looks like it is composed of two linked parts which look the same, but facing opposite directions so that it appears mirror-imaged. It seems to have some hydraulically moved parts, but traffic on that road is never so bad that I can sit and analyze what it might do. I think the two apparently linked parts might actually be a whole because I've never seen just one part by itself -- they are always paired this way.
 
After resizing the image, I'm not sure you can make out the lettering on the side, but on the larger copy I can and it reads "WECX 801".
 
Curiosity has been killing me -- I'd really like to know what this is and what it does.
 
Btw, in the background of the picture you can see the Ravenel bridge and a crane used for loading cargo onto ships. I've never seen the crane in use because they mostly just drive the cars onto the ships that come. The picture is taken looking toward the bay.
 
Thanks,
Marcus



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mwu
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Re: Can someone identify this train car?
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 3rd, 2014, 2:55pm »
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Here is a picture of the red version... It is a very poor image, though. This was taken in the back seat while moving and we were much closer to it so it is not only a blurry photo, but also not the entire car.



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RobR
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Re: Can someone identify this train car?
 
« Reply #2 on: Apr 3rd, 2014, 3:05pm »
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That is called a Schnabel car.  It is for extremely heavy loads.  The two halves separate, and the load is attached between them.  I believe that the weight of the load pushes down, pivoting the vertical sides of the halves in toward the load, thus squeezing the load and supporting it.
 
A Google search will get you a lot more information.
 
RobR


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mwu
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Re: Can someone identify this train car?
 
« Reply #3 on: Apr 3rd, 2014, 3:19pm »
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Yes, I should have googled it as soon as I found the markings on it... The following two sites provide a lot of info:
 
http://southern.railfan.net/schnabel/cars/wecx801/wecx801.html
http://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/wecx-801-is-the-worlds-largest-railcar?reply=21984675479934671#21984675479934671
 
Apparently it is one of the largest railcars. I think the red one I saw may have been CEBX 800. The markings are blurred, though.
 
It doesn't sound like there are many of these running around. It's neat to see something somewhat unique


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