Schnabel car

A Schnabel car or Schnabel wagon is a specialized type of railroad freight car. It is designed to carry heavy and oversized loads in such a way that the load makes up part of the car. The load is suspended between the two ends of the cars by lifting arms; the lifting arms are connected to an assembly of span bolsters that distribute the weight of the load and the lifting arm over many wheels.

Consumers Power Company Schnabel car with an electrical transformer in Texas in 2008

When a Schnabel car is empty, the two lifting arms are connected to one another and the car can usually operate at normal freight train speeds. Some Schnabel cars include hydraulic equipment that will either lift or horizontally shift the load while in transit (at very low speeds) to clear obstructions along the car's route. As of 2012, there were 31 Schnabel cars operating in Europe, 30 in North America, 25 in Asia, and one in Australia.[1]

GalleryEdit

DesignEdit

 
Types of wagons according the manner that they are loaded.
A: Not self-supporting with low-loading bridge
B: Self-supporting load
C: Not self-supporting with through-loading bridge

The largest Schnabel car in public railroads operation, reporting number WECX 801, was completed in 2012 by Kasgro Railcar for Westinghouse Nuclear and is used in North America primarily to transport reactor containment vessels.[1] It has 36 axles (18 for each half). Each half contains nine trucks which are connected by a complex system of span bolsters. Its tare (unloaded) weight is 399.6 short tons (362.5 t; 356.8 long tons) and has a load limit of 1,017.9 short tons (923.4 t; 908.8 long tons) for a maximum gross weight of 1,417.5 short tons (1,285.9 t; 1,265.6 long tons). WECX 801 has the ability to shift its load 44 inches (112 cm) vertically and up to 40 inches (102 cm) laterally on either side of the car's center line.[2] When empty, this car measures 231 ft (70 m) long; for comparison, a conventional boxcar currently operating on North American railroads has a single two-axle truck at each end of the car, measures 50 to 89 feet (15.24 to 27.13 m) long and has a capacity of 70 to 105 short tons (64 to 95 t; 63 to 94 long tons). The train's speed is limited to 25 mph (40 km/h) when WECX 801 is empty, but only 15 mph (24 km/h) when loaded and requires a crew of six operators in addition to the train's crew.[1]

CEBX 800 in North AmericaEdit

The second largest Schnabel car in service, owned by ABB, bears the CEBX 800 registration, and is used in North America. Built by Krupp AG, it has 36 axles (18 for each half). Each half has 9 bogies linked together by a complex system of span bolsters. Its tare weight (empty mass) is 370 tonnes (360 long tons; 410 short tons). When empty, this wagon is 70.6 m (232 ft) long. It can carry a load of 34.5 m (113 ft) long and 852.3 tonnes (838.8 long tons; 939.5 short tons). By comparison, a classic boxcar has only one bogie with two axles at each end, is about 15 meters (49 ft) long and carries a load that does not exceed 80 tonnes (79 long tons; 88 short tons).[3]

HistoryEdit

 
A Karl-Gerät self-propelled siege mortar with its pair of Schnabel-cars on rails

The word Schnabel is from German Tragschnabelwagen, meaning "carrying-beak-wagon", because of the usually tapered shape of the lifting arms, resembling a bird's beak.

In World War II the German Wehrmacht used Schnabel cars for transporting the Karl-Gerät heavy-calibre (54 cm and 60 cm calibre) siege mortars. These were self-propelled with a continuous-track suspension chassis of substantial length to maneuver into a firing position over a short range, but depended on a pair of purpose-designed Schnabel cars for long-range transport by rail.[4] The same system was also used at the same time for the rail transport of the French FCM 2C super-heavy armoured fighting vehicle.

In the United States, the first Schnabel car, WECX 200, was built for Westinghouse Nuclear by manufacturer Greenville Steel Car in the 1960s.[1]

Patent historyEdit

 
US patent image[5]

The Schnabel design was covered under US patent #US 4041879A[5]

List of selected schnabel wagonsEdit

Class number Maximum carrying capacity Tare weight Wheelsets Quantity
(DB as at 31 Dec 1997)
Length over buffers Bogie pivot spacing
or
wheelset spacing
Length of
low loading bay
Uaai 812[6][7] 159 t
(156 long tons; 175 short tons)
41,000 kg
90,000 lb
10 1 19,704 mm
64 ft 7+34 in
8,970 mm
29 ft 5+18 in
N/A
Uaai 820 [8] 157 t
(155 long tons; 173 short tons)
83,100 kg
183,200 lb
12 1 31,440 mm
103 ft 1+34 in
19,100 mm
62 ft 8 in
8,500 mm
27 ft 10+58 in
Uaai 821 [9] 190 t
(190 long tons; 210 short tons)
(180 t
(180 long tons; 200 short tons)
with suspension bars)
83,800 kg
184,700 lb
12 1 30,124 mm
98 ft 10 in
19,100 mm
62 ft 8 in
8,000 mm
26 ft 3 in
Uaai 823 [10] 230 t
(230 long tons; 250 short tons)
102.2 t
100.6 long tons; 112.7 short tons
16 1 37,080 mm
121 ft 7+78 in
N/A N/A
Uaai 831[11] 275 t
(271 long tons; 303 short tons)
(250 t
(250 long tons; 280 short tons)
with suspension bars)
170,000 kg
370,000 lb
20 2 45,120 mm
148 ft 38 in
18,730 mm
61 ft 5+38 in
28,330 mm
92 ft 11+38 in
N/A
Uaai 836 [12] 317 t
(312 long tons; 349 short tons)
82.870 kg
182.70 lb
20 1 31,800 mm
104 ft 4 in
15,300 mm
50 ft 2+38 in
N/A
Uaai 837 [13] 398 t
(392 long tons; 439 short tons)
N/A 24 1 N/A N/A N/A
Uaai 838 (313 t
(308 long tons; 345 short tons)
with suspension bars)[14]
N/A 341 t
(336 long tons; 376 short tons)
24 1 N/A N/A N/A
Uaai 839[15] 454 t
(447 long tons; 500 short tons)
N/A 32 1 N/A N/A N/A

The Class Uaai low-loading wagon with special equipment is marketed Europe-wide exclusively by the heavy load department, Heavy Cargo + Service, of Nuclear Cargo + Service.[16][17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Vantuono, William C. (June 14, 2012). "Kasgro builds "World's Largest Railroad Car"". Railway Age. Retrieved December 29, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "WECX 801". southern.railfan.net. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Tom Daspit , CEBX 800 read (Retrieved 2010-01-22).
  4. ^ Jentz, Thomas (2001). Bertha's Big Brother: Karl-Geraet (60 cm & 54 cm). Panzer Tracts. pp. 8, 19. ISBN 0-9708407-2-1.
  5. ^ a b https://patents.google.com/patent/US4041879A, filed December 1, 1975, issued to Charles R. Cockrell, with Combustion Engineering, Inc. as assignee, now expired.
  6. ^ Uaai 812
  7. ^ Uaai 812
  8. ^ Uaai 820
  9. ^ Uaai 821
  10. ^ Uaai 823
  11. ^ Uaai 831
  12. ^ Uaai 836
  13. ^ Uaai 837
  14. ^ Uaai 838
  15. ^ uaai-839
  16. ^ "Heavy Cargo + Service, Tiefladewagen für Großraum- und Schwerlasttransporte". Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  17. ^ "Bauart Uaai: Schienentiefladewagen mit Sondereinrichtungen, Übersicht mit technischer Spezifikation und Wagenkizzen". Retrieved 2009-02-19. Domain for sale

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit