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Our 50' modern boxcar is modeled on the fleet of cars originally built for Railbox service in the 1970s and early 1980s. The initial 1974 Railbox order was for 10,000 boxcars with the reporting marks RBOX, supplied by a variety of car builders including Pullman-Standard, American Car and Foundry, and FMC. Beginning in the 1980s, the need for box cars - once a mainstay of American freight trains - began to shrink as loads that had formerly moved in box cars shifted over to containers.
High quality, traditionally sized RailKing Freight Cars provide detailed bodies and colorful paint schemes for the O Gauge railroader. As the United States entered the Great Depression in 1929, the nation's trolley systems were already in a depression of their own.
Laydon Composites, a North American manufacturer of trailer aerodynamic devices, has announced a new side-skirt model that is California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant in Intermodal applications.
For twenty years after its introduction in 1961, the 89-foot flatcar was the workhorse of the intermodal freight-car fleet. Child Boards: January 2013 - Tankers, February 2013 - Fords & Sterlings, March 2013 - Intermodal, April 2013 - LTL (Less Than Truckload), May 2013 - Bulldogs! The boxcar's successor About 1.4 million trailers and containers are listed in the Uniform Machine Language Equipment Register maintained by the Association of American Railroads. Many additional trailers and containers are used by motor and ocean carriers but not listed in UMLER. Railroads control a relatively small portion of the intermodal trailer and container fleet.
Of course, these trailers weighed more than highway trailers, thus reducing the amount of payload they could carry, and they cost more, too. Over the past 10 years, most railroads began operating dedicated intermodal trains using mostly articulated equipment, which reduced slack and switching. Most railroad-controlled trailers are 45 feet long; two 45-footers are the largest pair that can be loaded on the standard 89-foot intermodal flatcar. Most trailers built since 1982 are 102 inches wide, while interior height ranges up to 110 inches. A few "drop frame" trailers with small wheels and low floors in back of the kingpin (where the trailer joins a tractor or is secured to a railroad car) and "open top" trailers that run covered with tarps complete the fleet. Containers Piggyback began with trailers because the basic trailer design had become accepted in the marketplace and "circus loading" of trailers required minimal investment in terminals. Today the railroads move more containers than trailers, and container traffic is growing at a faster rate.
More recently, pairs of 89-foot flatcars have been joined together with drawbars to handle three of these long trailers, with the middle one loaded over the drawbar; some 1200 pairs are roaming the rails. Articulated intermodal cars - that is, cars with separate load-bearing units resting on common trucks - were initially developed by the Santa Fe in the late 1970s. Contemporary spine cars have units capable of handling trailers or containers up to 53 feet long, most commonly in a five-platform configuration. Because of the preference of many over-the-road truckers for 28-foot trailers, more new car designs to accommodate this equipment efficiently are on the way. Formed in 1974 as a subsidiary of Trailer Train Company (now TTX Company), Railbox did for box cars what Trailer Train had done earlier for piggybacking: established a pool of cars that could be used by all member railroads, without the burden of routing rules that prioritized empty cars for return to their home railroad. Many Railbox cars were sold off to other railroads and repainted in a variety of paint schemes.

MTH makes an enormous variety of RailKing Freight Cars, including many different car types and roadnames. Ridership was plummeting as automobiles and an improving road system stole droves of passengers away from the rails. Introduced in February, the HYBRID248 trailer skirt is shorter than competitive devices to allow access to landing gear, trailer axles and slider, and it provides additional ground clearance to avoid damage from curbing and steep pit-docks. Ottawa 4x2 and 6x4 terminal tractors are the gold standard in trailer-moving solutions for warehouse and distribution operations, ports, and rail terminals.
Only about 33,000 trailers and 33,000 containers bear the reporting marks of Class 1 and regional carriers.
Because their operating environment has become friendlier, new railroad trailers are not built much differently from their highway cousins.
Trailers with level floors and no heaters or refrigerators (known as "dry vans") predominate.
In the 1950s, though, trucker Malcolm McLean developed the concept of the intermodal container: a steel box that could be moved from ship to rail to truck without unloading.
But newer intermodal cars, like TTX's 56-foot single-well cars, are designed to handle four 28-foot domestic containers, stacked two on two. To increase flexibility, these cars are equipped with hitches and can carry either a single trailer, a pair of 28-foot "pup" trailers carried back-to-back, or stacked containers in each well. Other types of indermodal equipment Triple Crown Services, a motor carrier subsidiary of Norfolk Southern, is the principal advocate of RoadRailer intermodal equipment, which dispenses with cars altogether to reduce terminal costs. With roof access no longer needed, the cars' end ladders only went partway up the sides, to allow crew members to ride the cars during switching moves.
Although the earliest RBOX cars are approaching the end of their legal 40-year service life, many are still plying the rails for various owners, and TTX Company still supplies 50' and 60' RailBox boxcars throughout North America. No matter what era or part of the country you are modeling, RailKing is sure to have something for you. And those passengers who still chose to ride the streetcars were not having a great experience. In addition, the skirt can be installed up to 8 inches inboard to clear the lift pads for Intermodal trailers.
Short lines manage another 11,000 trailers, primarily to earn per diem payments from the larger lines. Trailers differ mainly in length and width, and both dimensions are influenced by a mass of federal and state laws that regulate vehicle size and weight. Chassis, or special flatbed trailers, are used to ferry containers between rail terminals and customers or, in many cases ocean carriers.
Amtrak, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Canadian National also provide intermodal transportation with RoadRailers. Carrying two standard 40-foot trailers or their container equivalents, the 89-foot car was admirably suited to the railroads' needs - that is, until the state and federal governments began increasing the maximumn length of trailers permitted on the highways. Leasing companies such as Transamerican and XTRA supply another 53,000 trailers and containers for rail use. The growth of the typical piggyback trailer from 35 feet in length during the 1950s to 40 feet in the 1960s and '70s, to 45 feet in the 1980s tracked the steady liberalization of state restrictions on truck size. One of the most difficult tasks in intermodal transportation is distributing chassis to ensure there are enough at each terminal to handle the available business, but not too many.

Canadian Pacific uses the "Iron Highway," a double-ended trainset that splits in the middle to permit circus-style unloading of trailers at low-volume points without expensive terminal investments. According to Acott, side skirts should be installed inside the frame rails for lift pad clearance.
Trailers Traditionally, trailers built for rail service had to be constructed to sturdier specifications than highway trailers.
In 1983 the federal government told states they could not outlaw the operation of single trailers shorter than 48 feet, or two-trailer combinations shorter than 56 feet (28 feet per trailer). Occasionally a railroad may ship a chassis loaded with a container like a trailer, but the widespread acceptance of double-stack equipment has made such moves increasingly rare. As trailers and containers have grown longer and wider, railroads, car owners, and carbuilders serving the intermodal market have had to scramble to keep up, accounting for the various types of equipment seen today.
Subsequently, all the states passed laws allowing operation of single trailers up to 53 feet long, and 12 states permit 57-foot trailers. Flatcars Many 89-foot flatcars (or "pigs," for their role in piggyback service) are still in service, but most of the survivors have been modified to tote two 45-foot trailers - or have been reequipped as two- or three-level to carry auto racks. But before we look at the various types of intermodal cars found on railroads today, let's examine what they're hauling: the trailers and containers. The 1983 federal law also increased the minimum restriction on trailer width from 96 to 102 inches. Some railroads, including Chicago & North Western, Santa Fe, and Norfolk Southern, converted excess 50-foot boxcars and 100-ton bulkhead flatcars to handle 45-foot and 48-foot trailers during the early 1980s, but these efforts resulted in cars that were heavier, and thus less efficient, than half of an 89-foot flatcar.
Lightweight cars carrying one of the longer trailers on European-style single-axle trucks were tried too; examples of both types of cars remain in regular use.
A control system developed by GE and Westinghouse gave the PCC smooth, rapid acceleration, compared with the jerky ride of the old streetcars. Hirschfeld's team also developed new truck and wheel designs that absorbed vibrations and bumps in the track. And these patented innovations were enclosed in a body design that looked decades newer than anything else on municipal rails - and was adaptable to various configurations to suit the needs of different cities. Throttle down as low as 3 scale miles per hour and the PCC will maintain its speed regardless of curves or grades.
For hands-off operation, create a trolley route with up to six automatic stops to pick up and drop off passengers. Louis Car Company and Pullman-Standard, was dwarfed by the fleet that operated behind the Iron Curtain.
Using PCC technology but different carbody designs, Tatra of Czechosolvakia manufactured over 15,000 cars for use in Russia and other Soviet Bloc nations. The largest North American owners were Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Toronto, each with over 650 cars.

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