(3) Ballast cars are similar to low-side gondolas except
that the load may be discharged from the sides.
to as side-dumping gondolas, these cars are used for hauling ballast,
sand, gravel, or small loads of coal.
c. Flatcars have no housing or body; they simply have a floor
laid over the underframe sills.
The load capacities of flatcars
range from 50 to 250 tons.
Examples are the basic flatcar and the
depressed-center one; they are described further in paragraphs 2.11
d. Tank cars are those with tanks mounted on special
They carry many kinds of liquid and semiliquid
commodities ranging from milk to TNT.
The Interstate Commerce
Commission (ICC) issues regulations and specifications governing tank
cars used in the United States.
These specifications are combined
with those of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to make one
set of specifications covering car construction that the ICC
publishes. For oversea use, the specifications are modified because
of emergency austerity demands.
FREIGHT EQUIPMENT FOR MILITARY USE
The first instance of rail cars being used for military
purposes probably occurred during the Civil War when mortars were
permanently mounted on railroad flatcars and moved into an area to
support troops. In 1917, five naval railway batteries were built and
shipped to France for use in World War I campaigns.
consisted of a gun car carrying a 14-inch gun, and ammunition,
workshop, kitchen, and berthing cars.
The 14 cars of each battery
were probably the first rail cars used entirely for military purposes.
Army railway motive power and rolling stock built for use in
domestic service differ little in design from standard U.S.
commercial rail equipment.
In comparison to foreign equipment,
however, it is generally larger and heavier.
When World War II
began, European rolling stock had a small carrying capacity and was
scarce in all theaters of operations.
Many cars were hurriedly
designed and built in the United States and shipped overseas knocked
down to save shipping space, and a few American cars were modified
for use on European railroads.
This experience led to the
development of a railway fleet capable of operating on railroads of
various gages which could be sent quickly to areas of conflict. Some
of the equipment can be shipped knocked down to conserve shipping
space. Section I describes the knockdown equipment.