annual. However, they are inspected with a frequency consistent with their
use. The more a car is used the more it is inspected and, of course, the
more maintenance it needs. Other than the annual inspection, railway cars
are normally inspected at loading points and at receiving and departure
yards upon arrival and departure.
a. At loading points. Although shippers are responsible for loading
rail cars properly, transportation railway service inspectors are
responsible for checking them at loading points before accepting the cars
for movement. They inspect each car to insure that it has been properly
loaded and secured so that the load cannot shift while in transit. The
lading should be so positioned that its weight is properly distributed on
the car. The inspectors check the car for any damage that may have occurred
while it was being loaded; they also check it for proper lubrication.
Railway cars should not leave loading points until this inspection has been
b. On arrival. When railway cars arrive at a receiving yard, they are
thoroughly inspected. They are visually inspected for defects and
lubrication points are checked. Such light repairs as repacking a journal
box or replacing a broken cotter key or a worn brakeshoe are made while the
cars are in the receiving yard. The brake system is also tested during the
arrival inspection. The brakes are applied to resist the pull of the
locomotive so that the slack is taken up as the train stops. The draft
gears are stretched out as a result of this action, and inspectors begin at
each end of the train checking couplers, draft gears, side frames, wheels,
underframes, and airbrake piston travel. The journal box lids are opened
and the packing and lubrication checked. Inspectors place a Bad Order Card
(DA Form 55164) on cars having defects that cannot be readily repaired in
the receiving yard. The badorder cars are moved to the repair, or rip
track, where they are repaired as soon as possible. ("Rip" stands for
repair, inspect, paint.) When the arrival inspection is finished, the cars
are moved to the classification yard where they are classified or sorted
according to destination or to content.
c. On departure. After railway cars have been classified, they are
moved to the departure yard and made up into trains. Inspectors again
travel the length of the train making a test of the train's airbrake system.
At the same time, they make another general inspection and insure that the
journal box lids are closed.
d. Annual inspection. Once each year, a car is inspected, and the date
of the inspection is stenciled on the car. When a car arrives at a railway
yard and the inspectors note that the annual inspection is due, they notify
the yardmaster who has the car moved