TYPES OF ROLLING STOCK
Since the first steam-powered train operated in South Carolina in late 1830, technological advances and
industrial expansion have continuously created new requirements for the railroads of this Nation. Part of the
railroad's answer to these problems has been the development of special rolling stock. The scope of this text is
not great enough to include the many variations in the superstructures of rail cars that specialization has brought
about; however, most rolling stock can be classified as either freight or passenger and placed into seven broad
categories: flatcar, enclosed car, gondola, hopper, tank car, caboose, and passenger car.
Each of these
categories is discussed in the order mentioned.
Supplies and equipment that need no protection from weather are often moved on flatcars. These cars,
similar to the one shown at the top of figure 1.
1, are constructed with either welded or riveted steel
underframes and covered with wood floors. Stake pockets are added on the sides and ends for fastening
tiedowns that keep loads from shifting. The Army uses flatcars to transport such things as assault boats,
vehicles, cranes, lumber, large crated loads, and cargo containers. Flatcars can handle 75 percent of their load
limit for concentrated loads and 100 percent for uniformly distributed loads.
Figure 1.1. Flatcars.