posted on Sep, 28 2008 @ 05:20 PM
reply to post by AHostileMe
That is all that these "prison cars" amount up to. These cars are nothing but mere bilevel and tri-level autoracks built by Thrall-Trinity
Inudstries in the late 1970s into the early 1980s. The wires and cables that the rest of the members are talking about are for restraining the
auotmobiles whille in transport. The straps and what have you are used to keep the automobiles from causing any load shift which could overturn the
autorack or racks. This is due to the current class of autoracks not being able to handle any type of curve above 40 degrees in radius. These cars do
fall under the AAR Plate C or C-1 due to the excess height and loading gauges.
However, there are still railroad lines in this country that cannot handle the cars either due to height restrictions, width restrictions, of a
combination of both of these two factors.
The current class of autoracks are not restricted from growing longer. With the advent of the articualted autorack, it is now possible to run
autoracks where it was not possible to run autoracks before. The new Auto-Max carriers have now doubled the capacity that the older versions could
handle. With the advent of the AUTOMAX by Greenbrier Corporation of Lake Oswego, Oregon, it is now possible to carry either sixteen automobiles of
eight full size SUVs on one car. However still, some railroad lines are not even able to handle the new AUTOMAX carriers due to the same restrictions
as to what restricted the older model enclosed bi-level and triple level autoracks.
Even I myself have been able to grab a shot or two of the older model autoracks. This is of a FERROMEX autorack that I shot back in Janurary of this
year. This autorack is of the bi-level type, which is the lowest height of the autoracks that are currently built. However, this does not include the
now extinct open-air bi-levels that were popular with the railroads prior to 1975.
Just my "unbiased" railfan opinion on this topic. Now I shall leave this alone.