Freight cars "sides"

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Topo, May 5, 2002.

  1. Topo

    Topo Member

    I have read somewhere about that the "rear-end" of a freight car is the one with the brake wheel. Maybe this is an stupid question but, have the freight cars "sides"? That is: 'right side', 'left side, 'forward end',...? There are some rules about how operate the cars (all 'forward', 'mixed',...), or it is only a naming convention? :confused:
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've never heard of front or rear ends of freight cars. The end with the brakewheel is the B end; the other is called the A end.
    Locomotive (in North America) usually have an F on one end for Front.

    Which end goes to the front depends on how the car was left unless it has a note saying "Unload from this side only". Of course, only the crew putting the car in its final siding worries about that.
  3. BDC

    BDC Member

    Topo - The only RR cars I am familiar with that have to be a certain way are the rotary coalporters. They have a rotating coupler on one end only (usually the one with the differently colored end). They must all be the same way to be able to offload the coal. They do this by going through a 'cage' that will rotate individual cars upside down to dump them. Usually the first and last car have two rotating couplers. This keeps them from flipping the engine or any following cars behind them.

    The pictures are Nscale models, but they show what I mean. The top car has one rotating coupler (one stripe) while the bottom car has two rotating couplers (two stripe)

    Attached Files:

  4. Topo

    Topo Member


    David & BDC:
    Thanks for the info. I was starting to think that I would need to run all my cars in the same position!
  5. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    As stated above, the end with the brakewheel is the 'B' end. This is the rear of the car; the front is the 'A' end. With the A end as front there is a left and right side; sometimes this is noted on a boxcar's sides next to the door. The axles are numbered front to rear and the journals are numbered as well. This information is neccesary to enable shop forces to make repairs, etc.

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