Sunday, October 1, 2023

Understanding Railroads - Railcars Explained in 15 Minutes

If you explore the rails in Colorado for any amount of time, you've likely found a railcar you've not paid any attention to before. Ever wonder why some boxcars have a generator on one end? What is a rotary dump gondola? Why can you feel heat coming off this tank car? By far, the most common question I still get from folks outside the railfan community is, "What happened to the caboose?" All of this is covered in YouTube channel Practical Engineering's video below.

While this video is not directly related to Colorado, nearly every railcar described I have seen in Colorado at one time or another, even the specialized "Schnabel" car. She is a brute, too! You never know what's going to wander down the rails these days. You might even see a 737 "fly" under a bridge!

A BNSF train passes under the new pedestrian bridge at Palmer Lake, Colorado on its way north on Father's Day 2023 carrying a number of narrow-body 737 fuselages for final assembly at Boeing
Photo: Karen Walden

I appreciate Practical Engineering putting out this video. His announcement of a deep dive into railroad engineering by a railfan certainly sounds promising.⚒

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