Wednesday, 18 March 2015

"What's Wrong With This Photo?" Wednesday

A little worse for wear, GACX 2718 sits all by itself at Kitchener, ON on 3/15/2015. Photo by my dad Keith.

Instead of the usual Wordless Wednesday today I thought I’d write about something a bit more interesting. Every now and then when railfanning, you may stumble across something you don’t see very often – maybe an old freight car in original paint, a locomotive from a fallen flag, or even a derailment. 

Today’s photo almost qualifies for the latter, but fortunately a sharp-eyed railroader caught the offending car and stopped it before it had the opportunity to derail. Observe car GACX 2718 at Kitchener, ON on 3/15/2015: on the surface (beneath all the rust!), the car appears to be a standard National Steel Car-built 3220-CF 2-bay hopper. The ends of the car have decals stating that it is leased to Eka Chemicals and a trace reveals it is hauling a load of salt from the Sifto Salt mine at Goderich, ON to the Eka plant at Magog, PQ. However a closer look reveals that this car will be delayed a bit – have a look at the B-end truck. It would appear that the car has received a heavy impact on that end which has caused the B-end centerplate to jump out of the bolster bowl. Note that the springs are unevenly compressed under the bolster, and that the truck has rolled inboard slightly of the centerplate (compare to A-end truck, or note that body bolster doesn't line up with center of truck sideframe). Interestingly, the car is loaded, so either it was impacted when empty and managed to travel this far before being noticed, or the car received an impact great enough to jolt it upwards despite being loaded. Either way, looks like the RIP track crew has their work cut out for them. Despite the delay in transit, it is indeed fortunate that the car didn't derail.


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