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Roger Hensley

Page Updated
May 10, 2000

  Railroads of Madison County

Scale Test Car

May 3, 2000


You show a Conrail Scale Test Weight Car, CR80091, as one of the photographs in your pages.

There were eight(8) of these cars ordered by Conrail in 1977 from the Maxson Corp., CR 80088-80095. They were delivered in November and December of 1977.

They weighed 100,000 pounds on the rail and were trimmed to that weight under NBS Standards. The hoods at either end were filled with scrap and concrete. Each hood had a door which allowed the inclusion of trimming materials.

End View The center compartment contains a gasoline engine coupled to a hydraulic pump. This pump in turn could used to power a hydraulic motor to make the car self propelled so that it could be precisely located on each of the parts of a track scale. There are four, vertical hydraulic cylinders that raise the whole car off the rail so that its total weight is concentrated at a desired location on a scale. There are four hook like members cut from steel plate that pick up the axles as the body is raised so that the total weight is placed where needed.

The cars are equipped with 10-inch Freight Master cushion units instead of draft gears and thus can be handled at any location in a freight train when being moved. The are no speed restrictions on these cars or at least there weren't when they were new.

- Other Interesting Cars -

There were a number of interesting non-revenue cars and other equipment obtained by Conrail in the early years. There were 13 Jordan spreaders fitted with locomotive control stands and seat so that the equipment operator and the engineer were in direct communication during operations. There were 13 double track, bidirectional flanger cars designed and built by Conrail in the West Truck Shop at Holidaysburg. There was a track geometry car and a rail surface analyzer car; The track geometry car was fitted out by Amtrak at Beech Grove under Conrail supervision and the rail surface analyzer car was done by Conrail at the Reading Car Shop in Reading, PA.

All of the older flanger cars, Russell snow plows, air side dump cars including the Central of New Jersey three key Farlow draft attachment cars, cabooses, locomotive cranes and a few of the wreck derricks were all put through Reading Car Shop to bring then up to then current AAR, FRA, OSHA and EPA Standards.

John Reehling

Picture Credits:
CR 80091 Scale Test Car on Emporia Secondary, May 28, 1998 - Roger Hensley Photos

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