Pioneering ... 1955 Style

NICKEL PLATE, a pioneer in new types of freight equipment!

Our Road is making a strong bid to re-gain traffic that over the past decade has been lost, to trucks. Nickel Plate has adjusted many rates and improved schedules, and in recent months has placed in service several new types of equipment that offer additional service to shippers and receivers of freight.

Currently the spotlight is focused on a group of gondola cars, equipped with special skids, for handling coiled steel.

The "coil cars" offer shippers and receivers several important advantages:

  1. Handle larger shipments.
  2. Reduce time and expense in loading and unloading.
  3. Eliminate need for individual wrapping of coils.
  4. Eliminate need for blocking and dunnage.
  5. Minimize damage.

Based on suggestions of many Nickel Platers, the special-equipped cars were designed at home on the kitchen table by Robert Schey, general superintendent of the NKP Car Department. The gondolas have a load capacity of about 140,000 pounds, the equivalent of three truck loads. Each car can handle a half-dozen six-foot coils or a proportionately larger number of smaller coils.

Two floating skids, with heavy-duty buffer springs at each end to absorb the shock, are installed in each car! Cross members of the skids separate the coils and prevent damage in the event of impact. The separators also permit hooks and chains from overhead cranes to handle the coils in loading and unloading. A tarpaulin, that can be installed or removed quickly, protects the coils from rain or dirt during shipment.

The skids and related equipment were first installed at the Ironville shops in

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