S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com WECX 801 Schnabel Railroad Car Page keywords = WECX 801 CEBX 800 schnabel rail road freight car train Westinghouse Electric Corporation Kasgro Krupp load platform "

Updated:   31 Jul 2015; 11:35 ET
[Page created 07 Jul 2012
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/rrsch801.html

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


WECX 801
Schnabel Railroad Car Page


{and these are mostly only thumbnails, at that!}


(also misspelled "Schnable"* -
by me!)


(with digressions to highway uses)


NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to some 30kB; thus, I was forced to add this page
as a continuation page to my various RR and Model RR pages,
and, in turn, now has a Continuation Page.

NOTE:  I regret that some of my internal links refuse to work; if they don't, please click "Back" and scroll.


On the main Schnabel page:

    Scroll away, plus these specifics -
    Schnabel Diagram.
    Schnabel Car Loading Technique.
    Model Schnabel and other Giant Cars (moved to Continuation Page 2 on 04 Dec 99).
    Schnabel References (moved to Continuation Page 1 on 14 Sep 02).
    Road/Highway Schnabels - moved to Road Loads page 16 Mar 00.

On Schnabel Continuation Page 0:

    72-wheel 880-Ton Schnabel Car.
    More about 72-wheel 880-Ton Schnabel Car.
        (moved from Schnabel Continuation Page 2 on 09 Jan 2002)
    Mammoet/ETARCO Mammoth Rail Loads.

On Schnabel Continuation Page 1:

    Krupp Schnabel Brochure
    CEBX-800 Drawing (NOT!)
    LIRR Loads
    Schnabel References (moved from main page 14 Sep 02).

On the Schnabel Continuation Page 2:

    Scroll away, plus these specifics -
    More about 72-wheel 880-Ton Schnabel Car.
        (moved to Schnabel Continuation Page 0 on 09 Jan 2002)
    Model Schnabel and other Giant Cars (moved from Main Page, 04 Dec 99).
    Schnabel Miscellany.

On the Schnabel Continuation Page 3:

    More Model Schnabel and other Giant Cars.
    Dave Allen's Concept Models Schnabel Kits. (moved to page 4 on 17 Jan 05)

On the Schnabel Continuation Page 4:

    Schnabel Models - continued.
    Dave Allen's Concept Models Schnabel Kits. (moved here 17 Jan 05)
    GEX 80003 - World's Largest Drop-Center Flat Car.
    Nisco Steel move in China. (moved here from Cont. Page 3 on 08 Dec 05)

On the Schnabel Continuation Page 5 (06 Feb 2012):

    Schnabel Car Geometry.
    Even More Schnabel Car Models.
    Schnabel Car Model Geometry.   new(15 Mar 2014)
    Even More Schnabel Car Models.
    Mark Runyan's 800-801 Models (24 Aug 2012).

On this Schnabel WECX 801 Page:

    A Second 72-wheel 880-Ton Schnabel Car.
    WECX 800 vs. WECX 801 - Comparative Data.
    WECX 801 FLIP!.   new (01 Jul 2014)
    WECX 801 Updates   MovedTo WECX 801 Cont. page 1 (31 Jul 2015)

On the Schnabel RR Car WECX 801 Continuation Page 1:

    WECX 801 Updates   MovedFrom WECX 801 page (31 Jul 2015)
    Further WECX 801 Updates   new (11 Dec 2014)

On the Road Loads page:

    Road/Highway Schnabels - material moved from main RR Schnabel Car page,
    MOVING LOCO #833

On Road Loads Page 2:

    Road Load Models
    Mammoet/ETARCO Mammoth Road Loads, plus
    just scroll away.

On the Road Loads Page 3:

    Danly Press
    Miller Transfer

Something has to lift these giant loads; see Big Cranes.

Jump to SB,III's RAILROAD Page for a goodly set of RR links

  and to SB,III's MODEL RAILROAD Page for a goodly set of model RR links (yea, verily, forsooth!).

SCHNABEL and other

(and highway variants)


WECX 801


The original 72-wheel (36-axle) 880-ton car, CEBX 800, was bult in 1980 for Combustion Engineering and ended up, at this writing, owned by Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

[Westinghouse renumbered CEBX 800 to WECX 800 in mid 2012.]

Rumors of a twin car being commissioned turned up in mid-2010 and were confirmed around the end of that year.  In mid 2012, a TV news broadcast on WYTV and elsewhere showed the twin being built by Kasgro Rail [Red 'n Ready! ] in New Castle, Pennsylvania.  Kasgro is noted as the operator of what may well be the largest fleet of schnabel and similar heavy-duty railcars and also manufactures and repairs such cars.

This news raises as many questions as it answers (some of which I've figured out):   rev (20 Aug 2012)

    1.  The twin is in dark blue livery (instead of "Red 'n Ready"), with white Westinghouse lettering,
        and it's reporting number is WECX 801.   rev (22 Aug 2012)

    2.  The quoted load is 880 tons but is that "just" the gross weight?

    3.  What is the pin C-to-C length of a new load platform (pallet) being welded up (in lieu of tension beams) in the video
        [and of two sets of rigid load beams]?   added (22 Aug 2012)

    5.  In what ways is the car bigger than CEBX 800?  (Apparently only in load capacity, by 256,000 lbs. greater than CEBX/WECX 800.)

    4.  Will the new car run light with a drawbar like CEBX 800 or will it lock schnabel arms together in the usual Krupp bolted hooked-link way, or will the arms overlap as the drawing shown in the video implies?  If this last, will the arms be slightly canted (horizontally) or are they now asymmetrical; with the old single ears on one set and double ears on the other?  (It uses a drawbar.)

Wouldn't it be neat if Kasgro or Westinghouse would be willing to release erection and pallet drawings to Dave Allen of Concept Models so he can modify his CEBX 800 HO (1:87.1) model to come up with a model of the new Westinghouse car?  (If you can't wait, the length of the triple load beams should work well.)

WECX 801 was reported to have been rolled out of the Kasgro plant on 11 Jun 2012.  (Both cars left for Charleston, SC, on 17 Aug 2012.).

Tom Daspit advised 22 Aug 2012 that there is a YouTube video showing NS pulling both cars e/b through Cresson, PA, on 21 {?} Aug 2012; the consist was as follows:   new (22 Aug 2012)

NS SD40-2 3380 on point,
a pair of rigid blue load beams on yellow XTTX flat 142423,
Kasgro rider car (caboose) KRL 079 (red),
WECX 801 (blue) with #1 end forward ("A" side on the right),
a second pair of rigid blue load beams on yellow XTTX flat 142149,
WECX 800 (red) with #1 end forward ("A" side on the right),
two red 35' {?} containers bracketing two spare white trucks
    on XTTX flat 142139,
a huge blue frame on yellow XTTX flat 142333,
a second huge blue frame on yellow XTTX flat 142446, and
the blue load platform-cum-sled-cum-pallet-cum-skid-cum-tray
    on yellow XTTX flat 142149, trailing.   new (22 Aug 2012)

Now it can be told - the cars are supporting Westinghouse's installation of new AP1000 1,100MWe two-loop pressurized water reactors (PWR) at the Southern Company’s Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (Plant Vogtle - two units) in Burke County, near Waynesboro, Georgia, and at South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station (two units) near Jenkinsville, Fairfield County, South Carolina.   new (01 Sep 2012)

O.K; I promised pictures and here, thanks to Tom Daspit for sharing them and Vince Skibo for permission to reproduce them, are a representative sampling of the many pix Vince shot when WECX 801 first appeared on the Kasgro yard lead outside the shops in New Castle, Pennsylvania, on 12 Jun 2012 and then with CEBX-cum-WECX 800 on 16 Aug 2012 near the old Kasgro Rundle Road roundhouse:   new (21 Aug 2012)

800&801-11Jun12a1  800&801-11Jun12a4
144 wheels, 452" long, and about 1,540,000 lbs. (770 tons, light) - what an amazing string!

801-11Jun12a2  800-11Jun12a3
(photos courtesy of T. Daspit by, and with specific permission of, V. F. Skibo - all rights reserved)
WECX 801 and CEBX-cum-WECX 800

- - - * - - -

801-11Jun12VSK11  801-11Jun12VSK10
BIG Power - BIG Hauler!

801-11Jun12VSK14  801-11Jun12VSK15
(photos courtesy of T. Daspit by, and with specific permission of, V. F. Skibo - all rights reserved)
Bet that roundhouse never saw anything like THIS before!

Incidentaly, here's a close-up of WECX 801's tow bar:   new (11 Dec 2014)

(cropped from W. Beard photo)
WECX 801 Tow Bar

4,100 pounds!

Note that WECX 800 has been repainted with a black segment low on the A2 and B1 load arms with white Westinghouse logos.  There are also yellow rectangles, probably reflective safety tape, down low all along the length of both cars and on the ends of the towbars.

In the latter pictures, the cars are posed with brand new CSXT 3029, a GE Evolution-series ES44AH, fresh from the Erie assembly plant.

Ooh, what's THAT (those, actually) peeking out behind the rider car ahead of WECX 800?

(cropped and enlarged from photo courtesy of T. Daspit by, and with specific permission of, V. F. Skibo - all rights reserved)

Might they be GE 25- or 44-tonners?

Here's a tabulation of the available data comparing WECX 800 vs. WECX 80.   new (21 Aug 2012)

Dimension CEBX 800 /
WECX 800
WECX 801
Capacity (lbs.) 1,779,260 1,804,860 *
Light Weight (lbs.) 740,890 799,200
Load Limit (lbs.) 1,779,260 2,035,800 
Number of Axles 36 36
Wheel Diameter (in.) 38" ** 38"
Empty Car Length 231' 8" 231' ***
Maximum Loaded Length 345' {TBS}
Maximum Vertical Load Shifting Ability 44" 44"
Maximum Horizontal Load Shifting Ability (either side of car center line) 40" 40"
* - Back calculated from a rating of 256,000 lbs. greater than CEBX 800.

** - In 125-ton trucks; incorrectly reported by others as 33".   added.gif (10 Jul 2013)

*** - An 8" difference seems unlikely.

And here, lest you doubt all this, is the photographic evidence of the weight difference:   added.gif (16 Mar 2014)

(15 Mar 2014 photomontage by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Along with the comparative data, there are visual differences in the two cars as well (other than the color and decoration).  What comes across as a major difference (to my eye, at any rate) is the heavily beefed-up area on the outer ends of the load arms.  As built, CEBX 800 had no gusset inboard of the pivot pin:   new (24 Aug 2012)

(cropped and altered from photo from T. Daspit courtesy of M. Runyan - all rights reserved)

When CEBX 800 was rebuilt by Kasgro into WECX 800, they added a reinforcing gusset in that space:

(cropped and altered from screen shot of video - all rights reserved)

Note the odd little mineral red (rust-colored) triangle at the left (outer) end of the big black triangle with the Westinghouse logo and the heavy gusset and hollow pivot pin.

WECX 801 not only has a gusset added there, it also has a heavy reinforcing plate welded above it:

(cropped and altered from V. F. Skibo photo courtesy of T. Daspit - all rights reserved)

There's no hole (at least, not externally) in WECX 801's pivot pin.

Another major difference is in the superstructure of 801, where the walkways outboard of the cabs have been raised, where the inner ends of the cabs are simplified and have greater visibility, and where the outer ends of the cabs have a small panel or window down low on the right.  There also appear to be escape hatches in 801's cab roofs.   new (01 Oct 2012)

801 FLIP!  Yikes!  Something went VERY wrong at around 03:00 on 22 Jun 2014 at the Back Creek Church Road crossing immediately south of Highway 49, University City Boulevard, just west of I-485, the Craig Lawing Freeway, some five miles NE of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina!   new (01 Jul 2014)

(Cropped and edited screenshot from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)

Reports are contradictory and mostly highly-unlikely.  Initially reported as a derailment, with the loss of a Siemens generator, it's clearly no such thing.  For one thing, she was running LIGHT!  For another, "only" the two load arms flipped; the undercarriage (trucks, all span bolsters, including the control shacks, and the towbar) seem to have survived unscathed and continued on their way, presumably to New Castle*.  How in tarnation the arms flipped off is a mystery I dearly would like to have solved!

[On the map, above, note a huge pile of ties under the "IT" in "DERAIL SITE";
that's just where the arms landed and, luckily, the pile was gone by then!]

Happily for us, someone apparently named "Fasha" was there later in the day, at 20:40, and videoed the aftermath.  Here are selected stills (screenshots) from that video:


(Screenshots cropped from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)




(Screenshots cropped from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)

CalotteMatingBall#2EndB CalotteMatingBall#1End9 CalotteMatingBall#2End6
(Screenshots cropped from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)
Kasgro/Westinghouse Schnabel Car "Calotte Shell" Joint Mating Balls
#1 End Left || #2 End Center and Right

What a cost (to Westinghouse and/or Kasgro) to get these photos!

Those balls mate with the female hemispherical "Calotte Shells" shown on Schnabel Page 5.and repeated here:

(Photograph from Mar 1982 Krupp Brochure in SB,III collection, courtesy of ThyssenKruppAG - all rights reserved)
Krupp Schnabel Car "Calotte Shell" Joint

No one seems to have been injured (except for Kasgro's and/or Westinghouse's pride and pocketbooks) and aren't all lucky that she didn't drop onto I-485!

Something was probably very wrong with the car, anyway; witness all the weld grinding (for Magnaflux?).

A few additional observations may be in order here, based on comments from a knowledgeable friend and further review of the FNGFASHA video.   new (08 Dec 2014)

For starters, let's replay the video and record the text as posted there:

(Screenshot montage from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)
[click on thumbnailed image for larger picture]

Kasgro/Westinghouse Schnabel Car Load Arm Flip Texts
Norfolk Southern
Piedmont Division

Schnable Car Derail*

Hwy 49 and Back Creek
Church Road, Charlotte, NC

Video recorded:
8:40pm - 06-22-14


According to NS personnel
that a friend of mine spoke
with just minutes after I
left, a SIEMENS generator*
was being transported
north around 3am this
morning (06-22-14).


A shim on the rear portion
of the car came out or
broke and the rear portion
{"rear lift arm" aka big blue
thing/s) of the car was
running "cocked-eyed."


It then caught the grade
cross as it crossed and
came lose, dumping the
generator, then the front
portion came off the track.
The generator is reported to
be in the NS Charlotte yard.

Note this info came to me
after I recorded this
* - Well, there are a number of serious discrepancies here - there was NO derailment and there was NO generator, the car was running light, so NO generator was dumped (nor did anything come off the track)!

The three discrepancies noted do not necessarily, however, cast doubt on the rest of the tale.  The generator, whichever one may have been allegedly involved, may very well have been in the NS Charlotte yard.  A shim on the rear portion of the car may have came out or broken and the rear portion {rear lift arm) of the car may well have been running cock-eyed.  The rear lift eye may have caught the grade crossing as it crossed and the arm certainly did come loose. The front portion (lift arm only) did come off (but NOT from the track).

It seems to me and my "knowledgeable" friend that a mechanical failure of a shim or any such is highly unlikely, bad welds notwithstanding.  What seem far more likely to us is that a hydraulic (or hydrauic control) failure dropped the arms or bad trackwork west of the crossing set up an uncontrolled or uncontrollable oscillation that resulted in the arms flipping off the undercarriages.

Let's look at the lift (load) arm eyes at 6:11 in the video:

(Screenshot cropped from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)
Kasgro/Westinghouse Schnabel Car Load Arm Ears
#1 End Left || #2 End Right
A-Side Up / B-Side Down

Those scrape marks are not consistent with hitting the ties or loose ballast; they look far more like heavy sliding contact with rough concrete.

Note that the scrape marks are very heavy on the B-side but minimal on the A-side and that they are clearly in the direction of travel, implying to me, at least, that wild oscillations, rather than a flat drop, caused the arms to flip out of their Calotte shell sockets.

The videographer notes that the impacts were alongside the tracks and that bulldozers pushed the arms away from the roadbed; the dozer track marks are evident at 14:47 into the video:

(Screenshot cropped from 22 Jun 2014 Video by FNGFASHA Productions - all rights reserved)
Kasgro/Westinghouse Schnabel Car Load Arm Ears
Bulldozer Tracks

I've been unable to find any NTSB report yet (as of 08 Dec 2014) and Big Blue and Kasgro are highly-unlikely to tell, so we'll just have to await more authoritative information.

By the way, you don't grind off paint to X-ray welds but you DO for Magnaflux inspection; very serious stuff, this!

- - - * - - -

Ooh; another puzzle.  Why were the load pins or dummies not in the main load arm suspension holes?  CEBX/WECX 800 normally travelled light with them in place:

CECX800LightArm WECX800LightArms WECX801LightArms
(Cropped from T. Daspit/V. Skibo photographs - all rights reserved)
CEBX 800/WECX 800/WECX 801 Light Arms

801 didn't.  Didn't Westinghouse care or was she on her way to be scrapped?

* - I was advised that all components were "still on the ground in N.C." (as of 21:30, 01 Jul 2104).

HEY!  Look at those three end details again!  CEBX 800 had round buff pads inboard of the arm sides, just above the ears, but WECX 800 and 801 do not!   added (08 Dec 2014)

WECX 801 Update - this just got far too much for one page and so, on 31 Jul 2015, I moved it all to the Schnabel RR Car WECX 801 Continuation Page 1 where it ties in nicely with later information.   rev (31 Jul 2015)

Should you have a hankering for an elegant model of CEBX/WECX 800 or WECX 801, see Mark Runyan's simpy-stunning N-scale (1:160) Schnabel car in resin and etched brass [featured information moved to Even More Schnabel Car Models on page 5 on 24 Aug 2012]; here are teasers:.

(CAD image courtesy of M. Runyan from T. Daspit - all rights reserved)

(CAD image courtesy of M. Runyan - all rights reserved)

[Detailing on 801 has yet to be applied.]
More details to follow.

Look also at the main and succeeding Schnabel pages.

To contact S. Berliner, III, please click here.

You may wish to visit the Railroad Continuation Page, et seq.

of this series of Railroad pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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