S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Schnabel Railroad Continuation Page 3 keywords = schnable schnabel rail road freight car train car drop center well flat Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke model Combustion Engineering cebx 800 Krupp ABB GE TransAlta Westinghouse LEGO"

Updated:   31 Dec 2019; 16:15  ET
[Page created 19 Jul 2005; converted 09 Mar 2011
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/rrschnb3.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/rrschnb3.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.

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 this 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 the Schnabel Railroad Car Terminology and Geometry Page:   new (09 Nov 2019)

  Background on Need for Schnabel Terminology.
  Schnabel Railroad Car Terminology.
  Schnabel Railroad Car Geometry.

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 Schnable Continuation Page 1:

    Krupp Schnabel Brochure
    CEBX-800 Drawing (NOT!)
    Schnabel References (moved from main schnabel page 1 on 14 Sep 02).

On Schnable Continuation Page 2:

    Scroll away, plus these specifics -
    More about 72-wheel 880-Ton Schnabel Car(s).
        (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 this Schnable Continuation Page 3:

    More Model Schnabel and other Giant Cars.

On Schnable Continuation Page 4:

    Schnabel Models - continued.
    Dave Allen's Concept Models Schnabel Kits (moved here 17 Jan 2005).
    GEX 80003 - World's Largest Drop-Center Flat Car.
    Nisco Steel move in China (moved there from Cont. Page 3 on 08 Dec 2005).

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 the Schnable CEBX 800 Page:

    CEBX 800 in Houston - 28 Mar 2005.

On the Road Load page:

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

On Road Loads Page 2:

    Mammoet Mammoth Road Loads, plus
    just scroll away.

On the Road Loads Page 3:

    Danly Press
    Miller Transfer
    Road Load Models (moved from page 2 on 01 Mar 05)

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)


If this subject interests you, you must also see Tom Daspit's site, linked below!

* - Spelling of the Name:  SCHNABEL vs. SCHNABLE - "Schnabel" is the KORREKT spelling!  It is the German word for "beak", which I originally thought referred to the beak-shaped loading arms, but now know was the name of the German inventor of the design ca. 1930 or so.  I don't know where or when I started using "Schnable", but it was wrong and I don't mind admitting my error.

More SCHNABEL (and other Giant Cars) MODELS

    HO Scale (1:87.1), unless otherwise noted.

For modelers, there are (or were) many Schnabel, well flat, depressed-center, and similar heavy cars available; many are shown on the MODELS LIST on Schnabel page 2.  Here are even more (HO unless otherwise noted):

In Jan 2002, I noted (on page 2) that Trix, now the HO two-rail and N arm of Märklin, had just come out with the 1973 DB type Uai 839 32-axle (8-truck) Schnabel Transport Car {Schwerlasttransportwagen}, their #T23994, decorated for Era IV.  The length over buffers is 28-3/8" (72cm)! and is the largest HO freight car to date from Trix (which also just produced the Big Boy in HO two-rail).  It comes with a "trafo" load and the center wheel sets on the trucks are sprung.  The load was said to be mounted on the car with side play as in the prototype but the car can also be used close-coupled (without the load); it was announced as being produced in a one-time series only in 2001.  And here, by special courtesy of Märklin USA, she is:

Trix T23994 HO Uai 839 32-axle Schnabel Car
(Photo courtesy of and © Märklin USA by special written permission 25 Jan 2002 - all rights reserved)

[That load doesn't look big enough (at ~6"/150mm or ~45'/13.25m) to justify such a monster car!]

[See Märklin vs. Mærklin vs. Maerklin vs. Marklin.]   added (31 Dec 2019)

Märklin brought the 8-truck Uai 839 out again in HO (in DB Cargo red) as their #48295:

Märklin 48295 HO Uai 839 32-axle Schnabel Car
(Photo courtesy of and © Märklin USA by special written permission 01 Feb 2005 - all rights reserved)

AND then brought out a #18820 Scheurle type LS 250 28-axle dual road tractor set, the "Heuler" ("Howler") to carry that same trafo load on the highway (q.v. and ff.).

[Let me note here that "LS 250" is a whole SPMT syatem,
NOT just these unique cab-fitted units.]
  added (31 Dec 2019)

Well, on 11 Jul 2005 on my return from a trip to Texas and Ohio, I found a message from my hobby dealer that my special order Trix #T24020 HO two-rail (insulated-axle version of Märklin) Uai 839 32-axle Schnable was in.  I picked it up the very next evening; a real budget buster but I HAD to have it.  I'd already gotten the paired 28-axle dual Scheurle LS-250 road tractor set, the "Heuler" ("Howler") in DB Cargo red, Märklin #18820.  Unprototypically, they share the load arms, not just the load.

I got in quite late and, of course, had to set it up immediately.  Oh, my Gawd!  Not having a conversion coupler, I used a slow beast to push it around my club-sized layout (½ scale mile once around), with great care and trepidation lest it foul anything.  No way, Hose A; it tracked smoothly and effortlessly AND even cleared neatly between rolling stock on adjacent curved tracks in most cases and aced #8 and even #6 turnouts.  The very next day, I set up an ersatz #4 crossover (no such on my layout!) and it ran through that as if it was on tangent track.

In spite of very-severe sticker shock, I am quite thrilled with the monster (it is dwarfed, however, by my mockup of CEBX 800).

On 18 Jul 05, I finally got around to taking photos of all this; let's begin with the UIA 839 sitting in front of the CEBX 800 mockup and behind the LS-250 pair and a yardstick (36") for size copmparison:

(18 Jul 05 photos by and © Copyright 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Next, an end-on view showing (vaguely) both arms offset to the (photo) right and one showing (again vaguely) offset of the near load arm to the right and the far one to the left:

TrixT24020offsetrt TrixT24020offset-x
[Thumbnailed pictures; click on images for larger pictures]

The load arms are not only separable but also are split so they can be compressed for running light with a connector; however, for some inexplicable reason, they are spring loaded so they fly outward when released.  That, in itself would be only an oddity, but YOU try getting all four hydraulic pistons and cylinder aligned to close the arms, and on each pair:


O.K.  Let's transfer the load (which, on the model, means the load arms, as well):



Actually, that's exactly how they really transfer the load in Germany -
by moving the load and the two load arms together! rev.gif (31 Dec 20191)

Articulating the tractors and then dropping the load and connecting the load arms for road travel light:



Transferring the light arms to the Schnabel car and then straddling the load on two adjacent tracks, showing how it might be picked up or deposited:


Here's a "front" (outer end) view of the two tractors, showing the offset cabs:


I'm not sure why the cabs are offset that way but it certainly makes driving on the continent easy, with the cabs to the left in the direction of travel, or in England with the cabs to the right (not that I imagine they ever cross the channel - certainly not in a Bristol Argosy!).


Lastly, here are shots of the Uai 839 Schnable on curved track with the load arms offset ouboard, centered and inboard:



(18 Jul 05 photos by and © Copyright 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

This car is diecast and weighs in at a hefty 3 pounds 11 ounces!  Pushing a giant like this around the layout is hardly satisfactory or safe; I installed Kadee #17 NEM 362 conversion couplers.  Although it glides smoothly, the weight is such that neither my Bachmann 44-tonner nor my Roundhouse EMD 40 can quite hack it on tangent track and won't even budge it on broad (46"R) curves.

I was a bit dismayed to find that both the Märklin LS-250s and the Trix T24020 are made in China; so much for Göppingen's vaunted quality (not to mention a wee bit of misrepresentation)!  Both are magnificently done but the LS-250 comes with a small bag of parts and no instructions; the Schnabel has a small pamphlet with grossly inadequate captioning.  I scanned the illustrations for general interest and captioned them better (sez I):

["Tragschnabelwagen" means "Schnabel Carrier Car".]

Place the load and load arms on the car halves.

[What the instructions do NOT tell is how to safely pull the load arms off the railcar or tractor - see below.]

How to shift the load laterally (just push the outer ends of the load arms).

How to remove the NEM 362 couplers and put on the incredibly-finely-detailed display parts (since the couplers were NOT mounted, this gave me pause).

How to pull the pins to remove the load (they neglected to mention
that they are next to impossible to yank out).

How to split the load arms (since they are strongly spring-loaded,
perhaps this should be a warning, instead) and stow the hydraulics.

How to squeeze the load arms inward for light travel (this would be fine except
that the pin friction doesn't overcome the spring loading and they fly apart).

[Thumbnailed picture; click on image for larger picture]
How to emplace the travel buffer (sorry, it doesn't stay in place nohow on the arms
when on the LS-250 tractors and only delicately when on the Uai 839 railcar).

[Thumbnailed picture; click on image for larger picture]
How to fit the travel locks (they go in easily enough, once you get the hang of it,
but they are well-nigh impossible to remove - I had to resort to using micro-needlenose pliers).

Problems notwithstanding, these expensive models are worth every penny!

[To pop the load arms out of the sockets in order to transfer the arms from the railcars to the trucks and back, I made a very thin "pry bar" (like a chisel/Meißel) and very gently but firmly pry the arms upwards while rocking them slightly.  If you do it often, then I suggest rounding the restraining lip on the pins ever so slightly (but make sure the bar is wood or plastic so you don't chip the paint).] (09 Mar 2011)

My Kadee #17 conversion couplers came in 22 Jul 05 and were an easy substitution; oh my, oh my, how sweet it is!  That car just glides so smoothly!  So, naturally, I coupled up all my operable Schnabels and the string stretched out almost to infinity, some 14', and the DDP-45 made a valiant attempt to pull it all but popped a 2½ amp breaker on the first curve.  Then, just for laughs, I added the CEBX 800 and WECX {something@} tracking mock-ups, stringing the string out to 19'!!!  Not only is that string every bit as long as it is improbable, it also caused the poor old DDP-45 to pop the breaker after only a few feet on tangent track!  Well, mostly tangent; I don't have any stretch of tangent track 19' long (nor should I, unless I were modeling Australia's Nullarbor (Treeless) Plain).

[The #17s are really just a wee bit too short, even on nominal 46" radii; I bought sets of #18, #19, and #20 (Medium, Long, and Extra-Long) to experiment with now that I had to reduce my layout after moving, with nominal 34" radii max.] new.gif (09 Mar 2011)

@ - Now then, just what did I model?  The wood mockup shown on the first Schnabel page is definitely NOT WECX 102/301, although the scale drawing I made so long ago equally-definitely is!  WECX 102/301's 22 axles/44 wheels are arranged as (6-6)+(4-6)+(6-4)+(6-6), whereas the model, built to some mysterious plan, is very clearly set up as [(6-6)+(6-4)]+[(4-6)+(6-6)] - the inner span bolster will not fit if reversed.  To clarify the model's undercarriage; here it is again, artificially lightened:

(03 Nov 99 photo by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

What is so odd is that the truck locations and bolster pivots were all so painstakingly transferred - from what?  What could it represent?  It's not as though there was a wide choice of 22-axle cars.

There are at least two variations of the Trix Uai 839 (#T23994 in gray/green and #T24020 in Cargo Red); they also have a "smaller" 6-truck 24-axle unit, Uaai 838, Trix #T24019, with what appears to be a huge stationary or marine diesel engine load.  Here it is in two variations (which may be nothing more than a pilot model photo and a production photo, or two scales):


(Photos courtesy of and © Märklin USA by special written permission 25 Jan 2002 - all rights reserved)

This one is out of production and out of stock; wonder if I can find one.  It is/was also available in N-scale (1:160) as Minitrix #15248.

In HO, per Trix, both the Uaai 838 and Uai 839 models can share the same trafo load; no wonder the trafo looks undersized for the Uai 839!

Well, I couldn't find a Trix T24019 and Trix came out with the car in Cargo Red with an automobile body stamping die base for a load and I sprang for it instead.  It came in on 06 Dec 2005 and I picked it up, popped in the Kadee #17 conversion couplers, figured out how to fit the load (not easy if one tries to follow the inadequate instructions), got all 24 wheelsets on the rails (not all that difficult, actually), and she scoons (all 23"/56cm of her)!  Here she is in front of the 32-axle Uai 239 T24020:


(08 Dec 2005 photos by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

FYI, the 32-axle Uai 839 car weighs 3¾ pounds (1.7g) and the 24-axle Uaai 838 car weighs 3¼: pounds (1.5g).

Then I took a shot to show the car without the load, with the heavy longitudinal girders and small transverse girders (orange) and the load shown separately:


Having discovered that there are, in fact TWO (2) lateral shift positions to each side on the Uai 839 model, as well as on the Uaai 838, I reshot the end-on views with both cars on a curve (from left to right - full left shift, half left shift, no shift, half right shift, and full right shift):

Trix24338-7 Trix24338-6 Trix24338-3 Trix24338-5 Trix24338-4

Of course, no one in their right mind would ever shift that far into a curve!

On tangent track (from left to right - full left shift, half left shift, and no shift):

Trix24338-8 Trix24338-9 Trix24338-0
(08 Dec 2005 photos by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

She's a gem, as much so as the bigger car; also made in China, though.  Then, for laughs, I coupled up ALL my Schnabel and similar super-heavy cars and the string exceeded 19' (without my wooden tracking mock ups!) and required two big locos to pull it; it DID make it around my 46" radius outer main loop without pulling in or popping a drawbar but the draft force was horrendous!

However, at one point several circuits later (I know - I was pushing my luck!), my old Overland/Ajin brass WECX 203 derailed its lead truck from the strain and snagged a tie; the Uai 239 thereupon pulled apart (a load arm pulled right out of its main span bolster), but there was no damage, so I can laugh about it!

The T24338 Uaai 838 Schnabel model has an even smaller pamphlet, with only three illustrations, again with grossly inadequate captioning.  The first illustration, how to swap couplers and end detail, is almost identical to the one for the T24020, the third, lateral shifting, IS the same as for the T24020 (with one detail of the load omitted, even though the loads are totally different!), and the second, placing the load on the girders and the load arms on the car halves, has the 16-axle car halves underneath (!!!):

[Thumbnailed picture; click on image for larger picture]

See also SCHNABEL (and other Giant Cars) MODELS LIST.
added (02 Feb 2012)

Additions to this list are always welcome.

Dave Allen's Concept Models Schnabel Kits coverage has been moved to Schnabel page 3 effective 17 Jan 2006.

Should you have a hankering for an elegant model of CEBX/WECX 800 or WECX 801, see Mark Runyan's simpy-stunning Schnabel car in resin and etched brass at Even More Schnabel Car Models on page 5; here's a teaser:   new (24 Aug 2012)

(photo courtesy of M. Runyan - all rights reserved)

Nisco Steel Move in China - moved to Cont. Page 4 on 08 Dec 2005 to make more room for news of the CEBX 800 model.

I'm NOT depressed, just feeling flat, sort of like I'm in a well,
as if my center had dropped, through, heavy,
split and loaded down - too much on my plate.
I need to shift my load and inch through, if my plate has clearance.
Only joking!

Look also at the main schnabel page, et seq.

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.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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