For a slide presentation on UTLX Alexandria LA Manufacturing, click here.
For an overview of new tank car assembly stages, click here.
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The Sheldon manufacturing plant is located in Houston Texas and is responsible for several UTLX innovations, a couple of which are outlined below.
Increased Safety for Brakemen and Loaders
Union Tank Car Company's engineering team took on the challenge to innovate a new end platform design that complies with all existing regulations, incorporates a new set of industry standards, and will perform safely in the dynamic rail operating environment.
The end platform fits neatly within the proposed safety appliance requirements for freight cars, standard S-2O44. The design provides a lower bottom step and adds an intermediate step. Three steps make the climb much more manageable - with the bottom step 17" or less from the top of the rail. The upper steps are reduced to less than 15", each. And, the innovative platform is narrowed enough that the steps don't hang back under the platform. Up and down, the improved arrangement is easier to use.
Providing the safety clincher is a corner stanchion that gives secure attachment for a second vertical grab iron. The freight conductor can now use both hands in climbing to the end platform. Easier and safer makes this UTLX rendition a winner.
Increased Capacity 3-Compartment Car
The recently built 3-compartment cars, having an average capacity of 31,065 gallons per car, are the largest compartment cars that Union Tank Car has ever built for its fleet. Steve Wojciechowski, Project Engineer - Components, stated, "This car design created a special challenge because of its length. UTLX's standard pressure car (which is one of the longest cars UTLX builds) has a length over truck centers of 53'6" while this compartment car has a length over truck centers of 59'6". The Sheldon production facility had to contend with cars six feet longer than usual. This meant that the air brake system had to be modified because of the long train line pipe. They also had to use truck-mounted brakes on these cars because of the three outlets at the bottom of the car, which is normally where all the brake equipment and levers would be supported." Several departments worked together to make this car a reality....a BIG reality.