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Discussion Starter #1
...A train of semi trailers, supported by railroad trucks.


My first thought...the frames of the semi trailers...have they been
reinforced to take the stress of long trains.

What about the air brakes...I seem to see hoses from semi to supporting
rail trucks.

Don
 

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I've seen a lot of interesting things on the MTF, but this is one of the most so. And then to find out it is an old practice, imagine my surprise! Wikipedia says they are special truck trailers, so that must include the strengthened frame and air systems DonR asks about. I'd like to see the equipment that sets the trailers on the RR trucks.
 

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I've seen a lot of interesting things on the MTF, but this is one of the most so. And then to find out it is an old practice, imagine my surprise! Wikipedia says they are special truck trailers, so that must include the strengthened frame and air systems DonR asks about. I'd like to see the equipment that sets the trailers on the RR trucks.
Yes, it is an interesting practice. I remember reading an article about it some years back in Trains Magazine.
One of the class 1 roads was using a pair of vintage F units as power with them.
Can’t recall specifics on it now. Maybe someone remembers?
 

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These were called roadrailers. The New Haven made a big deal of adopting them, but they weren't revolutionary enough to save the railroad from extinction.

The Wikipedia article is fairly informative: Roadrailer - Wikipedia
 

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I'm not sure how reinforced the trailer frames are compared to regular trailers, but they do have specific features for the air brake hose connections and special connections to physically attach to each other and the railroad wheel sets.

They do NOT run in regular trains with other freight cars, only in dedicated sets/trains pulling only RoadRailers. The trailers wouldn't take those sorts of stresses and connecting/disconnecting them is a lot more involved than uncoupling train cars.
 

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Conrail/CSX discontinued their RoadRailer service some years' back.

NS continued to run them for a while, but I think that they, too, have now discontinued the service. Others will correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Roadrailer is what they are called. They pull in line just like all rolling stock does. The trailers are quite a bit larger in length than a standard semi-trailer. The method has been around for 70 years but never really took off like they hoped.

Bowser produces the majority if not all roadrailers for the hobby. They are neat to have on the layout and definitely unique.
 

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