Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

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jon price
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Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby jon price » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:11 am

I have seen photos of fully painted new wagons at the turn of the century (19th) lacking either the "Load X Tons" marking, or both the load and the tare markings. Anybody know when (if) it became a requirement for wagons to carry these markings?

martin goodall
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby martin goodall » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:10 am

I don't know the precise answer to Jon's question (i.e. date of introduction of any formal requirement) , but I am aware that newly built wagons were sometimes photographed in the works before the tare weight had been painted on the wagon. I can think of some LMS wagons photographed in this way before the tare weights had been painted on them.

The tare weight varied from one vehicle to another, even if built to an identical design using the same materials, so each one had to be weighed individually on a weighbridge before the tare weight could then be recorded on the vehicle.

There was a simple practical reason for wanting to know the precise tare weight of each wagon, because this would enable a loaded wagon to be weighed on a weighbridge, and the weight of the load could then be ascertained by deducting the tare weight of the wagon. The same applies even today for HGVs. This relates to charging for loads by weight, rather than for any specific legal requirement.

I would guess that a requirement to show the authorised maximum loading of the wagon was introduced (whether under the auspices of the RCH or as the result of requirements imposed by the Board of Trade/ Railway Inspectorate) as a safety measure to prevent the overloading of wagons. The tare weight of the wagon would also be a necessary element in checking the weight of the load for this purpose. Notwithstanding this, where coal wagons were concerned overloading seemed to be a common practice, even where the authorised loading was clearly shown on the wagon.

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Noel
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby Noel » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:38 pm

Some 19th century GW wagons carried small cast plates on which the load and tare were shown, sometimes placed on the solebar, so there were no painted on weights. Other companies may have used similar plates, I don't know. Non-traffic vehicles [e.g. weighing machine vans] did not carry load markings, although they might have the tare weight shown. Some private owners also used cast plates, rather than painted on details, particularly on tanks, to show the owner's name and address; such plates could also carry the capacity of the vehicle and its tare.
Noel

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jon price
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby jon price » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:57 pm

Thanks for this info and suggestions. I'll look to see if I can spot plates in the photos.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:16 am

In a recent thread on Rmweb (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/83119-wagons-to-carry-1000-tare-640-what-does-it-all-mean/), two railwaymen stated that wagons were weighed empty and full when an accurate measure of the load was needed; the tare weight written on the wagon was not used. If it wasn't used, was it mandatory?

Conversely, the regulations for this century (http://www.otif.org/otif/_epdf/dir_tech_adm_2006/07_2006_A_94-03_4.2006_e.pdf) do require tare weight to be shown, at least those that travel internationally.

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Noel
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby Noel » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:17 am

One of the guard's responsibilities was ensuring that the train load was within the limit for the line and class of train concerned, which I believe is now the responsibility of yard staff. This required the weight of the load being carried to be added to the wagon tare for each wagon. There are also rules regarding the maximum allowable difference in axleloads between axles or bogies of the same wagon, for loads not carried centrally, which have varied over time, which also require knowledge of both wagon load and tare.

This is compatible with what Guy has said, since it relates to operation of the train, and I think that the comments his railwaymen made referred to the method of calculating the charge made to the customer, based on the actual weight of the load.
Noel

martin goodall
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby martin goodall » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:59 pm

Guy Rixon wrote:In a recent thread on Rmweb ..... two railwaymen stated that wagons were weighed empty and full when an accurate measure of the load was needed; the tare weight written on the wagon was not used.


Weighing the wagon empty every time before being loaded would not seem feasible in many cases. Hence the painted tare weight, which could simply be decucted from the gross laden weight to determine the precise weight of the load.

It does occur to me that the tare weight of wagons would probably have had to be checked occasionally (every year or two?), as wear and tare and unrecorded modifications might have affected the tare weight. If the wagon went through shops, then one would expect that the vehicle would have been weighed afresh when it emerged from the works, and the new tare weight painted on.

I am willing to bet that if someone has the time and inclination to ferret around in the RCH archives [at Kew?], they might find some guidance on this topic, representing the practice agreed among the railway companies collectively in this regard. It seems to me that it would have been more important to know the tare weight of wagons for commercial purposes than for safety reasons. It is this which prompts me to guess (and it is purely guesswork) that the source of any guidance is more likely to be found in RCH records than from BoT/MoT sources.

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Noel
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Re: Tare and Load markings, when obligatory?

Postby Noel » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:46 am

Wagons did not necessarily have to be weighed before loading. Docks coal wagon tippling facilities weighed loaded wagons on the way to the tippler and the empty wagons again on the way back. The difference showed what had actually been loaded into the ship. Power stations did the same thing. Other facilities, such as the Tyne quay loading the ore hoppers for Consett, weighed the actual load before delivery into the wagon.

Beside this, many loads were charged by size, type and number of items, rather than by weight. The railways charged for the items they carried in a number of different ways. For all of the above, the tare of the wagon is irrelevant for commercial purposes.

However, as I suggested previously, the tare of all the wagons involved [except, probably, for the unique system at Consett where the train load was 8 or 9 loaded wagons depending on the locomotive power available] would be needed for train crews to be able to calculate the total weight of the train for operational purposes. Different classes of train on the same route would have different load limits, depending on the amount of brake power available (non-fitted, partially fitted [and what proportion of wagons], or fully fitted) and the power class of the engine provided (which might be different to that expected if there was a shortage of engines). Another case is a yard sending out a train with electric power, which would need to make sure it did not exceed the load limit of the steam engine which was to replace the electric loco on the way.
Noel


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