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August 25, 2008
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TOFC by classictrains TOFC by classictrains
Before there were double stacks there was TOFC. Trailer On Flat Car revolutionized railroading in the 60's. It wasn't as efficient as it could have been but it removed the time delay of loading and transloading and unloading the 40 foot box car. It was sad to see the demise of the billboard sided box but it saved railroads then just like the double stack has today... reducing the overhead cost per mile incredibly (less non-revenue weight) and the burden of lining up the cars so the trailers could be driven on or off.

Here a Santa Fe GP20 leads a duo of U-boat's west on the transcon past Joliet Station where mail awaits the arrival of a passenger train behind. This predates the Super-C but TOFC was not to be delayed even then.
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:iconfactorone33:
factorone33 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008  Professional Photographer
Boy have I got a shot to upload for you. That billboard scheme reminds me of it.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008
I'm watching!
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:iconhunter1828:
hunter1828 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
It is amazing to think that the high-priority trains of today - pulled by Dash 9s, GEVOs and SD70Ms - were once pulled by GP20s, units that are, if you can still find them, limited to yard duty and shortlines today...
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008
Exactly... just like Generations
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:iconhunter1828:
hunter1828 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Of course, it all makes me wonder about the future. What will be pulling the hotshot doublestacks in 30 years, and will the Dash 9s and GEVOs be relegated to yard duty?
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008
Wonderful thoughts... all your pix of today will be ohh and ahhed over :-)
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:iconhunter1828:
hunter1828 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, Chris. :)
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:iconshenanigan87:
shenanigan87 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Its always interesting how new innovations and ideas get used in railways, though I'm normally more interested in purely technical aspects concerning engines. Nevertheless, the double stack one can see today is completely unimaginable around here with all routes being electrified :D
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:iconsullivan1985:
sullivan1985 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I wonder how many of those trailers came from an Erie Lackawanna train from the New York market.

It's said that UPS would have died if it wasn't for railroad TOFC trains, which they still utilize heavily today.
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