Whats in freight trains?

Everyday i spend a lot of my time at the train station waiting for trains and watching passing trains, i have always wondered what is in the huge freight trains that whizzz past if anyone knows could they please let me know? Thank you xx

26 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    They want you to think it's freight. But I know the truth it's creatures from outer space. I was in Roswell back in the day I saw what I saw.

  • LOL
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Freight train or goods train is a series of freight cars hauled by a locomotive on a railway, ultimately transporting cargo between two points as part of the logistics chain. Trains may haul bulk, containers or specialized cars.

    Under the right circumstances, freight transport by rail is more economic and energy efficient than by road, especially when carried in bulk or over long distances. Rail freight is often subject to transshipment costs since it must be transferred from one mode to another in the chain; these costs may dominate and practices such as containerization aim at minimizing these. Bulk is less susceptible, with distances down to thirty kilometers (twenty miles) sufficient to cover transshipment costs. Freight trains are less flexible than road transport, and much freight has been transferred from rail to road or sea.

  • Sylvie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    In 1959 while I was working as Brakeman a tree was hit by lightning and fell on the tracks at a curve, the tree was about 2 foot thick and when it hit the platforms on the front of the locomotive these platforms used to be on all engines for the brakeman to stand on was bent downward and acted like a plow which in turn snagged the railway ties then spread the rails apart and the engines front 2 axles derailed. We were only travelling at 35 miles per hour at the time. We did not have radios in those days and I had to walk to the nearest farm for help.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can look at the kind of car and get a good idea.

    Flatcars, you can see what's on them.

    Gondolas (very short walls) - usually contain steel scraps or machinery. You can often see over the top of them.

    Huge cars with tin (shiny) sides with holes in them contain brand new automobiles.

    Funny flat cars with a wall down the middle of the car and straps everywhere - are for hauling lumber, like what you see at Home Depot.

    Covered hopper cars -- contain dried grains like corn, or plastic pellets for making plastic products, or cement for making concrete. Among others.

    Open hopper cars - contain generally coal or gravel (used for the railroad track). Very short covered hoppers probably contain iron ore.

    Tank cars - could be any liquid or gas. Look for diamond shaped "placards" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placard that will give you a rough idea of what's in them. If you don't see a placard, then most likely it's corn sweetener (high fructose corn syrup) or vegetable oil or some other foodstuff or non-flammable. If you're in corn country and it has a placard, it may be ethanol!

    if the ends of the tank car are rounded, it contains a gas under pressure like ammonia, propane or compressed natural gas.

    Boxcars can contain darn near anything! If the boxcar is extremely large, it most likely contains auto parts.

    Many railcars are designed to carry highway semi-truck trailers or seagoing containers. Some of these cars can be very empty frames. In America, container cars stack the containers two-high! Of course, trailers and containers can contain anything from furniture to garbage.

    In a few places, you'll see a train that IS highway trailers, nothing but a very long line of highway trailers. That's called a RoadRailer. Those are something special. Most likely, those contain auto parts.

    Notice there are three different kinds of freight cars specifically for autos and auto parts?

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are 2 types of freight: "Perishables" and "Bulk".

    Perishables are electronics, car parts, food, etc. that are carried in containers or specialist vehicles for loose valuable goods or food.

    Bulk goods are such loose materials as spoil, gravel, coal, cars, etc. that are carried in open wagons that need no cover (as such).

    Of course, the exception to this are "piggyback" or trains like "Le Shuttle" - these are classified, technically, under bulk goods but are normally carried in trains that go at passenger train speeds.

  • 1 decade ago

    Freight trains carry all kinds of general freight materials such as lumber in lumber carrying flat cars, scrap metal in gondola cars, new vehicles in covered flat cars, coal in coal hopper cars, and just about anything you can think of. Now this is just my own little opinion, but I think a freight train is not a complete freight train without a caboose.

    Source(s): LIfe-long interest in trains and model railroading.
  • 1 decade ago

    The Railway Children

  • 1 decade ago

    Pretty much anything you own(or the materials to make those products), the car you drive, the lumber that your house was built with, the coal to produce the electricity you use, etc, has most likely at some point been transported on a train.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    freight trains carry lots of things coal, stone, cars, steel, and containers with food inside them, cement, mail, china clay, scrap iron, and freight trains do the work that would take many lorries to do and have a lower carbon emission

  • 1 decade ago

    freight trains transport nearly everything as its an easy and cheaper way to do so than road and faster, most of the things what do get transported is haz goods etc etc they do alot for shiping as well

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