Technical Bulletin: Cutting curbs

It is a common practice to place multiple railcars side by side in order to achieve a wider bridge. Most of the time only two railcars are needed to achieve the desired width. However, some situations require more than two railcars wide. The widest bridge project I have been a part of was for a total of five railcars side by side for a total of 45' wide.

While there are several railcar styles to choose from, this article focuses on using raised side sill railcars and a very specific challenge that these railcars pose. You will find a 3D model video comparing "raised side sill" railcars to "flush decks" at the bottom of this article. 

When placing two raised side sill railcars side by side, it is important to cut the inside curbs off of each railcar. It is much more practical to remove these curbs at Paragon's dismantling yard instead of waiting for the railcars to be delivered to the job site. This video covers all the basics needed when performing this task.


  1. Watch this video.

  2. Make sure you get written instructions so you know if you need to cut one curb off of a single railcar to two curbs off of a single railcar. 

  3. Choose which curb to cut wisely. These bridge decks are bi-directional so what side of railcar the curb is removed doesn't matter since railcars can be rotated around when being installed in the field.
  4. Cut cleanly. Use 9" grinder to clean up metal slag.
  5. Take pictures when job is complete. 
  6. Over achievers should watch the rest of the videos below if you want to get a better understanding. 

This video shows what a finished, ready to ship, product looks like with two raised side sill railcars. One notable difference is that these 89' railcars have been also cut down to 40' long.

This video shows what the middle railcar looks like when three railcars are placed side by side. 

This other video shows what three railcars side by side look like with their curbs cut off. Ensuring the correct scope of work is critical before any parts of the railcar are removed.

This video discusses the "seam cover plate" that Paragon uses to cover the gap in between the two railcars after the curbs have been cut off.



And, this last 3D model video shows more of the details about "raised side sill" railcars as compared to flush deck railcars.

As always, feel free to contact Paragon Bridge Works with any questions/concerns you might have. We will be here when you need us.