Canal Car will design or assist in designing your railway car systems. We have plenty of experience rebuilding typical private car passenger equipment and are very familiar with adapting old systems for new purposes, interfacing new systems to old equipment, replacing existing equipment with new parts, or adding completely new functionality. Designing for reliable operation is very important to us.

Despite being designed for reliable operation, a common problem faced by private car owners is equipment that breaks down in the field. How do you repair this equipment with parts readily available at the corner hardware store (in Punkydoodle Corners, where you just happen to be parked on a siding)? Canal Car specializes in building systems that use standard parts, easily obtainable from local parts suppliers. We also make provision for spare parts so that field repairs of our designs are eminently possible.

If you would like us to design or advise on the design of any car equipment or system, please email Canal Car and describe what it is that you are looking for, along with your contact information.

To begin the design process, we will want to first get a general description of the system to be designed and a list of its requirements. Information about physical constraints (e.g. where it must fit) and any existing systems that it must interface to or coexist with will be gathered. Before the design is started, we will try to understand who will use the system and how they will use it.

Designs of simple equipment are usually straight forward. For the more complex systems, an iterative approach works best. Based on the information collected, a preliminary design is done and then submitted for comments. This design is altered iteratively until an acceptable final design is reached. Drawings and documentation can be done and fabrication is even possible.

This page shows a few of our equipment designs to give you some ideas about what kind of projects can be undertaken.
Control Panel Drawing

Electrical system control panels should follow an ergonomic design that helps the user to intuitively understand how the system works and what they should do to accomplish the action they wish to perform. Logical grouping of controls and instruments as well as flow lines are some of the human factors rules that help to accomplish these design goals.

Railcar Control Panel

A photograph of the control panel diagramed above shows the logical groupings of the functions. Additionally, the flow of power through the system, selector switches, etc. is denoted by black lines so that one can follow the power from where it enters the car (on the left), through the contactors and selectors, and out to the car (on the right). Meters and indicator lights are meant to give an accurate status of all of the car's systems.

Kitchen Layout Drawing

Highly efficeint kitchens can be fitted into constrained spaces, providing the flow of work is taken into account. An understanding of this work flow plus consultation with working chefs leads to a kitchen design that promotes easy and safe preparation of food for a whole car load of passengers.