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coupler age

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coupler age
Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, December 27, 2018 11:54 AM

What time frame did knuckle couplers start appearing?

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An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

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Posted by gregc on Thursday, December 27, 2018 12:00 PM

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, December 27, 2018 12:07 PM

Janney's coupler was patented in 1873.  Congress forced it's adoption with the Railroad Safety Appliance act, which was phased in from 1893 to 1900.

Henry

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, December 27, 2018 1:23 PM

I just read the Wikipedia entyry on the safety act.

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New Question: This act also required grab irons, but the Wikipedia artical does not specify where.

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I assumed it was this:

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Looking at the end, a lowerr grab on both sides, an upper on the right, a ladder on the left.

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Looking at the side, stirrups on both ends, two grabs on the left, ladder on the right.

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Was this arangement actually legislated, or was it just adopted as the best practice?

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I have seen a few cars with only one grab on the left side, and some with extras on the ends.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, December 27, 2018 1:42 PM

It required grab irons or ladders on both the sides and ends (prior to that most cars had sides OR ends). 

The grabirons had to line up with each other.

It got rid of many vertical grab irons and required horizontal grabirons.

It required grab irons on the ends of the cars and rotating uncoupling levers.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by dknelson on Thursday, December 27, 2018 1:52 PM

The location and nature of grab irons and other safety appliances changed over the years.  Old Car Builder's Cyclopedias (and sometimes the Train Shed Cyclopedia reprints) give the details.  They were required by rule, which in turn was mandated by legislation, and the ARA or AAR had its own rule-compliant standards.

There are other resources out there (Ted Culotta books for example) for era-specific details.  A craftsman such as "Doctor Wayne" probably has it all memorized.

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, December 27, 2018 5:00 PM

I'd note that having a ladder on the right side of the car (when facing the side) early on was often a series of grabirons, rather than a ladder per se. Eventually (probably in the 1930's) that changed, but I'm not sure if it was due to regulation or just was just made standard as it was considered safer, or easier to build and maintain.

Stix
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, December 27, 2018 7:08 PM

I build quite a few Westerfield and Funaro & Camerlengo kits. I choose these based solely on what cars I like the look of.

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I do things to "update" the kits to be more 1954 appropriate. For examples, I always replace K brakes with AB brakes, and I never have vertical brake staffs except on flat cars. This is a preference for durability.

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However, I never put much thought into the grab irons. I tend to follow the kit instructions.

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I never gave any consideration to whether a ladder or series of grab irons was approriate.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, December 27, 2018 7:23 PM

For those of us modeling pre-1906 (pre Safety Appliance Act) the positions of grab irons is noticeable.

That's a clue why the MDC/Roundhouse 36 ft cars really aren't 1890's cars they are more like WW1 era cars, the grab irons are post safety appliance act and there is bracing that wasn't commonly used until after 1910 or so.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, December 27, 2018 10:25 PM

dknelson
There are other resources out there (Ted Culotta books for example) for era-specific details.

Dave, you're right about Ted's books being good reference volumes.  I also saved some of the "Rail Dates" offerings that RMC included in, I think, their January issues for a few years.

According to the January 1979 issue, the Janney coupler was patented in 1868, and improvements to it in 1873.
George Westinghouse patented the straight air brake in 1869 and the triple valve (making it an automatic brake) in 1872.

The Railroad Safety Appliance Act of 1898, required that all equipment must have automatic couplers (thus outlawing link & pin), train brakes, uniform drawbar heights (inspiration, perhaps, for Kadee's coupler-height gauge?), and uniform grabiron and handhold placement.  The latter requirement had standards at that time, which did change over the years, as did the requirements for specific coupler types, trucks, wheels, etc., etc.
F'rinstance, the AB-type brake valve was introduced in 1933, and all equipment built or rebuilt after Sept. 1st of that year was required to be so-equipped.

The second grabiron to the right of the car's mid-point/door was introduced, I think, in 1933, and all new builds were required to be so-equipped.  In-service cars with only one (the original requirement) had a fairly lengthy window during  which they could be equipped with the second one.  That's why, on  my late '30s-era layout, you'll see many older cars like this...

...with only one grabiron, while the re-built version of the same cars....

...have two.
Large railroads, with tens of thousands of cars in service, could not be reasonably expected to convert them all immediately...

...this one, built in May of 1933, may have had the second one when built, or had it added when re-weighed around the end of 1935, or maybe not until its latest re-weigh, in April of 1938...

Likewise, many of my freight cars are still equipped with K-type brakes, while newer cars (built after Sept. 1933) have AB-type brakes.  Some of the older cars, of course, have been upgraded, too.
K-type brakes were first outlawed for interchange in 1945, but were granted extensions until 1953.  If the cars were not in interchange service, the K-type brakes remained allowable.

Steel underframes were required on all cars built after January 1, 1927, or re-built after July 1, 1928, but all-wood underframes, incuding steel-girthed centre sills, were prohibited from interchange after January 1, 1940.
 
However, truss rods were still allowable on cars with composite underfames...this Southern Su-class boxcar (built from a modified MDC boxcar kit, and working from photos and info in one of Ted Culotta's books) represents one of about 15,000 built between 1922-26, with some still running into the mid-'50s...

...simply because they also had steel centresills.

(As a perhaps interesting sidenote, several of these cars ended-up on the Atlantic & Danville, mentioned in the thread on "Railroads rarely modelled...", as perhaps the least-modelled.  Perhaps the real version of 156367 was one of those cars.

By the way, any photos which I post should be clicked-on if you want an enlarged version.

dknelson
...A craftsman such as "Doctor Wayne" probably has it all memorized.

Thanks for the compliment, Dave, but I'm constantly checking reference manuals, books and magazines, along with on-line resources, to help me give accurate information when trying to answer questions.

Wayne

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