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Succinct Guide to Freight Car Trucks and Eras?

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Succinct Guide to Freight Car Trucks and Eras?
Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 17, 2021 11:39 AM

Does such a thing exist?

I have primarily Bettendorf 50-ton trucks on my freight cars.  I have archbar trucks on a couple of maintenance cars, that is it.

But I would also like to know when 70- and 100-ton trucks came into use.  Also, three-spring trucks as opposed to two-srping. And I am interested in learning about caboose trucks, which based on the models I have, appear to be a little bit different.

What info is out there?

Also, it is hard to do Google searches for "trucks," because you get lots of hits regarding freight and the trucking industry.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 17, 2021 11:56 AM

 The line between the different periods is blurry, because of there was a new requirement, the railroads were given time to comply. So there are big chunks of time when you'd see both the older and the newer together on the same train. In some cases, even the drop dead dates were extended. And many of the rules requiring certain truck types or wheels only applied to interchange - you said you have MOW cars with arch bar trucks, that's perfectly prototypical. Interchanged rolling stock was forced to change the trucks to a cast type, all those arch bars had to go somewhere - they weren't broken, or defective, they just were more prone to failure and required more maintenence than a more modern design. And if an object is still usable to a railroad - they will use it. 

 There are a few useful guides published by Kalmbach, written by Jeff Wilson. Not sure which are still in print, you may have to find a used copy of some. ANd specifically on trucks, May 2013 MRH had an article on freight car trucks from 1900-1960.

                                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, January 17, 2021 12:35 PM

Try this - a presentation from the late Richard Hendrickson.  It concentrates on the pre-1960 era.  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz_ctrHrDz4wcjJWcENpaDJYbUU/edit

Shock Control
But I would also like to know when 80- and 100-ton trucks came into use.  

Trucks with 70- 77- and 100-ton nominal rating came into widespread use by the 1960s.

Also, three-spring trucks as oppoesed to two-srping.

That varies by design.  Trucks with 100-ton capacity almost all have three outboard springs. Others vary.  I'll use some examples from different manufacturers.

This Tangent 50-ton truck has two outboard springs.

This 70-ton American Steel Foundries (ASF) pattern 70-ton solid bearing truck has two outboard springs and three in the row behind them.

A 70-ton Barber pattern solid bearing truck with three visible springs.

A 70-ton Barber roller bearing truck with two outboard springs, and a different arrangement of the sideframe casting under the bolster compared to ASF.

A different variety of Barber pattern 77-ton sideframe with three visible springs, similar to their 70-ton sold bearing design.

Note the 70-ton ASF pattern roller bearing truck has a similar spring arrangement to the 70-ton ASF version with solid bearings.

The National type C-1 70-ton truck had a distinctive triangular spring arrangement.

A 100-ton Barber pattern truck.  The sideframe cross sections are heavier than the lower capacity versions, and the wheelbase is longer (typically 5'10" if I'm remembering this right vs. 5'8").

This ExactRail 100-ton ASF truck has a different sideframe design compared to the Barber pattern.

Note there are plenty of other variations, including 125-ton trucks, low-profile for specialized cars like autoracks, and so on.  Multiple casting companies manufactured trucks with the above patterns, and there could be differences between separate plants for the same manufacturer (e.g. the Moloco ASF 70-ton truck represents one specific to the Granite City, IL plant) Sometimes good prototype information comes with the product descriptions on sites like Moloco or Tangent.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:02 PM

This is great info, thank you both for your replies!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:07 PM

Shock Control
Does such a thing exist?

I'm not sure that it can be called succinct, but Mainline Modeler did a three-part series on trucks.

I'm going to attempt to scan the pages, and will post them here if they appear to be legible.

Shock Control
Also, three-spring trucks as oppoesed to two-spring.

While our models tend to show two- or three-spring versions in cast sideframes, or even ones with actual springs, such as are offered by Kadee, many of the real ones had spring packages with many more springs that weren't readily visible.

Here are the scans of the Mainline article (Click on the photos for a larger view)

Wayne

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:16 PM

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by Shock Control on Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:30 PM

doctorwayne
While our models tend to show two- or three-spring versions in cast sideframes, or even ones with actual springs, such as are offered by Kadee, many of the real ones had spring packages with many more springs that weren't readily visible. 

Of course, I meant just the visible springs on the outer side of the trucks. 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:54 PM

Don't we have a Japanese poster who has done an extended guide on American truck types and details?  (I don't have the patience to look up his actual name, and mean no disrespect thereby!)

EDIT -- he is a few posts down in this thread.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 17, 2021 2:13 PM

 The MRH article I referenced was also by Richard Hendrickson. It may have been an expanded version of what Rob posted.

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 17, 2021 2:28 PM

Bears post and link is also a good source of info.

Mike.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 17, 2021 3:07 PM

I've added the scans from Mainline Modeler in my earlier post, as promised.

Wayne

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, January 17, 2021 5:20 PM

Very fine, even if 'friction bearing' is a repeated sharp stick in the eye... Big Smile

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 17, 2021 7:18 PM

 

Overmod

Very fine, even if 'friction bearing' is a repeated sharp stick in the eye... 

 

Yeah, solid bearing might be more apt. 

Wayne

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, January 17, 2021 10:51 PM

doctorwayne
Yeah, solid bearing might be more apt.

Or plain bearing.  It just galls me to see the opposite of 'antifriction bearing' become a neat propaganda term.

I was not at ALL happy to find the term 'friction bearing' referenced several times in official New York Central motive-power blueprints, including the master wheel-balancing reference for later Mohawks.  The rot ran deep!

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Posted by BN7150 on Sunday, January 17, 2021 11:20 PM

Yes, the name "Friction Bearing" is a conspiracy. The American Bearing Manufacturers Association called itself "the Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association" until 1993. (Wikipedia)

Yes, Japanese fans love trucks. There are many books, magazine articles and websites. However, few can understand the essence of the prototypes from them. See my Model Railroad Dictionary for overviews. Probably only here, for diesel locomotives and passenger cars. And there are some posts for cabeese and others in my blog. I wrote them in Japanese, but if you wish, I'll translate them.

Kotaro Kuriu, Kyoto, Japan

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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, January 18, 2021 12:35 AM
Shock Horror!!!SurpriseSurprise
 
doctorwayne has been posting lots of photos, again!!
 
Actually, a BIG THANKS to Wayne and Rob for taking the time to compile/scan their informative posts. I’ve “grabbed” them for future reference, though I refuse to go down the “slippery slope” to ensure complete 100% accuracy on my freight cars.Smile, Wink & Grin
 
“Plain Bearings” is the term I’d use in my day job; though more in a railway sense, “Journal bearings” would also be appropriate. (now where’s me cotton packing and oil can?!)
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, January 18, 2021 12:44 AM

Off Topic

BN7150
See my Model Railroad Dictionary...

My Goodness you’ve certainly put a WHOLE lot of time and effort into compiling your dictionary. A labour of love?
 
I doff my cap to you, Sir!
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, January 18, 2021 4:52 AM

As an aside.    Here in the UK  any model made has the era/s  the real item was run.   So, for example if you were modeling the early 1950s   it would be Era 4 you ran models showing that Era.    You know to stay clear of anyearlier or later eras.

 

Era  Description Date Range Example
1 Pioneering 1804-1869 Stephenson's 'Rocket'
2 Pre-Grouping 1870-1922 Peckett W4
3 Grouping 1923-1947 Wainwright H Class
4 Early British Railways 1948-1956 Gresley B17
5 Late British Railways 1956-1968 Standard 4MT
6 British Rail Pre-TOPS 1957-1971 Class 71
7 British Rail TOPS 1971-1986 Class 87
8 BR Sectorisation 1982-1997 Class 50
9 Privatisation 1996-2008 Class 67
10 Network Franchising 2006-2017 Class 60
11 Present Day 2014 on

Hitachi IEP

 

 

David

 

 

 

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I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, January 18, 2021 9:58 AM

David, the late John Armstrong attempted a similar broad categorization of USA modeling eras in his book Creative Layout Design, but it obviously had no official status or authoritative backing behind it.  For a variety of reasons that particular book never established itself like Track Planning for Realistic Operation but it is well worth seeking out on the used book market or at swap meets.  

It might be added that Jeff Wilson also does an analysis of freight car trucks by era in his Kalmbach book on Freight Cars - he doesn't get into all the nooks and crannies that Hundman did in his Mainline Modeler articles.  Wilson also gets into boxcar ends and roofs and other features and for MOST modeling purposes pretty much gives you what you need.

By the way it isn't just a matter that our "sprung trucks" have two versus or 3  springs versus the 5 or more of their prototypes, it is that each spring has within it a smaller spring.  So you really do not see through the springs on prototype trucks the way you can and do on model trucks with "real" springs.  Some modelers fill their "real" springs with small lengths of styrene.  I wish them happy and fulfilling lives.  But that is why some fussy modelers have turned away from real springs and prefer all-cast truck sideframes.

And yes we are still waiting for the friction-free truck design.  There are still hotboxes, and derailments due to hotboxes, in the roller-bearing truck era.  Hundman was such a stickler for using the orthodox "vocabulary" of the prototype modeling movement that I was actually shocked to see his use of "friction bearing."  What next --"roof walks?" or A/B brake "triple valves?"  I understand even "brake wheel" and "stirrup step" are sneered at at prototype modeler meets.

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Monday, January 18, 2021 3:06 PM

Dave N.    Model makers and the Railway Magazine Editors in the UK  unaminously  agreed in the 1970s  on the 'Era Scheme'.   It is great for the modeler.   Any model  or kit made since then says what era/s the real one ran.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by NHTX on Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:05 AM

    An excellent 16 page, heavily illustrated article by Richard Hendrickson on freight car trucks appeared in Vol. 4 of the Railway Prototype Cyclopedia, (RP CYC 4).  The article spans the 1900-1960 time frame and includes high speed and heavy duty trucks.  In addition to trucks, the book also provides photographically illustrated, prototype coverage of such subjects as box car lettering practices, Northwestern Refrigerator (NWX) 40 foot AC&F wood reefers, 70 ton phosphate hoppers as used by ACL, SAL, and SHPX, in Florida's Bone Valley.  Wabash also purchased 45 of these cars to haul locomotive sand.  The final 11 pages are devoted to the third installment of the quite lengthy, and profusely illustrated article on the AAR twin, offset side hopper as offered in HO by Kadee and, Intermountain, covering cars operated by the C&O, B&LE, Pittsburg & Shawmut, Montour, Cambria & Indiana, NKP, W&LE and P&WV.  A LOT of prototype information between two covers.

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, January 22, 2021 11:22 AM

The trouble with era's with American rolling stock and their trucks is so much was still allowed on home roads, just not interchange and as railroads combined, the home roads got larger and larger. 

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