Re: Ribbed Back Wheels

John Sykes III

Ribbed back, or more properly, chilled iron wheels were very popular with the railroads because of their low initial cost.  However, since they could not be turned if flat-spotted, they proved to be more expensive in the long run.  Some railroads, such as the PRR began replacing them with forged steel wheels as early as the1930's.  However, it wasn't until 1958 that the AAR forbade them on newly constructed cars.  Manufacturing ceased a few years later.  They were banned from interchange in 1968; however, many railroads continued to use them on house cars until no longer available.

Much of the above information is from John H. White's, "The American Passenger Car".

-- John

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