Drawbar in Railroad Terminology


Guy Wilber
 

Clark wrote:
 
"Speaking of ‘terms’ my railroad friend always call the coupler a “Drawbar”."
 
Clark,
 
A summary from several early publications regarding the use of drawbar, or draw-bar as within early Master Car Builders' Association definitions.  The following referral to the MCBA would be prior to 1919 when the MCBA became Section III of the American Railroad Association. 
 
"The term drawbar, formerly applied to the old link-and-pin drawbar, is still used indiscriminately in connection with the modern automatic car coupler.  An effort has been made to limit its use to the link-and-pin type of couplers, but in the proceedings of the MCB Association the term is still used synonymously with coupler."
 
"The term coupler refers, properly, to the head of the drawbar, which serves the purpose of automatically connecting with the drawbar head on the adjoining car.  A coupler may, therefore, be understood to consist of a drawbar, and its head, including its knuckle and locking devices."
 
"The term draft gear refers to the mechanism that connects the coupler with the car sills.  it is intended to served as and intermediary link between the coupler and the car, inserted for the purpose of dissipation the energy of the shocks received by the coupler by the compression of springs or the overcoming of frictional resistances, in this manner saving the car from the injurious consequences that would otherwise result from such shocks."
 
Within my own thoughts I believe the terms used by the real railroaders are well understood by them, their fellow workers and we modelers.  I have been scolded many times by a couple of real railroaders that I am friends with for being; "too technical" and "reading too many books".  That's the G-Rated version.  I have high regard for the many railroaders, present and retired, which are members of this list.  I enjoy their input and know damn well what they mean when they use a bit of railroad slang such as roof walk or drawbar.         
 
Regards,
 
Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada 
 
 

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