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Was it just a matter of a rapid change from top-operated to the
for NEW freight cars, and then the gradual retirement (or
rebuilding) of older cars? I have a scan
of a 1977 photo of an SP O-50-10 tank car (built 1925) with its
original Carmer lever, and top
Was there any mechanical advantage (i.e. leverage) that favored
bottom operated uncoupling?
Or maybe it was just a cost advantage? (This seems more likely
to me, given this is the railroad
business, after all.)
On 5/12/2021 11:42 AM, Schleigh Mike via groups.io wrote:
Contemplating the details of the historic
Pennsy X29 boxcars it is not easy to overlook the initial
application thereon of the Carmer operating lever. This was
surely a popular option for the PRR on many of their cars
but by the early 1930s, with the last of the X29 production,
the RR switched to bottom operated coupler release and the
very different rotary operating lever so associated.
Thereafter, many but not all X29 cars were converted to the
same style of bottom operating couplers and levers.
Is there an established reason for this
It is easy to speculate that the more modern
'rotary' style of lever is of less cost and material and
that there could be safety and ergonomic reasons to move
away from continuing use of Carmers for both new and
retrofit applications. So, was there a policy or 'program'
promoting this? Photo evidence of X29s in the late 1950s
show some Carmers still in place and I believe I saw them
well into the 1960s. (I don't recall the details.) No
photos have been found of PRR X29 Carmer conversions to top
operated couplers seemingly keeping the old coupler so
perhaps the coupler change-out was the real driver in those
cases of Carmer removal.
It could also be speculated that the operation
of the Carmer was so different from the rotary that Labor
and/or Regulators at least recommended replacement on
rebuilt or refurbished cars. This also begs the question of
top versus bottom operated couplers on freight cars. Was
there an industry move away from the top somewhere back
there in the post-Carmer time frame? Obviously top operated
couplers continued to be applied for many applications but
did they fall from freight car favor at some past time?
Writing from Grove City in western