Re: Another X29 Question -- Coupler Operating Release Levers

Schleigh Mike

Perfect, Jack!!!!

This is exactly what I suspected.  NO GOOD after a particular date.Thanks for this confirmation.

Regards----Mike Schleigh

On Thursday, May 13, 2021, 01:59:27 PM EDT, Jack Mullen <jack.f.mullen@...> wrote:

AAR interchange rules required rotary coupler operating levers on cars built new or rebuilt effective 8/1/33. That ended new applications of Carmer levers. I don't know of any interchange ban, but long after the time of this list, the 40/50 year rules would weed out cars still having them. Some lasted a very long time - last one I saw was on a C&NW flat in MofW service sometime in the first decade of the current century. The car would have been about 75-80 years old, and probably didn't last much longer.

The advantage of a Carmer lever is that the operator uses a pushing motion and can apply body weight rather than just muscle force. However, if the lever breaks, hand slips, or he loses footing, he's likely to fall between cars. Not a good outcome. I think the risks of foot operation are obvious.  Evidently, if these risks were considered at the time, they weren't great enough to cause a ban, but may have been a factor in ending new applications and gradual replacement.
Besides the cost of the Carmer parts vs. what is basically a bent steel rod, the proliferation of different patterns of Carmer levers (Pennsy alone had a bunch) must have been a maintenance PITA.
Type E or F couplers can be either top or bottom operated.
Bottom operation is said to require less force on the operating lever than top operation. That implies less risk of injury.

Jack Mullen

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