Re: Journal Oil Modeling - was "Resemble Grease"


An interesting story I heard from a railroader was regarding the “brake smoke” that was generated when descending a long grade. I assumed this was some mix of ballast dust and brake shoe dust. The railroader said it was burning oil - all that oily gunk on the wheel faces would cook off as the wheels got hot - followed by the gunk spalling off the wheel face. The latter explains the flaking look I’ve seen in person and in photos. 

He said it smelled terrible.

Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio, US

On May 16, 2021, at 8:35 AM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

It's not the OIL so much as the dirt that sticks to the oil. In many photos from more arid
areas of the United States, the wheel faces were often a tan or reddish color from sand and
fine local dirt colors. I have observed up close almost an inch of crud accumulated on the
face of a wheel. If all of your wheel faces are the same color it's no different than all of your
cars having the same weathering.

Tim O'Connor

On 5/15/2021 11:07 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:
There's an exception to most definitive statements, and I ran across this one while looking at MDT reefers. The wheel faces appear black to a very dark bluish gray, more like a oily black. I concede that they may not be true black, but they're more black than gray.


Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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