Draft gear design (prototype)

Dennis Storzek <dstorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:

Though the information isn't of much use to modelers, draft gear design
is extensively described and illustrated in the various editions of the
Car Builders' Cyclopedias, if you can find a library that has a full
set of them from the steam/transition era.

Richard Hendrickson
About the only one that is really noteworthy is the Cardwell design from the twenties and thirties that used the prominent transverse coil springs; modelers who use scale width draft gear can easily model the springs with Kadee coupler springs and NBW castings. These were common enough at one time that many drawings show the slots in the draft sills for the Cardwell springs. Especially noticeable on tank cars, and I believe UTLX was a big user.

As for the other designs all one really needs to model is the Draft Gear Yoke, which is molded in relief on the Accumate PROTO:HO box. The draft gear itself is completely hidden inside the yoke from any angle unless the coupler and yoke are dropped out of the car.

One thing that surprised me recently when measuring a prototype car was that keyless coupler attachments, as were common before WWI, lasted quite late on some freight cars; several of the Soo Line boxcars out at the Illinois Railway Museum still have the original design draft stops that lack a provision for one or more draft keys, and these cars, with their AAR Type D couplers, were in revenue service into the sixties before being relegated to work service.

Modeling prototype couplers and draft gear is truly the final frontier of freight car modeling :-)

Dennis Storzek
Big Rock, IL

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