Re: "Standards" and AAR voting procedures

Richard Hendrickson

On Mar 6, 2006, at 11:18 AM, Charlie Vlk wrote:

Contrast the PRR position in the Industry with that of the Burlington.
While much smaller and a lot less vocal, the Mechanical Officers of
the Q
were well-respected and the Q's technical
leadership was widespread.
The Q was a training ground for many railroad executives.  Willard of
B&O was one that comes to mind.
I don't know if the Q was as influential in the freight car sector as
it was
in the materials testing, locomotive, and passenger car arenas, but
Aurora Shops had a very scientific organization that was probably as
good in
practice as anything the PRR purported to have.
This may all be true about the Q, but the railroad was hardly a
trendsetter where freight car design was concerned, being one of the
last major American railroads to adopt all steel construction. As late
as 1939 the Q was still building in its own shops large numbers of both
40' single door and 50' double door box cars that were of single wood
sheathed construction (though otherwise built to AAR standards).
Typically, their freight equipment was soundly but very conservatively
designed; they weren't leading any parades.

Of course, during the same period the PRR mechanical department's lofty
sense of their own superiority and importance prevented them from
learning anything about freight car design from anyone else, or even
learning anything from their own experience. For example, almost
decade after the Murphy panel and Viking corrugated steel roofs had
been introduced, and at a time when those roofs were being almost
universally applied to house cars by other RRs, the PRR persisted in
building cars with a riveted roof of their own design which dated back
to the X29 box car and was notorious for being prone to leak. Go

Richard Hendrickson

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