Re: K Brake rebuilding to AB brakes on tank cars after 1954 bans

Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>

stefanelaine wrote:

As I understand it, K brakes were banned in interchange on tank cars
as of October 1, 1953 and had a final ban (returning cars)by January
1, 1954.

Is there evidence that there was a large scale rebuilding of tank cars
to equip them with AB brakes at this time or were many of the cars
scrapped then?

Was there any "grace" period?

It was in the early-to-mid 1930's that the ICC mandated the use of AB Brakes. All new freight cars built afterwards had to have AB Brake Systems. Freight Cars built prior to the Mandate were to be retrofitted with AB Brake Systems - IIRC, the first date was 1/1/1946. The date that this was to be accomplished kept being pushed back first due to the Depression, and then WW II.

Effectively, most of the retrofitting was started after WW II particularly in the late 1940's. Many roads had to examine their freight car fleets, and decide which cars built before the early 1930's were worth retrofitting, and what cars were not worth it. If you compare the freight car roster of any road as published in a WW II ORER with one in the early 1950's, you might be able to figure out which car series were not retrofitted as they had mostly disappeared from the 1950's ORER's.

Another guide to what car series were retrofitted is whether the cars were given post-War heralds and slogans - the shopping for the retrofit provided a dandy opportunity to repaint the car.

Tim Gilbert

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