Re: Caboose truck help needed

Brian Leppert <b.leppert@...>

The truck in the image is the 40 ton version of the Barber-Bettendorf Swing Motion Caboose Car Truck. This differs from the 30 ton version by the beading on the side frame face, tighter radius on the far corners of the side frame windows and a 2 inch longer wheelbase. I think the 40 ton truck was first introduced in the early 1950s. ECW offers this truck.

For many years our hobby has been calling ANY caboose truck with side frames having integrally cast journal boxes and leaf springs as "Bettendorf" or "Barber-Bettendorf". This is incorrect.

Bettendorf and Barber-Bettendorf Swing Motion Caboose Trucks are easily indentified by the visable end of the transom casting. This is the six sided object that the leaf spring sticks out of. The transom solidly connects the two side frames. The spring plank hangs below the transom by four links. The leaf (elliptical) springs sit on the spring plank and support the truck bolster that floats within the transom casting. This was developed and patended by the Bettendorf Co. back in the teens and was originally offered with T-section side frames (NYC liked this caboose truck). By 1924 the U-section side frame became available. This "wide bottom" side frame was manufactured until circa 1931. By 1935 Bettendorf changed the contour of the side frame to a "pinched bottom" look This 30 ton truck remained in production until at least 1958, that I know of.

In 1942 the Bettendorf Co. sold the manufacturing and sales rights for this design to the Standard Car Truck Company. This is when they added their trade name "Barber" to the truck's name.

An HO version of the "wide bottom", circa 1924-1931, Bettendorf Swing Motion Caboose Truck has recently become available from Tahoe Model Works. I'm currently working on the tooling for the 30 ton, "pinched bottom" Barber-Bettendorf Swing Motion Caboose Truck.

Brian Leppert
Tahoe Model Works
Carson City, NV

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