Re: 1937 box cars questions


Richard Hendrickson
 

Larry Boerio writes:

Can someone describe, or refer me to pictures (prototype might be best)
which show the difference between double truss spring plankless (Kadee 500
per Richard Henderson) and a regular Bettendorf.

I've looked at pictures in the Kadee booklet and compared the Kadee 500 to
a) my Lindberg Bettendorf (U Section side frame, spring plankless per
Richard H.) and b) pictures in Walther's catalog of the Walthers 1001
(Bettendorf). I can't see the difference except for the type of journal
box. I'm obviously missing something.

I am not familiar with the term "double truss" or "spring plankless".
Perhaps a description or clear picture of these would help me.
Tim has already given a good account of a spring plank. Of the so-called
"Bettendorf" trucks now on the market, only the Accurail and Model Die
Casting trucks have a spring plank represented (the old Red Ball/Cape Line
truck, and perhaps some earlier HO trucks, had spring planks as well).
Double truss trucks had the lower chords of the side frames boxed in, with
shallow stiffening ribs on top of the box sections that extended down into
the spring seats. Someone suggested that the Tichy "Bettendorf" truck
represented a double truss truck, but it does not have the distinctive
stiffening rib (as the Kadee truck does). That's a subtle detail, however,
and I'm more inclined to choose trucks according to how closely their
sideframe configuration matches that of the prototype trucks and whether
their journal boxes are anywhere near scale size (on most HO trucks,
especially the older ones, the journal boxes are way too big).

These and other variations on the ARA/AAR standard truck designs are well
illustrated in the 1920s through early '50s Car Builder's Cycs, and also in
my article on trucks in Railroad Prototype Cyclopedia Vol. 4, which I
believe is still in print.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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