Re: Freight car maintenance

Schuyler Larrabee

What are some the suggested routine (scheduled) maintenance practices for freight cars.? Some of
my older cars are not
as freewheeling as they once were, couplers are not as reliable, etc. I thought this might lead
to the sharing of some ideas
that would help prevent poor operation, especially when company comes. Armand Premo
Armand, the number one issue we have at my model railroad club, where maintenance happens when
something doesn't work right (and not before), is dirty wheels. FWIW, my number one answer is to
make sure that the trucks have metal wheels. Plastic wheels are, as has been established on this
list and others, attract crud and gunk, and become, eventually, flangeless. Obviously they derail.

We've not had tremendous troubles with couplers, which are almost universally Kadees. The most
common problem is a missing knuckle spring. A lack of centering action can generally be traced back
to the original owner and their attention to installation tolerances. Many people don't understand
how critical that is to successful operation. (Sergeant operators can stop snickering now, please.)
We keep the gladhands and use them for magnetic uncoupling. We've not suffered much trouble with
58s of any variety vs. 5s.

The other issue we see is the truck screws seem to work themselves loose (and I'm not even going to
discuss cars where the trucks are "held on" by friction-fit plastic pins). This leads to cars that
rock, and that leads to coupling issues, mostly break-in-twos.

Others?? What do you have to say?


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