Re: USRA box car brake systems - B&M
The ICC mandate to retrofit AB Brake Systems was probablyPossibly true, but is this only speculation? Might the
cars' overall condition (or lack thereof) also have played
a <very> important part in that decision?
The number of cars in the 500 car #70000 series removedMight I further speculate by noting that it appears the
USRA cars lasted just long enough to be replaced by the
1947 PS-1 order, coincidentally an order of 500 (just like
the USRA cars...)
So, 2.6% at most, of B&M's USRA boxes received AB Brakes-
it was probably less.Hmm, my gut feeling is that this number is low. I have
three photos on hand that show AB brakes: 70286 9/24/46,
70255 ca. 1950, 70023 2/26/49. Do I really have
documentation of 23% of all of them??? With a reweigh of
11-46 on 70255, there may have been a pre-PS-1 push to get
some of these cars converted. It may also have been a
simple stop gap until the B&M could get a car builder to
squeeze their tiny order into a very busy postwar car
The shot of 70286 is a "rebuilder's" photo, and does show(Westerfield states) that any cars found in theThe first Minuteman Herald was applied in September or
the Minuteman in 9/46.
To support Al's contention (quoted from Ed Doocey over on
the BM_RR list,) I can also state that 70023 had AB brakes,
but had not been repainted.
Any car retrofitted prior to then, but after the War,Things may not be as neat as that. 70023 was restencilled
1- or 11-48 (reweigh station would be either R or RI.)
According to reweigh rules, a USRA car would have been
reweighed every 4 years. That potentially puts 70023's
last reweigh during the war, and you have contended that AB
brakes were not being refitted at that time. Now, it is
also very possible that 70023 was reweighed after having
had the AB brakes applied in 1948, but they did not bother
to rebuild or repaint the car. Now, I suppose the car
could have received the AB's late in '45 or early '46, but
why would they have reweighed again in '48? Had there been
damage or had the car needed weigh-altering work, might
they have just scrapped it instead? It may not have been
as cut and dry as you suggest.
The Rectangular Herald was phased out rather quickly onWeeell, a shot of 72631 shows AB without being repainted,
but can't read the reweigh date, and I must also admit that
all my other postwar photos of the 71000-72999 show AB with
Oof, for a guy giving Tim a tough time about speculating, I
just offered up a whole lot of the same!
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