Topics

Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals


Paul Hillman
 

I have this very interesting book. It's entitled, "Railroad
Construction - Theory and Practice", by Prof. Walter L. Webb, C.E.,
and published in 1903.

This book covers EVERY aspect of railroad construction and operation
known then, and very well. It's defined as, "A text-book for the use
of students in colleges and technical schools." Published by: John
Wiley & Sons, NY, NY. 1903

Specifically, concerning the subject of "truck bearing journals",
the following is stated, under the section discussing, "Train-
Resistance";

"(b)Journal Friction of the Axles.

This form of resistance has been studied quite extensively by means
of the measurement of the force required to turn an axle in it's
bearings under various conditions of pressure, speed, extent of
lubrication and temperature."

(Long technical text)

Then;

"Roller journals for cars have been frequently suggested, and
experiments have been made with them. It is found that they are very
effective at low velocities, greatly reducing the starting
resistance, which is very high with the ordinary forms of journals.
But the advantages disappear as the velocity increases."

Throughout this long 675 page text, I have yet to find the
term "solid bearing". (But I'm not finished reading yet!) The only
terms found are "bearing-friction", "ordinary-journals" and "journal-
friction".

An interesting point though is the discussion in 1903 of, "Roller
Journals". Until now one might think that "Timken", et al, had
invented the roller-bearing in the '30's or '40's, but these old
boys were working on it like 30+ years earlier??

I'd think, that when the final advent of the roller-bearing came
into more popular being, that the term, "bearing-friction" was
swapped for "friction-bearing" in order to differentiate between the
two different approaches of starting-friction-reduction concepts. I
also don't think it would be erroneous for the RR men to pick up on
the change of terms themselves, either.

(I remember, in the '50's, the caboose-crews having to put their
feet up against the walls, or something, in order to brace for the
coming "jerk" when train-slack would be taken up because of the
engineer trying to get the whole train going because of high
starting resistance?) I would think that the RR men knew what terms
they'd chosen to use correctly.

Paul Hillman


ljack70117@...
 

Amen Brother.
On Wednesday, August 24, 2005, at 11:38 PM, behillman wrote:

I have this very interesting book. It's entitled, "Railroad
Construction - Theory and Practice", by Prof. Walter L. Webb, C.E.,
and published in 1903.

This book covers EVERY aspect of railroad construction and operation
known then, and very well. It's defined as, "A text-book for the use
of students in colleges and technical schools." Published by: John
Wiley & Sons, NY, NY. 1903

Specifically, concerning the subject of "truck bearing journals",
the following is stated, under the section discussing, "Train-
Resistance";

"(b)Journal Friction of the Axles.

This form of resistance has been studied quite extensively by means
of the measurement of the force required to turn an axle in it's
bearings under various conditions of pressure, speed, extent of
lubrication and temperature."

(Long technical text)

Then;

"Roller journals for cars have been frequently suggested, and
experiments have been made with them. It is found that they are very
effective at low velocities, greatly reducing the starting
resistance, which is very high with the ordinary forms of journals.
But the advantages disappear as the velocity increases."

Throughout this long 675 page text, I have yet to find the
term "solid bearing". (But I'm not finished reading yet!) The only
terms found are "bearing-friction", "ordinary-journals" and "journal-
friction".

An interesting point though is the discussion in 1903 of, "Roller
Journals". Until now one might think that "Timken", et al, had
invented the roller-bearing in the '30's or '40's, but these old
boys were working on it like 30+ years earlier??

I'd think, that when the final advent of the roller-bearing came
into more popular being, that the term, "bearing-friction" was
swapped for "friction-bearing" in order to differentiate between the
two different approaches of starting-friction-reduction concepts. I
also don't think it would be erroneous for the RR men to pick up on
the change of terms themselves, either.

(I remember, in the '50's, the caboose-crews having to put their
feet up against the walls, or something, in order to brace for the
coming "jerk" when train-slack would be taken up because of the
engineer trying to get the whole train going because of high
starting resistance?) I would think that the RR men knew what terms
they'd chosen to use correctly.

Paul Hillman









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Thank you
Larry Jackman
ljack70117@...
The 50-50-90 Rule: Anytime you have 50-50 chance of getting something right, there is 90% probability you'll get it wrong.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Paul Hillman wrote:
Throughout this long 675 page text, I have yet to find the
term "solid bearing". (But I'm not finished reading yet!) The only
terms found are "bearing-friction", "ordinary-journals" and "journal-
friction".
The normal term in that period was "journal bearing," which of course refers to the journal on which the bearing rests, and there was no need to distinguish between different kinds of them in service.

An interesting point though is the discussion in 1903 of, "Roller
Journals". Until now one might think that "Timken", et al, had
invented the roller-bearing in the '30's or '40's, but these old
boys were working on it like 30+ years earlier??
The roller bearing was indeed not really applied to railroad practice until the 1920s but was a known principle much earlier in mechanical design, as Paul has discovered. There was a roller bearing arch-bar truck introduced in the 1920s (for a photo, see Hendrickson's article in RP CYC 4).

I would think that the RR men knew what terms they'd chosen to use correctly.
A reasonable supposition but one with many contrary examples.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

I wrote:
The roller bearing was indeed not really applied to railroad
practice until the 1920s but was a known principle much earlier in
mechanical design, as Paul has discovered. There was a roller bearing
arch-bar truck introduced in the 1920s (for a photo, see Hendrickson's
article in RP CYC 4).
I forgot to mention that by the 1928 Cyclopedia, there were passenger roller bearing trucks shown (for PRR and SP) but at that time, no freight trucks with such bearings.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Looking into roller bearing history, Timken was selling roller bearings for horse-drawn equipment in 1893. Their bearings were incorporated into automobiles quite early, and into machine tools before World War I. (Timken began to call their product an "anti-friction" bearing around 1910.) It is an indication of the conservatism of railroad mechanical people that railroad applications came as late as they did.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Paul Hillman
 

Tony Thompson wrote;

Looking into roller bearing history, Timken was selling roller
bearings for horse-drawn equipment in 1893. Their bearings were
incorporated into automobiles quite early, and into machine tools
before World War I. (Timken began to call their product an
"anti-friction" bearing around 1910.) It is an indication of the
conservatism of railroad mechanical people that railroad
applications came as late as they did.
***************************************************************

Response,

In the 1903 book, "Railroad Construction-Theory & Practice", which I
afore referred to, concerning at that time the application of roller-
journals to freight cars;

" But the advantages (of roller-journals) disappear as the velocity
increases. The advantages also decrease as the load is increased, so
that with heavily loaded cars the gain is small. The excess of cost
for construction and maintenance has been found to be more than the
gain from power saved."

Their thoughts in 1903 were apparently more along the lines of
better lubrication of "solid-bearings";

" The resistance could probably be materially lowered (in 'ordinary -
journals') if some practicable form of journal-box could be devised
which would give a more perfect lubrication."

Something happened in later years for the ultimate conversion to
roller-journals, probably a significant reduction in costs in
applying them to 100's of thousands of freight-cars?? (It's ALWAYS
about the "money".)

Paul Hillman


Tom Jones III <tomtherailnut@...>
 

More like the application of fuel prices and safety issues (i.e., liability
claims) that moved railroads to roller bearings.

Fuel at the time that article was written (1903) was virtually a zero cost
item for many railroads, so starting a heavy train and keeping it going with
the attendant friction from solid bearings, and the additional fuel expense
was not a biggie. For some railroads, simply taking the coal from one of
their own mines and moving it to the coaling towers was the sole additional
expense. Modernly, its too bad you can't burn coal in Diesels . . . shipping
by train would be much cheaper!

Additionally, solid bearings have a cute propensity of overheating when
poorly lubed and catching the train on fire, or at least melting off the
axle end once in a while. Roller bearings also fail from lack of
maintenance, but they don't require an inspection at every stop, oiling on a
regular basis, people to go out and fill the waste and oil box on the
journals, piles of cotton waste and gallons of spilled oil everywhere with
the EPA looking over your shoulder, and on and on and on. Finally, spun off
axle ends still happen, but not nearly as frequently as with solid bearings.

The final straw was that the cost of copper and other metals used to cast
solid bearing brass (actually a form of bronze) became higher and higher
while the cost of machined steel got lower and lower. There was simply no
longer an economic reason to go for the less safe, higher friction,
relatively higher cost solid bearings.

So, you are right - its ALWAYS the money!

Tom Jones III

----- Original Message -----
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals


(snip)

Something happened in later years for the ultimate conversion to
roller-journals, probably a significant reduction in costs in
applying them to 100's of thousands of freight-cars?? (It's ALWAYS
about the "money".)

Paul Hillman


Doug Brown <brown194@...>
 

Non-roller bearings were labor intensive with the checking and adding of
lubrication. With higher labor rates and lower parts cost, the
break-even point favored roller bearings. Roller bearings also helped
eliminate hotbox failures.

Doug Brown

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
behillman
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 8:44 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals

Tony Thompson wrote;

Looking into roller bearing history, Timken was selling roller
bearings for horse-drawn equipment in 1893. Their bearings were
incorporated into automobiles quite early, and into machine tools
before World War I. (Timken began to call their product an
"anti-friction" bearing around 1910.) It is an indication of the
conservatism of railroad mechanical people that railroad
applications came as late as they did.
***************************************************************

Response,

In the 1903 book, "Railroad Construction-Theory & Practice", which I
afore referred to, concerning at that time the application of roller-
journals to freight cars;

" But the advantages (of roller-journals) disappear as the velocity
increases. The advantages also decrease as the load is increased, so
that with heavily loaded cars the gain is small. The excess of cost
for construction and maintenance has been found to be more than the
gain from power saved."

Their thoughts in 1903 were apparently more along the lines of
better lubrication of "solid-bearings";

" The resistance could probably be materially lowered (in 'ordinary -
journals') if some practicable form of journal-box could be devised
which would give a more perfect lubrication."

Something happened in later years for the ultimate conversion to
roller-journals, probably a significant reduction in costs in
applying them to 100's of thousands of freight-cars?? (It's ALWAYS
about the "money".)

Paul Hillman










Yahoo! Groups Links


W.R.Dixon
 

Message: 8
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 11:14:42 -0500
From: "Tom Jones III" <tomtherailnut@...>
Subject: Re: Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals

More like the application of fuel prices and safety issues (i.e.,
liability claims) that moved railroads to roller bearings.
Except for their catastrophic failure mode roller bearings are better than friction bearings. Friction bearings advertise their pending failure for a long time. As friction bearings heat up they emit smoke from the overheated journal box that an alert train crew could often spot in time.

Roller bearing run until they fail, then they fail Right Now with little or no advance notice. They can run by a hot box detector with no problem and then fail in the next few miles. Because of this failure mode it is always a catastrophic failure. The blessing is that with the improved bearings we have today, the failure rate is very very low.

Although roller bearings we developed quite early I don't think the metallurgical technology was up to producing the type of metals needed for railway quality bearings until around WW II. War is a great technology accelerator and by the end of the war the metallurgical technology and production facilities were in place to produce the quality of bearings needed for railway use.

Bill Dixon


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bill Dixon wrote:
Although roller bearings we developed quite early I don't think the
metallurgical technology was up to producing the type of metals needed
for railway quality bearings until around WW II.
Baloney. The steels used after the war for bearings are the same as in the 1920s. And the locomotives and cars which did receive roller bearings in the 1930s performed just fine. Railroads just didn't choose to use them (or perhaps, feel willing to pay for them).

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Eric
 

Paul Hillman wrote:

"Something happened in later years for the ultimate conversion to roller-journals, probably a
significant reduction in costs in applying them to 100's of thousands of freight-cars?? (It's ALWAYS
about the "money".)"

Someone in accounting figured out that it was cheaper to use the bearings than it was to pay an
employee to maintain them. That they contributed to the resale value of the truck unlike money
'wasted' paying an employee maintaining them.

Eric Petersson





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al_brown03
 

In his Wheeling & Lake Erie book (p 59), John Corns shows three early
applications of roller bearings. In 1925, roller bearing arch bar
trucks were applied to a boxcar (one of those bizarre W&LE 27000-
series single-sheathed cars). A test was run, comparing its rolling
qualities to those of a sister car with friction bearings, which
suggests that said qualities weren't well known.

At the same time or a little earlier, roller bearing arch bars were
applied to a company-service flat car. The car was rebuilt from a
gondola in 1917; Corns doesn't say exactly when the roller bearing
trucks were applied.

Also in 1925, the Timken "lightweight inboard bearing truck" (looks
like a modern passenger-car truck) was applied to a W&LE "X29" box.

Apparently there was resistance to accept roller-bearing trucks in
interchange, hence they were applied more widely at first to passenger
equipment and cabooses than to freight cars.

Why W&LE? I *think* Timken, of Canton, Ohio, was a shipper.
Interesting W&LE got out front on this technology: they were said to
have the busiest unsignalled main line in the country, and were
notorious for not painting depots!

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@s...> wrote:
Bill Dixon wrote:
Although roller bearings we developed quite early I don't think the
metallurgical technology was up to producing the type of metals
needed
for railway quality bearings until around WW II.
Baloney. The steels used after the war for bearings are the
same
as in the 1920s. And the locomotives and cars which did receive
roller
bearings in the 1930s performed just fine. Railroads just didn't
choose
to use them (or perhaps, feel willing to pay for them).

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@s...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Al Brown wrote:

A test was run, comparing its rolling
qualities to those of a sister car with friction bearings . . .
Tsk, tsk. Still using the term <g>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


gary laakso
 

I understood that the Milwaukee was one of the first railroads to place
roller bearings on its heavy weight passenger cars. Does anyone know if
the use of roller bearings included express reefers on the Milwaukee?

[Original Message]
From: al_brown03 <abrown@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Date: 8/27/2005 10:04:07 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals

In his Wheeling & Lake Erie book (p 59), John Corns shows three early
applications of roller bearings. In 1925, roller bearing arch bar
trucks were applied to a boxcar (one of those bizarre W&LE 27000-
series single-sheathed cars). A test was run, comparing its rolling
qualities to those of a sister car with friction bearings, which
suggests that said qualities weren't well known.

At the same time or a little earlier, roller bearing arch bars were
applied to a company-service flat car. The car was rebuilt from a
gondola in 1917; Corns doesn't say exactly when the roller bearing
trucks were applied.

Also in 1925, the Timken "lightweight inboard bearing truck" (looks
like a modern passenger-car truck) was applied to a W&LE "X29" box.

Apparently there was resistance to accept roller-bearing trucks in
interchange, hence they were applied more widely at first to passenger
equipment and cabooses than to freight cars.

Why W&LE? I *think* Timken, of Canton, Ohio, was a shipper.
Interesting W&LE got out front on this technology: they were said to
have the busiest unsignalled main line in the country, and were
notorious for not painting depots!

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@s...> wrote:
Bill Dixon wrote:
Although roller bearings we developed quite early I don't think the
metallurgical technology was up to producing the type of metals
needed
for railway quality bearings until around WW II.
Baloney. The steels used after the war for bearings are the
same
as in the 1920s. And the locomotives and cars which did receive
roller
bearings in the 1930s performed just fine. Railroads just didn't
choose
to use them (or perhaps, feel willing to pay for them).

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@s...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Yahoo! Groups Links






Montford Switzer <ZOE@...>
 

This has been quite a lengthy thread and this may have been covered
earlier. Anyway one reason for the railroads NOT to invest in roller
bearing trucks was that the cars spent a lot of time off line benefiting
another railroad that may not have made a similar investment.

Mont Switzer

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Eric
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2005 3:16 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals

Paul Hillman wrote:

"Something happened in later years for the ultimate conversion to
roller-journals, probably a
significant reduction in costs in applying them to 100's of thousands of
freight-cars?? (It's ALWAYS
about the "money".)"

Someone in accounting figured out that it was cheaper to use the
bearings than it was to pay an
employee to maintain them. That they contributed to the resale value of
the truck unlike money
'wasted' paying an employee maintaining them.

Eric Petersson





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Paul Hillman
 

I just wonder if there is a statistic available about the percentage of US freight cars that had roller-journals and solid or friction journals in 1960. Because, as a kid in the 50's & 60's I spent a lot of time around the railroads and RR yards and remember seeing the RR men opening the journal-covers and inspecting the bearings and "oiling" them, etc. To my remembrance there weren't many roller-journals on freight-cars. To me, then, they were still a "newish" device.

Back then we lived in Dolton, Illinois where 7 RR's crossed; the IC, IHB, NYC, PRR, B&OCT, C&EI & C&WI. I got to see a lot of different equipment. Wish I'd taken more photos, but I was only 15 & 16 yrs. old. Did a lot of mental-noting though.

One night in 1960, a friend of mine & I hopped a slow-moving IHB east-bound freight in Dolton. It was snowing and we got into an empty gondola. The train went further than I thought it would and we wound up at some junction and the train stopped. As we hid in the gon to escape detection, I still remember hearing the journal-inspectors opening and closing the journal-covers, hearing them "clank" back shut. Seemed like they did about the whole cut of cars as I recall. We were there quite awhile hearing their inspections before the train rolled again.

The train wound up going all the way to Inland Steel in Indiana and we wound up getting a ride back in the wood, kerosene-lanterned caboose. (Another story!)

Paul Hillman

----- Original Message -----
From: Eric<mailto:newyorkcentralfan@...>
To: STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2005 3:15 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals


Paul Hillman wrote:

"Something happened in later years for the ultimate conversion to roller-journals, probably a
significant reduction in costs in applying them to 100's of thousands of freight-cars?? (It's ALWAYS
about the "money".)"

Someone in accounting figured out that it was cheaper to use the bearings than it was to pay an
employee to maintain them. That they contributed to the resale value of the truck unlike money
'wasted' paying an employee maintaining them.

Eric Petersson





________________________________________________
Get your own "800" number
Voicemail, fax, email, and a lot more
http://www.ureach.com/reg/tag<http://www.ureach.com/reg/tag>




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al_brown03
 

I'm just a chem major Tony, in other fields I'm lucky if my subjects &
verbs agree never mind correct usage of tecknickle terms. :-)

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.

P.S. Oh, and right after hitting "send" on my previous post, I noticed
another picture of those inside-bearing roller-bearing trucks, this
time on a hopper. Same book, page facing the other pix. Also
installed '25.

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@s...> wrote:
Al Brown wrote:

A test was run, comparing its rolling
qualities to those of a sister car with friction bearings . . .
Tsk, tsk. Still using the term <g>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@s...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Paul Hillman
 

Yo Al,

Is there any chance that you could scan a photo of these 1925 roller-bearing trucks and send it or post it to pictures? (Without the problem of another copyright infringement thread?)

Also, to paraphrase Bill Shakespeare, "A journal by any other name would smoke the same." I'm just a sleazy electrical-engineer. What do I know about the more mechanical-stuff too? Still learning!!

Paul Hillman

----- Original Message -----
From: al_brown03<mailto:abrown@...>
To: STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:34 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Solid, Roller & Friction Bearing Journals


I'm just a chem major Tony, in other fields I'm lucky if my subjects &
verbs agree never mind correct usage of tecknickle terms. :-)

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.

P.S. Oh, and right after hitting "send" on my previous post, I noticed
another picture of those inside-bearing roller-bearing trucks, this
time on a hopper. Same book, page facing the other pix. Also
installed '25.

--- In STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>, Anthony Thompson <thompson@s<mailto:thompson@s>...> wrote:
> Al Brown wrote:
>
> > A test was run, comparing its rolling
> > qualities to those of a sister car with friction bearings . . .
>
> Tsk, tsk. Still using the term <g>.
>
> Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
> 2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com<http://www.signaturepress.com/>
> (510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@s<mailto:thompson@s>...
> Publishers of books on railroad history






Yahoo! Groups Links


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

At 05:51 PM 8/27/05, Gary Laakso wrote:


Subject: RE:
I understood that the Milwaukee was one of the first railroads to place
roller bearings on its heavy weight passenger cars. Does anyone know if
the use of roller bearings included express reefers on the Milwaukee?
The only traditional express reefers that the Milwaukee owned with two series of distinctive low slung cars built by the Milwaukee shops fortheChicago Milwaukee & Puget Sound,and they were lettered "For Fish Service Only". Photos of these cars are few are far between, and several lasted to about 1953, To my knowledge, they never had roller bearings applied, and they were generally retired from front line work in about 1934.

I am having a brain bubble (I am also on vacation and away from sources) so am absolutely unsure whether or not the Milwaukee built several ribside reefers in c. 1941. If so, my impression is that they were primarily for freight service and did not have roller bearings. I am prepared to be corrected.

Of interest is that although the Milwaukee leaped into the roller bearing business four square for their prime passenger equipment after 1928, they never did so with their freight cars.

Denny