Freight Car Trucks - when?


Jim Betz
 

Hi All,
I thought I had a handle on this and then I started asking myself
some questions and realized I didn't really know enough.
I know stuff like when certain truck styles were banned in
interchange (thanks to people like Guy W.). But I was trying to
answer stuff like the following and not only don't know but don't
know how to find out ...

When were the various truck types introduced? Arch Bar,
Andrews, Bettendorf, Bettendorf T-section, Barber S-2, etc.
And the other side of the coin ... when did they go out of
favor (stop being common)?
How long after the all-cast trucks were introduced were they
essentially used on all new cars being built?
Why was there a Bettendorf and also a T-section Bettendorf?

So has any one written this up some where? Is it online or
in some book I need to study? All pointers to the info will
be appreciated. Or if you know the answers and consider it
to be a 'short list' and want to just post it or put it in
the files ... that's fine also.
- Jim Betz in San Jose


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

Jim:
A very good primer on trucks can be found in Railroad Prototype Cyclopedia
vol 4.

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim" <jimbetz@jimbetz.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:24 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Freight Car Trucks - when?


Hi All,
I thought I had a handle on this and then I started asking myself
some questions and realized I didn't really know enough.
I know stuff like when certain truck styles were banned in
interchange (thanks to people like Guy W.). But I was trying to
answer stuff like the following and not only don't know but don't
know how to find out ...

When were the various truck types introduced? Arch Bar,
Andrews, Bettendorf, Bettendorf T-section, Barber S-2, etc.
And the other side of the coin ... when did they go out of
favor (stop being common)?
How long after the all-cast trucks were introduced were they
essentially used on all new cars being built?
Why was there a Bettendorf and also a T-section Bettendorf?

So has any one written this up some where? Is it online or
in some book I need to study? All pointers to the info will
be appreciated. Or if you know the answers and consider it
to be a 'short list' and want to just post it or put it in
the files ... that's fine also.
- Jim Betz in San Jose







Yahoo! Groups Links






Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jim Betz wrote:
When were the various truck types introduced? Arch Bar,
Andrews, Bettendorf, Bettendorf T-section, Barber S-2, etc.
And the other side of the coin ... when did they go out of
favor (stop being common)?
How long after the all-cast trucks were introduced were they
essentially used on all new cars being built?
Why was there a Bettendorf and also a T-section Bettendorf?

So has any one written this up some where? Is it online or
in some book I need to study?
RPCyc no. 4 is your best bet, Jim. Unfortunately, it's OOP as I recall. There is also Richard's earlier version of that article, in the 1990 Pittsburgh NMRA National clinic book.
Arch bar trucks were in use at the time of the Civil War, and were finally banned from interchange in 1940. Cast steel truck sideframes really were first introduced in the first few years of the 20th century. If you have access to a series of Car Builders' Cycs, you can see the various models. Among the earliest of these were the Bettendorf L- and T-section designs, though the T-section most modelers recognize is a later revision. These were found to crack excessively and were removed from service in the 1950s (I forget the date off hand). The U-section truck, including the Bettendorf design (all other truck makers also made very similar U-section trucks, conforming to ARA and then AAR standards), appeared by WW I and was widely adopted in the 1920s. Certainly by 1930 they were universal for new cars.
The different snubber and stabilizer designs, starting with the various iterations of the Barber design, began in the 1930s. After WW II, these became widespread if not standard, particularly the ASF A-3 truck version, along with the National C-1 and others.
This is extremely brief and without much specific on dates, Jim, and you really do need to read something detailed and authoritative. Richard Hendrickson's articles are your best bet.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Feb 18, 2006, at 2:24 PM, Jim Betz wrote:

  I thought I had a handle on this and then I started asking myself
some questions and realized I didn't really know enough.
  I know stuff like when certain truck styles were banned in
interchange (thanks to people like Guy W.).  But I was trying to
answer stuff like the following and not only don't know but don't
know how to find out ...

  When were the various truck types introduced?  Arch Bar,
Andrews, Bettendorf, Bettendorf T-section, Barber S-2, etc.
  And the other side of the coin ... when did they go out of
favor (stop being common)?
  How long after the all-cast trucks were introduced were they
essentially used on all new cars being built?
  Why was there a Bettendorf and also a T-section Bettendorf?
The basic arch bar design was introduced in the mid-19th century and
had become almost universal by the 1870s (see John H. White, Jr. The
American Railroad Freight Car). Pressed steel trucks such as the Fox
and Wright designs began to appear in the 1890s and had brief
popularity around the turn of the century but soon became out of favor
owing to problems with their pedestal journal boxes binding in the side
frames. Cast steel designs with separate, bolted-in journal boxes such
as the Andrews and Vulcan trucks dated from around the turn of the
century and were used in increasing numbers before WW I, though arch
bar trucks were still common.

The first trucks with the journal boxes cast integral with the side
frames were T-section Bettendorfs, which also first appeared around the
turn of the century and were so named because they were developed by
the Bettendorf Co. of Bettendorf, IA. T section trucks, whether
Bettendorfs with integral journal boxes or Andrews and Vulcan, were
prone to side frame cracking, especially when loaded heavily, so
U-section side frames began to replace them before WW I (e.g., the USRA
Andrews trucks applied to USRA freight cars in 1818-1920). After the
war, the Pennsylvania RR introduced a U-section truck with integral
journal boxes which, with minor variations, was adopted as a standard
design by the American Railway Association (designated the Type Y).
The basic principles of this design were then incorporated in a large
number of somewhat different trucks by different manufacturers, all of
which conformed to ARA specifications and had U-section side frames and
spring planks and can be considered under the generic label of ARA
trucks. These were sometimes loosely called "Bettendorf" trucks by
railroad workers (though not by railroad mechanical engineers) because
they incorporated the Bettendorf principle of journal boxes cast
integral with the side frames, a bad habit that was picked up in late
years by modelers and model manufacturers; hence the confusion about
the Bettendorf name. The Bettendorf company itself manufactured trucks
of numerous designs (including the T-section truck, which was still
being made in the 1920s, and a swing-motion caboose truck which was
widely used from the mid-1920s onward). However, Bettendorf became an
increasingly minor player in the freight car truck market and ceased to
manufacture trucks ca. 1942.

Arch bar trucks, though still manufactured until the late 1920s, were
largely replaced after World War I by U-section Andrews and Vulcan and,
increasingly in the 1920s, by ARA trucks with one piece side frames.
Among the various ARA 1920s designs were Dalman trucks, which had more
and softer springs for improved riding qualities. Many trucks were
also equipped with lateral motion devices to improve riding qualities,
the most popular of which was the Barber design of the Standard Car
Truck Co. All of the major truck manufacturers applied these features
to their trucks under license agreements.

Experiments in the 1920s showed that snubbers (actually primitive
friction shock absorbers) also improved riding qualities, and starting
ca. 1930 freight car trucks were introduced which incorporated built-in
snubbers. The first of these to be widely used was the National B-1,
which also eliminated the spring plank in favor of a precision-machined
sliding joint between the side frames and bolster. The latter
principle was also developed for ARA trucks (which became AAR trucks in
1934 when the ARA was reconstituted as the Association of American
Railroads) by a consortium of truck manufacturers, resulting in AAR
self-aligning spring-plankless trucks. Another improvement made in the
ARA/AAR design at about the same time was the "double truss" side frame
which had box-section instead of U-section lower chords. In the mid
1930s the Standard Car Truck Co. introduced its Barber Stabilized S-1
AAR truck with built-in friction snubbers, and this soon evolved into
the Barber S-2, which was applied to growing numbers of freight cars in
the early 1940s. A similar design was developed by American Steel
Foundries which, though its introduction was delayed by World War II,
began to appear ca. 1944; this was the "Ride Control" A-3 truck. After
World War II, all the truck manufacturers developed proprietary designs
with built-in snubbers (e.g., the National C-1), but the Barber S-2 and
ASF A-3 were by far the most popular and are still being built in large
numbers today as roller bearing trucks.

  So has any one written this up some where?  Is it online or
in some book I need to study? 
Most of it is covered in my copiously illustrated monograph on freight
car trucks in Railway Prototype Cyclopedia, Vol. 4.

Richard Hendrickson


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Jim Betz
 

Tony and others,
I just read thru the RP Cyc #4 article and it is "big on spotting
characteristics but not so big on dates". I was able to get some
dates out of it but I'd really like to have more precise info - and
then lay it out in some kind of table/graph that shows when trucks
of a particular design were actually in both production and use ...
and when they weren't.
Richard H. - are you out there? Do you have a table/graph you would
like to share? There are a lot of dates in Cyc #4 that are given as
"in the first decade" and similar fuzziness. It's been over 5 years
since Cyc #4 was published and a bit longer since you developed your
clinic. Do you have additional info now?
- Jim B. in San Jose


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jim Betz wrote:
Tony and others,
I just read thru the RP Cyc #4 article and it is "big on spotting
characteristics but not so big on dates". I was able to get some
dates out of it but I'd really like to have more precise info - and
then lay it out in some kind of table/graph that shows when trucks
of a particular design were actually in both production and use ...
and when they weren't.
Richard H. - are you out there? Do you have a table/graph you would
like to share? There are a lot of dates in Cyc #4 that are given as
"in the first decade" and similar fuzziness. It's been over 5 years
since Cyc #4 was published and a bit longer since you developed your
clinic. Do you have additional info now?
Jim, I can't speak for Richard, but I would say that things aren't so cut and dried that you can specify exact dates for many of the things you want to know. Introduction date of a particular truck, sure; but widespread adoption date, a bit more fuzzy. Likewise, a date when a ban went into effect is exact, but of course usage declined before that; and some truck designs simply became obsolete or superseded by better ones over a period of time. IMO you will just have to understand that "fuzziness" is part of the history.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Feb 19, 2006, at 12:35 PM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Jim, I can't speak for Richard, but I would say that things
aren't so cut and dried that you can specify exact dates for many of
the things you want to know. Introduction date of a particular truck,
sure; but widespread adoption date, a bit more fuzzy. Likewise, a date
when a ban went into effect is exact, but of course usage declined
before that; and some truck designs simply became obsolete or
superseded by better ones over a period of time. IMO you will just
have
to understand that "fuzziness" is part of the history.
Exactly. Or, rather, inexactly, which is why, in my fairly lengthy
post on this subject yesterday, as well as in the RPC 4 article, I did
not specify precise dates.

Richard Hendrickson


Jim Betz
 

Richard and Tony,
Thanks for the help. Both for helping me to understand
"fuzziness" correctly on this topic and Richard for your
very helpful summary of the article in RP Cyc #4.
Every bit helps ... sometimes I am too focused on the
details, sometimes not enough. As you may have guessed
the purpose behind my questions is to figure out which
trucks to put on which freight cars ... and also how to
do a better job of selecting cars for a particular era.
The club I'm a member of has a wide variety of op session
themes - so one month we might be running all steam and
the next the 70's and the next the transition. And it is
all too frequent that I make a mistake and get 'busted'
by the prototype cops. I'm trying not to trust the details
that a particular manufacturer selects to include in a kit.
Some are very good (Westerfield and Sunshine for instance)
and others seem to make a lot of "good enough" decisions
(or maybe they don't even know themselves and/or don't
do the research). It certainly would help if those makers
who are attempting to represent a particular car would
include info such as " ... as equipped in 19__ when this
car had been rebuilt and the trucks were replaced and
the paint scheme was changed from ____ to _____ ...". Or
even just a photo of the car or cars from that sequence
and the date that the photo was taken.
But then I'd be doing less research and although my
models would be more accurate - I'd know less ... not
something that is consistent with my personal goals and
sources of satisfaction in this hobby (mania?).

I remain in your debt ... thanks again. Jim in San Jose

P.S. Richard - I was probably writing my "not too hot on
dates" just about the same time as you were doing
your very well written summary. I had not seen your
reply when I wrote that and so please understand
when it was written and what I had seen when I wrote
it. I'm on "daily digest" for STMFC.

IMO you will just have to understand that "fuzziness" is
part of the history.
Exactly. Or, rather, inexactly, which is why, in my fairly lengthy
post on this subject yesterday, as well as in the RPC 4 article, I
did not specify precise dates.
Richard Hendrickson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jim Betz wrote:
It certainly would help if those makers
who are attempting to represent a particular car would
include info such as " ... as equipped in 19__ when this
car had been rebuilt and the trucks were replaced and
the paint scheme was changed from ____ to _____ ...". Or
even just a photo of the car or cars from that sequence
and the date that the photo was taken.
Ah, yes, Jim, dream on . . .

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Brian Botton <bbotton@...>
 

On Sun, 2006-02-19 at 13:58 -0800, Richard Hendrickson wrote:

Exactly. Or, rather, inexactly, which is why, in my fairly lengthy
post on this subject yesterday, as well as in the RPC 4 article, I did
not specify precise dates.
Speaking of RPC 4, pictures 29, 30, and 31 are of A-3 ride
control trucks. The first 2 were made by American Steel Foundries (ASF).
The 3rd, #31, says PSF. Is this a typo and should have said ASF?
Or did PSF license the design from ASF, and if so, who is PSF?

Also, the '43 Car Builder's Cyclopedia has 3 very nice drawings
of the ASF ride control trucks on page 1093. Does anyone know if
the cast on lettering in the drawings is accurate, or suffers
from artistic license?

Thanks,
Brian Botton
Colorado Springs, CO


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Brian Botton wrote:
Speaking of RPC 4, pictures 29, 30, and 31 are of A-3 ride
control trucks. The first 2 were made by American Steel Foundries (ASF).
The 3rd, #31, says PSF. Is this a typo and should have said ASF?
Or did PSF license the design from ASF, and if so, who is PSF?
The photo looks more like it says "PSC" to me, but Richard or someone may have the print and be able to be sure. You should realize, Brian, that you could order your "Ride-Control" truck sideframes from about anybody. Scullin Steel, Buckeye, National Malleable, and others. Orders for cars from large railroads like SP show the "A-3" trucks being made by a whole bunch of people, on a single class of cars. That said, I don't know of a sideframe caster that was PSF or PSC.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Ed Hawkins
 

On Tuesday, February 21, 2006, at 08:09 PM, Brian Botton wrote:

Speaking of RPC 4, pictures 29, 30, and 31 are of A-3 ride
control trucks. The first 2 were made by American Steel Foundries
(ASF).
The 3rd, #31, says PSF. Is this a typo and should have said ASF?
Or did PSF license the design from ASF, and if so, who is PSF?
Brian,
The photo has "PSF" cast into the side frame. I haven't been able to
determine the company name for PSF, but wouldn't be surprised if the
"SF" part was "Steel Foundries." There was an American Steel Foundries
plant in Pittsburgh. The date cast into the side frame is 3-51.
Interestingly, the date cast into the right-hand wheel is 1948. I'll
repost if I can find anything on PSF. In the meantime the following
link provides some history about American Steel Foundries.

http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ibex/archive/nunes/esl%20history/
american_steel.htm
Regards,
Ed Hawkins


Brian Leppert <b.leppert@...>
 

"PSF" might stand for Pittsburgh Steel Foundry Corporation, one of the members on the Four Wheel Truck Committee (I think that's what the committee were called).

Brian Leppert
Carson City, NV


Brian Botton wrote:
> Speaking of RPC 4, pictures 29, 30, and 31 are of A-3 ride
> control trucks. The first 2 were made by American Steel Foundries
> (ASF).
> The 3rd, #31, says PSF. Is this a typo and should have said ASF?
> Or did PSF license the design from ASF, and if so, who is PSF?





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Brian Botton <bbotton@...>
 

Looonnnggg day at work today, so the late responses.

On Tue, 2006-02-21 at 20:53 -0800, Anthony Thompson wrote:
The photo looks more like it says "PSC" to me, but Richard or
someone may have the print and be able to be sure. You should realize,
Brian, that you could order your "Ride-Control" truck sideframes from
about anybody. Scullin Steel, Buckeye, National Malleable, and others.
That's interesting. The '43 and '46 cyclopedias comes across as if
"ride control" was an ASF trademark.

Orders for cars from large railroads like SP show the "A-3" trucks
being made by a whole bunch of people, on a single class of cars. That
said, I don't know of a sideframe caster that was PSF or PSC.
Thanks for the info,
Brian


Brian Botton <bbotton@...>
 

On Wed, 2006-02-22 at 09:06 -0800, Ed Hawkins wrote:
The photo has "PSF" cast into the side frame. I haven't been able to
determine the company name for PSF, but wouldn't be surprised if the
"SF" part was "Steel Foundries." There was an American Steel Foundries
plant in Pittsburgh. The date cast into the side frame is 3-51.
Interestingly, the date cast into the right-hand wheel is 1948. I'll
I guess they must have had some old stock, or maybe a damaged wheel
was replaced with an older one.

repost if I can find anything on PSF. In the meantime the following
link provides some history about American Steel Foundries.

http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ibex/archive/nunes/esl%20history/
american_steel.htm
Thanks for the web site, it was interesting.

Thanks,
Brian Botton


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Brian Botton wrote:
That's interesting. The '43 and '46 cyclopedias comes across as if
"ride control" was an ASF trademark.
I'm sure it was, and you licensed use of it along with licensing use of the snubber design.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Tony & list,

PSC as mentioned in the original post as cast in to the sideframe.
Did Pacific Car & Foundry have a predecessor name that might fill in the blanks, or a company they bought? Or, is this a Pullman Standard mark, built under license? It would be intereting to see if this thread bears fruit with the ID of the maker.

Fred Freitas

Anthony Thompson <thompson@signaturepress.com> wrote:
Brian Botton wrote:
That's interesting. The '43 and '46 cyclopedias comes across as if
"ride control" was an ASF trademark.
I'm sure it was, and you licensed use of it along with licensing
use of the snubber design.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history



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Brian Botton <bbotton@...>
 

On Wed, 2006-02-22 at 22:14 -0800, Anthony Thompson wrote:
Brian Botton wrote:
That's interesting. The '43 and '46 cyclopedias comes across as if
"ride control" was an ASF trademark.
I'm sure it was, and you licensed use of it along with licensing
use of the snubber design.
Sounds reasonable. And you probably advertised your own designs
over a competitor's. Which could explain why no other company showed
"ride control" sideframes in those two cyclopedias.

Thanks,
Brian Botton


Jeff Coleman
 

PSF was the Pittsburg Steel Foundry and Machine Company. I still see
a few of there trucks from time to time but all are Barber design.
Jeff Coleman

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Brian Botton <bbotton@...> wrote:

On Wed, 2006-02-22 at 22:14 -0800, Anthony Thompson wrote:
Brian Botton wrote:
That's interesting. The '43 and '46 cyclopedias comes across
as if
"ride control" was an ASF trademark.
I'm sure it was, and you licensed use of it along with
licensing
use of the snubber design.
Sounds reasonable. And you probably advertised your own designs
over a competitor's. Which could explain why no other company showed
"ride control" sideframes in those two cyclopedias.

Thanks,
Brian Botton


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Fred Freitas wrote:
PSC as mentioned in the original post as cast in to the sideframe.
Did Pacific Car & Foundry have a predecessor name that might fill in the blanks, or a company they bought? Or, is this a Pullman Standard mark, built under license? It would be intereting to see if this thread bears fruit with the ID of the maker.
Fred, I think we are pretty clear that it is "PSF." And to answer your questions, no and no.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history