33 inch wheels


snoqualmier <leethwaits@...>
 

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight cars?

Lee


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Maybe not the particular "Why?" you were looking for, but the analysis of contact stresses between two objects favors two flat surfaces touching each other. Failing that, with one surface flat (the rail) and the other not (the wheel), stresses are minimized and the load carrying capability maximized when the wheel is as large as possible. Rolling resistance is also reduced with larger wheels. The standard size nowadays is 36 inches, I think, but many double stack cars - like depressed center cars in the steam era - use 28 inch wheels to gain extra room for cargo under the clearance limits.

Why 33 rather than 32 or 34? I dunno, but they seem to have settled on that number very early on.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: snoqualmier

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight cars?


water.kresse@...
 

Can we blame it on the Romans?



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "snoqualmier" <leethwaits@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 11:33:33 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] 33 inch wheels

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight cars?

Lee


Charles Hladik
 

They gave us the "Railroad Roman" font, of course.
Chuck Hladik

In a message dated 9/7/2009 7:02:52 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
rob.mclear2@... writes:




Well Al, what did the romans ever do for us?

Rob.

--- In _STMFC@... (mailto:STMFC@...) ,
water.kresse@, wate



Can we blame it on the Romans?



Al Kresse


----- Original Message -----
From: "snoqualmier" <leethwaits@lee>
To: _STMFC@... (mailto:STMFC@...)
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 11:33:33 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] 33 inch wheels

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight
cars?

Lee



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


roblmclear <rob.mclear2@...>
 

Well Al, what did the romans ever do for us?

Rob.

--- In STMFC@..., water.kresse@... wrote:



Can we blame it on the Romans?



Al Kresse


----- Original Message -----
From: "snoqualmier" <leethwaits@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 11:33:33 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] 33 inch wheels

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight cars?

Lee



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


Brian Paul Ehni <behni@...>
 

There¹s a whole Monty Python routine there, but I am loathe to incur the
moderator¹s wrath.
--
Thanks!

Brian Ehni



From: roblmclear <rob.mclear2@...>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 23:02:24 -0000
To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 33 inch wheels





Well Al, what did the romans ever do for us?

Rob.

--- In STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> ,
water.kresse@... wrote:



Can we blame it on the Romans?



Al Kresse


----- Original Message -----
From: "snoqualmier" <leethwaits@...>
To: STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 11:33:33 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] 33 inch wheels

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight cars?

Lee



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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Chuck Hladik wrote:
They gave us the "Railroad Roman" font, of course.
As far as I've ever been able to tell, NO railroad used exactly these characters, at least the Champ version. Can anyone supply contrary evidence?
I grant that the Champ generic Roman lettering RESEMBLES lots of railroad lettering.

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


water.kresse@...
 

Was the 33" wheel standardized on before the American War Between the States or Civil War?  They show up on Ensign Manufg 25-ton open freight cars.



I was hoping to hear that the Romans had standardized war supply wagons or something on a set track and diameter.  Sorry for setting this crowd off on a tangent.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 10:57:22 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: 33 inch wheels

Chuck Hladik wrote:
They gave us the "Railroad Roman" font, of course.
      As far as I've ever been able to tell, NO railroad used exactly  
these characters, at least the Champ version. Can anyone supply  
contrary evidence?
       I grant that the Champ generic Roman lettering RESEMBLES lots  
of railroad lettering.

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



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


stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@...>
 

"Romanes eunt domus" from "Life of Brian", perhaps??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsawP_Ew0r4

Mandatory viewing for STMFC members that are also students of language, or have been corrected and/or admonished online. As i may be shortly.

But before that happens, a thought as to that wheel diameter question. The number 33 appears in rail lengths a hundred years ago, when rail was rolled in 33-foot lengths. Or two rods--1 rod=16'-6".

Thoughts??

Steve Lucas.





Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., Brian Paul Ehni <behni@...> wrote:

There¹s a whole Monty Python routine there, but I am loathe to incur the
moderator¹s wrath.
--
Thanks!

Brian Ehni



From: roblmclear <rob.mclear2@...>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 23:02:24 -0000
To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 33 inch wheels





Well Al, what did the romans ever do for us?

Rob.

--- In STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> ,
water.kresse@ wrote:



Can we blame it on the Romans?



Al Kresse


----- Original Message -----
From: "snoqualmier" <leethwaits@>
To: STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 11:33:33 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] 33 inch wheels

Why and when did the use of 33 inch wheels become standard on freight cars?

Lee



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


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

White, in "The American Railroad Freight Car" says that 33 inches "had become nearly universal in this country by about 1840." Early English imports were apparently 36 inchers, and he does not opine on why 33 became the standard.

KL


Earl Hackett <hacketet@...>
 

One of the things that most people don't think about is the energy required
to get bigger wheels moving. You have to accelerate the wheel rim to twice
the speed of the train - observe the speed of the top of the wheel vs the
speed of the train. As the center of mass moves away from the center of
rotation (the axle) the angular momentum goes up with the square of the
distance. So as a wheel gets larger you get hit with a double whammy. The
center of mass (most of it is in the rim of the wheel) moves away from the
center of rotation and the mass itself increases in proportion to the
circumference of the rim. So wheel diameter is a tradeoff between reduced
stress at the wheel/rail interface, and the ability of the locomotive to get
the train moving within a reasonable time frame. In the early days with
wimpy locomotives small wheels were a necessity. As locomotives became more
powerful, larger wheels became more practical to operate.



This was never more clearly demonstrated than with a Pinewood Derby car I
helped my son build. The thought was that reducing the body weight would
reduce axle friction and allow the car to roll faster. So I machined him
some weights that would fit inside the plastic wheels. When run on the
track with the other cars all of the same weight, by comparison it just sat
there. It took over twice as long for it to roll to the finish as the
slowest car in the bunch! OH YEAH, I forgot about angular momentum! Try to
explain angular momentum to a 5 year old who just got clobbered in a race.



Earl Hackett

Modeling the C&O in 1952


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Except, according to White, they started off big, tried small for a short period, and ramped up to 33 pretty quickly. They compensated by making the wheels as light as possible (reducing the mass moment of inertia), apparently.

No reason why they picked 33 over 30, 32, 34, or 31.831 though.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Earl Hackett

. . . In the early days with
wimpy locomotives small wheels were a necessity. As locomotives became more
powerful, larger wheels became more practical to operate.