Journal Packing of Private Owner Cars


Rod Miller
 

We are all familiar with the photo of the
man squirting oil into journal boxes as the
car rolled down the hump. Is that how
journals were maintained towards the end
of the steam era? If so, then that process
(squirting oil) would seem to cover all cars
regardless of ownership.

However, if in the above time frame, there was
a formal process for packing journals that
resulted in a lettering "record" being applied
to the car, how was that done for private owner
cars?

One thought is that the owner could contract
with (most likely) a railroad to have their
facilities pack the journals when the owner
wanted it done.

Apologies in advance if this has already been
discussed. I didn't look at more than a few of
the 1700 messages a search of the message
archive produced, and a google search didn't
turn up anything in the first few pages of
results.

Thanks

Rod


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rod Miller wrote:
We are all familiar with the photo of the man squirting oil into journal boxes . . . However, if in the above time frame, there was a formal process for packing journal . . .
Rod, oiling journals and packing journals are two entirely different things. The packing refers to the cotton waste or equivalent material which was supposed to wick the oil onto the journal surface, and was usually done with a tool. Some journal cellars were equipped with formed metal frames which supported the waste. That process did result in a stenciled record. But adding oil did NOT result in any stenciling, and was done as needed.

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


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Rod Miller wrote:
We are all familiar with the photo of the man squirting oil into
journal boxes . . . However, if in the above time frame, there was a
formal process for packing journal . . .
Rod, oiling journals and packing journals are two entirely
different things. The packing refers to the cotton waste or equivalent
material which was supposed to wick the oil onto the journal surface,
and was usually done with a tool. Some journal cellars were equipped
with formed metal frames which supported the waste. That process did
result in a stenciled record. But adding oil did NOT result in any
stenciling, and was done as needed.

Tony Thompson
To expand on Tony's answer a bit more, a "repack" consisted of pushing the old waste down, inspecting the axle end by dragging a hooked brass rod along it's underside to feel for any roughness or scoring, then fluffing the waste up so it touched the axle, adding / replacing waste as needed, and topping off the oil. The car was then stenciled with the date / location the work was done. The ARA / AAR mandated journal repacks at a certain interval (eighteen months? Someone help me out)and whatever road the car was presently on when the time expired was responcsible for doing the work.

If a defective journal was found, or a condemable wheelset, then that wheelset needed to be replaced and both journals cleaned and repacked. This was still preformed at the location discovered, whether the car was loaded or empty, and the work was charged back to the car owner at a standard rate set by the AAR. That's why refferance books like the Official Railway Equipment Register have a "Send all repair bills to..." line in each listing.

Dennis