1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes


John Degnan <Scaler164@...>
 

Group,

I am looking for a good, online resource with photos of and information about freight car underframes and draftgear that were most common between 1940-1960. To be specific, I need to be able to see how the draftgear and the car frames were integrated with and/or connected to one another, and the general shapes and appearances thereof.

I am designing a new, closer-to-scale draftgear box in S scale to go along with the new-and-improved Sergent Engineering (S scale) coupler that is presently in the works. This new gearbox will be 100% compatable with the one, single coupler that Kadee offers to S scalers (802/808), but it will replace their very oversized and unsightly gearbox. (A scale coupler of the quality of the Sergent Engineering coupler deserves a much better gearbox than the Kadee product) My new gearbox has a built-in auto-centering feature specifically tailored to the new Sergent coupler that will enable those who want auto-centering to have it. I would like this gearbox to look as good as it works, so I would like to design it to look as much like a real gearbox as possible instead of just a square glob of plastic hanging underneath a nice model, looking for all its worth like it just doesn't belong. I know the variety of 1:1 draftgear is probably incalculable, so I'm just looking for the most common design.

If anyone can offer help or refer me to a good resource, I'd greatly appreciate it. I do not have a lot of money to invest in freight car books, so an online source, or a few shared photos would be much preferred.

(A preliminary drawing of my new gearbox can be seen at : www.trainweb.org/seaboard/NEWSGearboxV2.bmp)

Thanks.


John Degnan
Scaler164@...


bob_karig <karig@...>
 

I can't offer any on-line resources of value. However, let me suggest that you go to your local library and see if you can get an inter-library loan of one of the Car Builders' Cyclopedias for the period. I've had a great deal of success using this resource, and the librarians are usually very helpful. In my city, ILLs are free.

If you try this, shoot for one of the early years--1940, 1943, or 1946. They had a great more detail on underframe details than the later years.

Bob Karig


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "John Degnan" <Scaler164@...> wrote:

Group,

I am looking for a good, online resource with photos of and information about freight car underframes and draftgear that were most common between 1940-1960. To be specific, I need to be able to see how the draftgear and the car frames were integrated with and/or connected to one another, and the general shapes and appearances thereof.

I am designing a new, closer-to-scale draftgear box in S scale to go along with the new-and-improved Sergent Engineering (S scale) coupler that is presently in the works...
You're doing this without access to any of the Car Builder's Cyclopedias? Any of the Cycs will give a multitude of examples. The 1940 as reprinted by Kalmbach would be fine; newer originals are only a couple hundred bucks, if that, when they show up on e-bay, although I would stay away from any newer that the 1957 edition, because the quality and detail of the drawings went downhill after that point.

The first thing to understand is the prototype didn't use a box, per se, they mounted forged stops to the inside faces of the center sill webs to hold the parts, and a single retainer plate, along with a key through the coupler shank hold everything in place. I see you've modeled the key, so you're on the right track, but what you really need to ensure is that your "box" looks like an extension of the center sills, the same width, and the same depth. When I designed the PROTO:HO Accumate box, I made it long enough to extend all the way back to the body bolster so the joint would be hidden where the bolster bottom cover plate crosses the sills. Since this distance varies between different prototypes, making the box long enough to be custom cut to length ensures it is useful on many prototypes. I'm disappointed that I can't find a good close-up photo on the Accurail web site, but this link will take you to a PDF of the instructions, which should give some insight to my design intent.

http://accurail.com/accurail/instr/ProtoHO.pdf

Dennis


John Degnan <Scaler164@...>
 

Thanks Bob. Can anyone provide the ISBN numbers for these freight car books?


John Degnan
JohnnyReb69@...

----- Original Message -----
From: bob_karig
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:04 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes


I can't offer any on-line resources of value. However, let me suggest that you go to your local library and see if you can get an inter-library loan of one of the Car Builders' Cyclopedias for the period. I've had a great deal of success using this resource, and the librarians are usually very helpful. In my city, ILLs are free.

If you try this, shoot for one of the early years--1940, 1943, or 1946. They had a great more detail on underframe details than the later years.

Bob Karig



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


John Degnan <Scaler164@...>
 

Thanks, Dennis. Further replies follow your comments below...

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:15 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes

> You're doing this without access to any of the Car Builder's Cyclopedias?
> Any of the Cycs will give a multitude of examples. The 1940 as reprinted
> by Kalmbach would be fine; newer originals are only a couple hundred
> bucks, if that, when they show up on e-bay, although I would stay away
> from any newer that the 1957 edition, because the quality and detail of the
> drawings went downhill after that point.

I am familiar with these books and their prices... which unfortunately puts them way out of my universe. But I appreciate the heads-up about the quality of the later issues just incase I am ever able to get a few.

> The first thing to understand is the prototype didn't use a box, per se, they
> mounted forged stops to the inside faces of the center sill webs to hold the
> parts, and a single retainer plate, along with a key through the coupler
> shank hold everything in place. I see you've modeled the key, so you're on
> the right track, but what you really need to ensure is that your "box" looks
> like an extension of the center sills, the same width, and the same depth.

I have managed to figure out most of this so far, and am striving for this very goal... but keeping in mind that some compromise may be necessary for the sake of keeping enough side-to-side swing room for the couplers to operate on less-than-prototypically-tight curves. However, much to my surprise, I have found that not as much compromise as I originally expected will be necessary.


> When I designed the PROTO:HO Accumate box, I made it long enough
> to extend all the way back to the body bolster so the joint would be
> hidden where the bolster bottom cover plate crosses the sills. Since this
> distance varies between different prototypes, making the box long enough
> to be custom cut to length ensures it is useful on many prototypes. I'm
> disappointed that I can't find a good close-up photo on the Accurail web
> site, but this link will take you to a PDF of the instructions, which should
> give some insight to my design intent.

I am well familiar with the Accumate box. I have seen at least three photos/drawings of it recently, and actually have a sample of it installed on one of my HO models (I model in HO as well as S). In fact, the design of the Accumate partially inspired the lengthening of my gearbox to its present length (it was shorter in an earlier drawing). I am considering lengthening it a bit more to achieve the effect you're describing. The three online references I found to the Accumate are listed below :

1. http://accurail.com/accurail/accumate.htm

2. http://accurail.com/accurail/art/proto/wholebox.jpg

3. http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/112-1020 (Exploded Drawing)

I also managed to turn up the following reference today to a cut-away drawing of a 1:1 coupler :

1. http://www.sergentengineering.com/images/AnnotatedProtoDraftGear.gif

That drawing indicated that the outside to outside distance between the center-sills is 20". This is precisely the kind of info I am looking for. (A bit ironic that this drawing was found on Sergent Engineering's server). But I also need to know the typical height of these sills, as this is not indicated on the drawing.

Would you say that this drawing represents the most common center-sill design and dimensions?


John Degnan
Scaler164@...


bob_karig <karig@...>
 

I'm not sure of the ISBN, but the full title is:

Car Builders' Cyclopedia of American Practice

and the author for the 1940, 1943 and 1946 editions is listed as:

Roy V. Wright

That should be enough for your librarian.

Bob Karig

--- In STMFC@..., "John Degnan" <Scaler164@...> wrote:

Thanks Bob. Can anyone provide the ISBN numbers for these freight car books?


John Degnan
JohnnyReb69@..


Richard B <brennan8@...>
 

These 1940s-era Cyclopedias pre-date the ISBN numbering system...
It did not come into place until the 1970s...

--------------------
Richard Brennan - San Leandro CA
--------------------

--- In STMFC@..., "John Degnan" <Scaler164@...> wrote:

Thanks Bob. Can anyone provide the ISBN numbers for these freight car books?


John Degnan
JohnnyReb69@...

----- Original Message -----
From: bob_karig
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:04 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes


I can't offer any on-line resources of value. However, let me suggest that you go to your local library and see if you can get an inter-library loan of one of the Car Builders' Cyclopedias for the period. I've had a great deal of success using this resource, and the librarians are usually very helpful. In my city, ILLs are free.

If you try this, shoot for one of the early years--1940, 1943, or 1946. They had a great more detail on underframe details than the later years.

Bob Karig



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links




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


Tim O'Connor
 

John Degnan wrote

That drawing indicated that the outside to outside distance
between the center-sills is 20".
John

I'm not at all sure exactly what you mean by "outside to outside".
Someone on the MFCL posted a survey of HO model draft gear compared
to prototype draft gear, and the typical INSIDE dimension of the
prototype coupler box was 12.5" whereas the Accurail box was 16.5"
and other "scale" boxes were all 18" or more.

I think a typical non-cushioned prototype center sill measurement
taken on the outside of the "webs" of the center sill is quite a
bit less than 20"... more like 12"-13" would be my guess. (I've
looked at a bunch of Car Builders drawings but none of them call
out this dimension.) But if the measurement is made on the outside
of the flanges attached to the center sill, maybe that's where you
would get 20".

Tim O'Connor


John Degnan <Scaler164@...>
 

The outside of the flange-to-outside of flange is the measurement I was referring to... and I got that from the drawing at the URL below :

http://www.sergentengineering.com/images/AnnotatedProtoDraftGear.gif


John Degnan
JohnnyReb69@...

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim O'Connor
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 11:07 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes


John Degnan wrote
>> That drawing indicated that the outside to outside distance
>> between the center-sills is 20".

I'm not at all sure exactly what you mean by "outside to outside".

But if the measurement is made on the outside
of the flanges attached to the center sill, maybe that's where you
would get 20".

Tim O'Connor


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

John Degnan wrote

That drawing indicated that the outside to outside distance
between the center-sills is 20".
John

I'm not at all sure exactly what you mean by "outside to outside".
Someone on the MFCL posted a survey of HO model draft gear compared
to prototype draft gear, and the typical INSIDE dimension of the
prototype coupler box was 12.5" whereas the Accurail box was 16.5"
and other "scale" boxes were all 18" or more.

I think a typical non-cushioned prototype center sill measurement
taken on the outside of the "webs" of the center sill is quite a
bit less than 20"... more like 12"-13" would be my guess. (I've
looked at a bunch of Car Builders drawings but none of them call
out this dimension.) But if the measurement is made on the outside
of the flanges attached to the center sill, maybe that's where you
would get 20".

Tim O'Connor

You have to go back far enough in time to when centersills were still fabricated from several pieces, and then you find dimensions. The standard for the distance between the inside faces of the sills (where the draft gear and its attachments fit) was 12-7/8" for about five or six decades, and likely still is today. When center sills were fabricated from structural shapes, they were typically two 12" channels (15" was common pre WWI) or on fishbelly sills, the ends outward from the bolster were the same as that size channel, but built up from plate and angles. To keep the sills properly spaced, a solid cover plate was riveted to their upper flanges (up against the floor) these plates were the width of the sills over the outside edges of their flanges, and were typically spec'd as 20-1/4" or 20-1/2" depending on the exact section of channel used for the sills. Since the channel sills were symmetrical, the width over the bottom flanges was the same, and this is the part that is visible looking at the bottom of the car.

Sometime in the thirties (and I'm not looking for the date)the AAR developed a lighter centersill that made use of two special Z sections with the tips of their upper flanges welded together on the car centerline. These were still 12" deep and spaced 12-7/8" back to back, and still had outward facing flanges along their bottom edges, so the bottom of the sill was still around 20" - 21" wide, and they don't look much different from the earlier sills, at least the parts we can see easily.

The PROTO:HO Accumate box is designed to match this overall width and depth when properly mounted on the car, but the sides aren't channel section; instead I "borrow" the width of the flanges to allow the sides of the box to be thicker than prototype, and the interior width is bogus; a concession to getting the parts to fit into the box and have some room to swing. Still, when properly mounted on a car that has the older style center sills, the "box" lines up with the sills, and has the appearance of being an extension of them.

Dennis


John Degnan <Scaler164@...>
 

This is the same issue I'm dealing with... having to compromise the center sill's 'flanges' to achieve a gearbox wide enough to allow the coupler to swing.

Oh well... I guess that's why they call this a hobby and not a science... unless rivet counters have started calling themselves Detail Scientists since the last time I checked. (j/k)


John Degnan
Scaler164@...

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:09 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes

The PROTO:HO Accumate box is designed to match this overall width and depth when properly mounted on the car, but the sides aren't channel section; instead I "borrow" the width of the flanges to allow the sides of the box to be thicker than prototype, and the interior width is bogus; a concession to getting the parts to fit into the box and have some room to swing. Still, when properly mounted on a car that has the older style center sills, the "box" lines up with the sills, and has the appearance of being an extension of them.

Dennis


railwayman <stevelucas3@...>
 

The solution is straightforward. What is needed is for the pivot point (or effective pivot point) of a model coupler to be where it is on a prototype standard Type E draft-keyed coupler.

The model practice of placing the pivot point of a coupler closer to the truck kingpin than on the prototype means that model draft gear has to be wider than on prototype cars.

If prototype 40' boxcars with standard draft gear could be pushed/pulled around a 90' radius curve on the Bronx Terminal and Harlem Transfer railroads, it follows that the same could be done with a model 40' boxcar having scale-width draft gear.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "John Degnan" <Scaler164@...> wrote:

This is the same issue I'm dealing with... having to compromise the center sill's 'flanges' to achieve a gearbox wide enough to allow the coupler to swing.

Oh well... I guess that's why they call this a hobby and not a science... unless rivet counters have started calling themselves Detail Scientists since the last time I checked. (j/k)


John Degnan
Scaler164@...

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:09 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes

The PROTO:HO Accumate box is designed to match this overall width and depth when properly mounted on the car, but the sides aren't channel section; instead I "borrow" the width of the flanges to allow the sides of the box to be thicker than prototype, and the interior width is bogus; a concession to getting the parts to fit into the box and have some room to swing. Still, when properly mounted on a car that has the older style center sills, the "box" lines up with the sills, and has the appearance of being an extension of them.

Dennis

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


John Degnan <Scaler164@...>
 

Thanks Steve. This was an option that I looked into, but since the market is already going to be very small for my project, I opted to take the route of making my gearbox compatable with both the new Sergent S coupler and Kadee's S coupler for the sake of making more sales. There are many in S who will choose to stay with Kadee couplers (because they believe them to be easier to use and/or already have a substantial investment in Kadee couplers) instead of going with the Sergent couplers, but they are still interested in a better looking gearbox.

I am well familiar with the Bronx terminal and Tim Warris' HO model of it, and find both absolutely FASCINATING to say the very least!


John Degnan
Scaler164@...

----- Original Message -----
From: railwayman
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 7:58 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes


The solution is straightforward. What is needed is for the pivot point (or effective pivot point) of a model coupler to be where it is on a prototype standard Type E draft-keyed coupler.

The model practice of placing the pivot point of a coupler closer to the truck kingpin than on the prototype means that model draft gear has to be wider than on prototype cars.

If prototype 40' boxcars with standard draft gear could be pushed/pulled around a 90' radius curve on the Bronx Terminal and Harlem Transfer railroads, it follows that the same could be done with a model 40' boxcar having scale-width draft gear.


Gene <bierglaeser@...>
 

Steve,
Interesting point. I hadn't thought of it that way. Perhaps some experimentation is in order.
Gene Green

--- In STMFC@..., "railwayman" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

The solution is straightforward. What is needed is for the pivot point (or effective pivot point) of a model coupler to be where it is on a prototype standard Type E draft-keyed coupler.

The model practice of placing the pivot point of a coupler closer to the truck kingpin than on the prototype means that model draft gear has to be wider than on prototype cars.

If prototype 40' boxcars with standard draft gear could be pushed/pulled around a 90' radius curve on the Bronx Terminal and Harlem Transfer railroads, it follows that the same could be done with a model 40' boxcar having scale-width draft gear.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "John Degnan" <Scaler164@> wrote:

This is the same issue I'm dealing with... having to compromise the center sill's 'flanges' to achieve a gearbox wide enough to allow the coupler to swing.

Oh well... I guess that's why they call this a hobby and not a science... unless rivet counters have started calling themselves Detail Scientists since the last time I checked. (j/k)


John Degnan
Scaler164@

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:09 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: 1940-1960 Draftgear & Underframes

The PROTO:HO Accumate box is designed to match this overall width and depth when properly mounted on the car, but the sides aren't channel section; instead I "borrow" the width of the flanges to allow the sides of the box to be thicker than prototype, and the interior width is bogus; a concession to getting the parts to fit into the box and have some room to swing. Still, when properly mounted on a car that has the older style center sills, the "box" lines up with the sills, and has the appearance of being an extension of them.

Dennis

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


Frank Greene
 

John Degnan wrote:
Thanks, Dennis. Further replies follow your comments below...
John, check this document out for dimensioned drawings: <http://www.minerent.com/pdf/The%20Amazing%20Story%20Of%20The%20Miner%20Tandem%20Spring%20Draft%20Rigging.pdf>.

--

Frank Greene
Memphis, TN


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Frank Greene <frgreene290@...> wrote:

John Degnan wrote:
Thanks, Dennis. Further replies follow your comments below...
John, check this document out for dimensioned drawings:
<http://www.minerent.com/pdf/The%20Amazing%20Story%20Of%20The%20Miner%20Tandem%20Spring%20Draft%20Rigging.pdf>.

--
An interesting read for period modeling, but unfortunately the tandem spring draft gears were an evolutionary dead end that used different draft stop arrangement that would not accept more modern draft gear, so all eventually disappeared. It's not a good prototype for a 'one-size-fits-all' model coupler box.

Dennis