ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology


Mikebrock
 

Given the rather high interest in the issue of the STMFC using "correct"
railroad terminology, I will note one of the primary rules and objectives of
the STMFC:

"Emphasis is to be placed on the study of the prototype with
a goal of producing models of them with as great a degree of accuracy as
possible."

It would seem, therefore, that, in order to achieve this accuracy, it would
be advantageous to use accurate railroad terminology, particularly if one wanted others to understand their efforts. One problem with that is
that over the years, those with less than adequate knowledge of real railroads have presented
their own views on what some aspects of railroad terminology should be. Thus
we have terms like "Outside braced" [ which seems to be a good term because
it is descriptive but it is NOT a real railroad term ], roof walk [ which also seems more descriptive than
"running board" { I mean, do you have to run on the damned thing?} ] but again is NOT a real railroad term.
Who can foget the arguments concerning the terms "friction bearing", "solid
bearing" and "plain bearing" trucks.? I mean, how and why was the term
"friction bearing" ever allowed to grow in use? And, then...ohhhh noooo...we
have no less than Ralph Johnson, Chief Engineer of Baldwin Locomotive Works
refer on page 183 of his book The Steam Locomotive to both "solid bearing"
and "friction bearing" while discribing the same thing.

Some of this can be confusing. Thus, we have an extremely knowledgeable
passenger car guru complain to me about using the model railroad term
developed by Kalmbach..."turn out". Well, for those curious, the book
Elements of Railroad Track and Construction by Wilson, published in 1915 [ a
bit before Kalmbach's model railroading activities ] contains fully 69 pages
in two chapter on "turnouts" associated with real railroads.

And then there's the case of the brakeman hollering at another brakeman
standing by a switch stand as a string of frt cars nears his turnout, "Throw
the damned switch!" So, do we use the term "turnout" or "damned switch"?

So, do we use engineering terms or operations terms? Maybe it depends on the
situation. At any rate, given the authority granted to me by...uh...me, I
will monitor the terms we use. Certainly STMFC management is not going to
enforce the use of "correct" terminology [ at this time ] because , for one thing, STMFC
management might...gasp...not know it. I mean, while the term "Northern"
might be correct when referring to some 4-8-4 steam locos, it definitely is
not correct to refer to a UP 4-8-4 [ FEF ] and no UP engineer would
use the term "Big Boy", using instead the term "4000". Current STMFC mgt knows these differences but members might not or be expected to. Nevertheless, I would
think that those using "correct" terminology would be given credit while
those not...would suffer accordingly. I mean, given that you might consider yourself having a closer association with someone in operations and, therefore, you might choose to use their terms, the STMFC is much closer to freight car construction and its terms rather than ops and theirs.

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


Tim O'Connor
 

Mike Brock wrote

>> Who can foget the arguments concerning the terms "friction bearing", "solid bearing"
>> and "plain bearing" trucks.? I mean, how and why was the term "friction bearing" ever
>> allowed to grow in use?

One reason is that friction bearings really do exist and are present on most
freight car trucks -- but they are NOT the same thing as journal bearings.

http://theweatheringshop.com/images/trucks4.jpg

This picture illustrates them nicely -- See those items on top of the truck
bolster about 1/4 way in from each side? Those are friction bearings. There
are corresponding parts attached to each freight car's bolsters. These bearings
prevent direct contact between the static parts of the carbody and the trucks,
as the car rocks (tilts) from side to side as it rolls down the track.

Some HO trucks replicate these bearings, but most do not. The ones shown in the
photograph above are very accurate representations. You can find them advertised
in Car Builder Cycs, since they are a wear item and are sold by third parties.

Tim O'Connor


Mikebrock
 

Tim O'Connor says:

"One reason is that friction bearings really do exist and are present on most
freight car trucks -- but they are NOT the same thing as journal bearings."

All fine and good but the issue regarding friction bearings WERE journal bearings. Johnson refers to the different "journal friction" produced by roller bearing journals compared to friction bearings in the journals.

Mike Brock


Paul Hillman
 

Here! Here! Mike. Well said, my man!!!
 
Paul Hillman
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2015 7:23 PM
Subject: [STMFC] ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology

 

Given the rather high interest in the issue of the STMFC using "correct"
railroad terminology, I will note one of the primary rules and objectives of
the STMFC:

"Emphasis is to be placed on the study of the prototype with
a goal of producing models of them with as great a degree of accuracy as
possible."

It would seem, therefore, that, in order to achieve this accuracy, it would
be advantageous to use accurate railroad terminology, particularly if one
wanted others to understand their efforts. One problem with that is
that over the years, those with less than adequate knowledge of real
railroads have presented
their own views on what some aspects of railroad terminology should be. Thus
we have terms like "Outside braced" [ which seems to be a good term because
it is descriptive but it is NOT a real railroad term ], roof walk [ which
also seems more descriptive than
"running board" { I mean, do you have to run on the damned thing?} ] but
again is NOT a real railroad term.
Who can foget the arguments concerning the terms "friction bearing", "solid
bearing" and "plain bearing" trucks.? I mean, how and why was the term
"friction bearing" ever allowed to grow in use? And, then...ohhhh noooo...we
have no less than Ralph Johnson, Chief Engineer of Baldwin Locomotive Works
refer on page 183 of his book The Steam Locomotive to both "solid bearing"
and "friction bearing" while discribing the same thing.

Some of this can be confusing. Thus, we have an extremely knowledgeable
passenger car guru complain to me about using the model railroad term
developed by Kalmbach..."turn out". Well, for those curious, the book
Elements of Railroad Track and Construction by Wilson, published in 1915 [ a
bit before Kalmbach's model railroading activities ] contains fully 69 pages
in two chapter on "turnouts" associated with real railroads.

And then there's the case of the brakeman hollering at another brakeman
standing by a switch stand as a string of frt cars nears his turnout, "Throw
the damned switch!" So, do we use the term "turnout" or "damned switch"?

So, do we use engineering terms or operations terms? Maybe it depends on the
situation. At any rate, given the authority granted to me by...uh...me, I
will monitor the terms we use. Certainly STMFC management is not going to
enforce the use of "correct" terminology [ at this time ] because , for one
thing, STMFC
management might...gasp...not know it. I mean, while the term "Northern"
might be correct when referring to some 4-8-4 steam locos, it definitely is
not correct to refer to a UP 4-8-4 [ FEF ] and no UP engineer would
use the term "Big Boy", using instead the term "4000". Current STMFC mgt
knows these differences but members might not or be expected to.
Nevertheless, I would
think that those using "correct" terminology would be given credit while
those not...would suffer accordingly. I mean, given that you might consider
yourself having a closer association with someone in operations and,
therefore, you might choose to use their terms, the STMFC is much closer to
freight car construction and its terms rather than ops and theirs.

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


rob.mclear3@...
 

Mike said

I mean, while the term "Northern"
might be correct when referring to some 4-8-4 steam locos, it definitely is
not correct to refer to a UP 4-8-4 [ FEF ]

Kinda like Santa Fe guys not referring to caboose but Way Car and the Pennsy guys not referring to caboose but Cabin Car  :-)

Rob McLear
Aussie


Tony Thompson
 

Mike Brock wrote:

Some of this can be confusing. Thus, we have an extremely knowledgeable
passenger car guru complain to me about using the model railroad term
developed by Kalmbach..."turn out". Well, for those curious, the book
Elements of Railroad Track and Construction by Wilson, published in 1915 [ a
bit before Kalmbach's model railroading activities ] contains fully 69 pages
in two chapter on "turnouts" associated with real railroads.

And then there's the case of the brakeman hollering at another brakeman
standing by a switch stand as a string of frt cars nears his turnout, "Throw
the damned switch!" So, do we use the term "turnout" or "damned switch"?


      Read the professional literature on track more closely and you will find that "turnout" refers to the movable part of the device, and that "switch" refers to the entire trackwork. If you look at Wikipedia, the two terms are regarded as synonyms. But neither one was invented by Kalmbach.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Dennis Storzek
 

Except Tony has it backwards; the switch is only the points and associated hardware, while the turnout is the whole thing. Operationally, one lines the switch. Like I always point out, it takes a whole track gang to line a turnout. :-)

Dennis Storzek


Jack Mullen
 

Tony Thompson wrote:  " Read the professional literature on track more closely and you will find that "turnout" refers to the movable part of the device, and that "switch" refers to the entire trackwork. "

Uh, no. That's backwards.  Admittedly, the AREMA definition of "Switch - a track structure used to divert rolling stock from one track to another." could be a bit ambiguous, but "Turnout - an arrangement of a switch and a frog with closure rails,  by means of which rolling stock may be diverted from one track to another." should be clear.

Formal engineering usage is consistent that the switch is the portion with points and stock rails, including the associated rods, plates, braces, heel blocks and fasteners.  In informal usage, switch can be a synonym for turnout. (An example of synecdoche?)

One major exception is that the ties for a turnout are called switch ties.

I have over 30 years professional and managerial experience in the Engineering Dept. of major railroads.

Jack Mullen



Tony Thompson
 

 Dennis Storzek wrote:

 

Except Tony has it backwards; the switch is only the points and associated hardware, while the turnout is the whole thing. Operationally, one lines the switch. Like I always point out, it takes a whole track gang to line a turnout. :-)


     Thanks, Dennis. Yes, I did get it backwards, should have checked. I had the track reference in the other room . . . entirely my error.


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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Tony Thompson
 

Jack Mullen wrote:

 

Uh, no. That's backwards.  Admittedly, the AREMA definition of "Switch - a track structure used to divert rolling stock from one track to another." could be a bit ambiguous, but "Turnout - an arrangement of a switch and a frog with closure rails,  by means of which rolling stock may be diverted from one track to another." should be clear.


     Yes, I apparently underwent ome sort of mental reversal. But let's at least put out to pasture the long-enduring myth that Kalmbach started calling track switches "turnouts" so we wouldn't confuse them with electrical switches, which if true would have made "turnout" one of those hobby terms. Like roof walk.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Benjamin Scanlon
 

I personally don't see the problem in 'outside braced' as it passes the simple test: 


Is there bracing? Yes.


Where? On the outside.


Brilliant.


Whereas 'single sheathed' doesn't necessarily give those essentials away.


IMHO, whatever a model train is, it is not the real thing, neither conceptually nor, at all times, descriptively.


Regards


Ben Scanlon

London, England


Clark Propst
 

I’ve never heard a friend that rode the rails for over 40 years say coupler. It’s always drawbar. The drawbar does have a knuckle through. Another colloquialism I suppose?
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


 

There are many words in the English language (& probably many others) that have multiple meanings. Just ask the professional football about using a "switch" to discipline his kid! So what's the sense in getting so righteous about whether "switch" or "turnout" is the correct word for a device that lets a train take a diverging route. Having been a conductor prefer to use what the thousands of real (not model) railroaders use. Besides has anyone ever heard of a "turnout" engine? LOL

Andy Jackson
Bellflower CA


Paul Hillman
 


Jack,
 
Wonder what they were called when they were stub-type? (No points) Stub-switches or stub-turnouts.
 
Paul Hillman
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 12:49 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology

 

Tony Thompson wrote:  " Read the professional literature on track more closely and you will find that "turnout" refers to the movable part of the device, and that "switch" refers to the entire trackwork. "


Uh, no. That's backwards.  Admittedly, the AREMA definition of "Switch - a track structure used to divert rolling stock from one track to another." could be a bit ambiguous, but "Turnout - an arrangement of a switch and a frog with closure rails,  by means of which rolling stock may be diverted from one track to another." should be clear.

Formal engineering usage is consistent that the switch is the portion with points and stock rails, including the associated rods, plates, braces, heel blocks and fasteners.  In informal usage, switch can be a synonym for turnout. (An example of synecdoche?)

One major exception is that the ties for a turnout are called switch ties.

I have over 30 years professional and managerial experience in the Engineering Dept. of major railroads.

Jack Mullen



Bill Welch
 

Just curious, why is this discussion titled  "ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology" when it about track/rail terms although granted freight cars did/do run over track, switches, bridges, etc.?

Bill Welch


Mikebrock
 

Bill Welch writes:

"Just curious, why is this discussion titled "ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology" when it about track/rail terms although granted freight cars did/do run over track, switches, bridges, etc.? "

Because when I wrote the original message it did pertain to a variety of different terms...some associated with frt cars including the infamous "outside braced" and "roof walk" terms, both of which were generated by the modeling community.

Does this matter? Some members have suggested that it does not, that, instead, we should use terms generated by those other than the RR industry. Let me put it this way. The STMFC is a forum in which discussions about real RR frt cars and the models we build of them are discussed. Just as the language we use on the STMFC is English, we also use real RR terms. This is an assumed position taken by STMFC mgt. As I said in the first message:

"Emphasis is to be placed on the study of the prototype with
a goal of producing models of them with as great a degree of accuracy as
possible."

It would seem, therefore, that, in order to achieve this accuracy, it would
be advantageous to use accurate railroad terminology, particularly if one
wanted others to understand their efforts."

Of course, it might be difficult for some without adequate reference material to have the needed information. Non the less, that is an objective of the STMFC. Mind you, at times disussions will need to use terms associated with model building. Nevertheless, the preferred terminology is that of real RRs.

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


Bill Welch
 

Not my point at all Mike. Should not the Subject Box describe what is being discussed so that doing things like a search are easier or so each of us can decide we want to read it. If we are striving for accuracy, which I think we are, why not have the Subject Box accurately describe what is being discussed? Freight Car Trucks inevitably go thru/over switches, points, frogs, rail joints but I don't think that makes them fall under "Freight Car Terminology" IMO.

None of us are perfect and I have failed to change the description with a reply that takes the topic in a different direction but if we each try a little harder to police ourselves, it would serve all of us better I think. Just sayin'.

Bill Welch
 


asychis@...
 

Mike quoted this part of the reason we exist:"Emphasis is to be placed on the study of the prototype with
a goal of producing models of them with as great a degree of accuracy as
possible."
 
Which makes obvious sense.  However, I fail to see where the mention of switch vs. turnout or roofwalk vs. running board would prevent "as great a degree of accuracy as possible."  If a person states he hand laid a #8 switch, would one actually be confused and think a #8 electrical switch was constructed?
 
If we have to continue this discussion as it has been going on now for three or four days, how about instituting peer review for posts?  Those whose sensibilities are greatly disturbed by other members egregious misuse of railroad terms could form a committee to review all members posts and clean them up for proper presentation to the group.
 
Oops, misread the calendar, it's March 1st not April 1st!
 
Jerry Michels


Tony Thompson
 

Andy Jackson wrote:

 

There are many words in the English language (& probably many others) that have multiple meanings. Just ask the professional football about using a "switch" to discipline his kid! So what's the sense in getting so righteous about whether "switch" or "turnout" is the correct word for a device that lets a train take a diverging route. Having been a conductor prefer to use what the thousands of real (not model) railroaders use. Besides has anyone ever heard of a "turnout" engine? LOL


      As our leader, Mike Brock, has pointed out, on this list we do try to use the terminology of "real" railroaders. But even if train crews do not use the word "turnout," track professionals do, and it's in official terminology lists for track engineering. "Turnout" is NOT a hobby term. Certainly a problem arises when different parts of the railroad industry may use different terms for the same thing. 
       In the case of freight cars (remember them?), this list can and does use the definitions of terms shown in each issue of the _Car Builders Cyclopedia_ at least as late as 1960. If you peruse those definitions, you will NOT find entries under "roof walk" or "outside braced," though these terms are in common use in the hobby, and at least have the virtue that their meaning is clear. Everyone has to decide if they want to use actual railroad terminology or not. Heck, call it a "thing-a-ma-jig" if you like, but do realize that you are then straying away from railroad terminology. And you will be at variance with the stated policy of this list.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Greg Martin
 

Tim,
 
I believe the term for these, at least with the mechanical folks, is constant contact side bearing.
 
In the last three or fours (excuse the OT nature except for comparison)  years these have been removed and replaced by an upgrade that doesn't include the to lower rollers with needle bearing inserts.
 
Greg Martin
 
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean
 

In a message dated 2/28/2015 6:09:42 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, STMFC@... writes:
One reason is that friction bearings really do exist and are present on most
freight car trucks -- but they are NOT the same thing as journal bearings.

http://theweatheringshop.com/images/trucks4.jpg

This picture illustrates them nicely -- See those items on top of the truck
bolster about 1/4 way in from each side? Those are friction bearings. There
are corresponding parts attached to each freight car's bolsters. These bearings
prevent direct contact between the static parts of the carbody and the trucks,
as the car rocks (tilts) from side to side as it rolls down the track.

Some HO trucks replicate these bearings, but most do not. The ones shown in the
photograph above are very accurate representations. You can find them advertised
in Car Builder Cycs, since they are a wear item and are sold by third parties.

Tim O'Connor