Topics

Friction Bearings

Tony Thompson
 

Any take on this?


      No one has seriously argued that railroaders did not use the term "friction bearing," only that it was not in extensive use (and was NEVER in the Car Builders' Dictionary, the official glossary of railroad terms). There were lots of everyday "railroaders' slang terms" that are not in the CBD, and many researchers, including me, feels that rather than try to make use of sometimes inaccurate or even confusing slang, let's stick to the CBD.
      The "friction" term was naturally hammered by Timken, and no doubt many picked up on it. But regardless of occasional usage Ed has found, the CBD never included it, even as a synonym. Since there is friction in both kinds of bearings, it's a silly term anyway, and doesn't really distinguish the two kinds. Roller and plain (or solid) are simple and clear terms.

Tony Thompson



Jim Pickett
 

If you look objectively at what the term actually implies, The old bronze bearings, even with wadding and lubrication incurred a lot more friction than did roller bearings. Therefore the name, "friction bearing" is actually appropriate. If what I just said is correct, the name "Friction Bearing" would not have been used until roller (anti-friction) bearings were invented as there would be nothing to compare the older bearings to. If the term, "friction bearing" was used back in the days when they were the only type, my whole argument goes out the window.
 
Jim Pickett


On Friday, June 3, 2016 7:33 PM, "Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC]" wrote:


 
Any take on this?

      No one has seriously argued that railroaders did not use the term "friction bearing," only that it was not in extensive use (and was NEVER in the Car Builders' Dictionary, the official glossary of railroad terms). There were lots of everyday "railroaders' slang terms" that are not in the CBD, and many researchers, including me, feels that rather than try to make use of sometimes inaccurate or even confusing slang, let's stick to the CBD.
      The "friction" term was naturally hammered by Timken, and no doubt many picked up on it. But regardless of occasional usage Ed has found, the CBD never included it, even as a synonym. Since there is friction in both kinds of bearings, it's a silly term anyway, and doesn't really distinguish the two kinds. Roller and plain (or solid) are simple and clear terms.

Tony Thompson





Donald B. Valentine
 

Amen and thank you Tony. The term seems to have taken hold of model railroaders far 
more than it ever did with real railroaders and many of us, myself included, occasionally
slip up and use it.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Tony Thompson
 

Jim Pickett wrote:

 
If you look objectively at what the term actually implies, The old bronze bearings, even with wadding and lubrication incurred a lot more friction than did roller bearings. Therefore the name, "friction bearing" is actually appropriate.

        Actually, be careful with this statement. The measured frictional resistance is vanishingly small between solid and roller bearings at all speeds above about 5 miles per hour. And even starting friction, certainly distinctly higher for solid bearings, is not a huge difference for days above about 50 degrees F (if memory serves on the temperature number). Of course on really cold days the difference could get huge.
         The enormous advantage of roller bearings is not only the virtual absence of hot boxes, but the elimination of all the inspection and maintenance of solid bearings. In economic terms, this is the ball game.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Brad Smith
 

Not true. I was a real railroader and we used the term friction bearing. A common term in describing car trucks and repair of such. 

Brad Smith 

Sent from Brad's iPod

On Jun 4, 2016, at 2:52 AM, riverman_vt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

Amen and thank you Tony. The term seems to have taken hold of model railroaders far 

more than it ever did with real railroaders and many of us, myself included, occasionally
slip up and use it.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Geodyssey
 

Brad, I was just going to make the same reply, so I'll just tag on to yours.  I was in the operating (conductor, trainmaster) department and I worked with carmen & others that dealt directly with bearings.


I heard the term "soild bearing" maybe a few times.  The rest of the time it was "friction bearing".


If you, as a newbie car dept. or operation employee were to call them "solid bearings", you'd be suspected of being a "foamer".


So we have the bizzarre situation where most real railroaders use the "incorrect" term while railfans stand on the sidelines, gonna  school 'em.  (Similar to "switch" / "turnout", "engine" / "locomotive", etc.)


I've made this comment at least three times on different Yahoo groups, it never made a difference.  I fully expect non-railroader railfans to argue about this, again.  I'll keep calling them friction bearings.


Robert Simpson

ex-UP, Amtrak California, AC&J, PAR





---In STMFC@..., <corlissbs@...> wrote :

Not true. I was a real railroader and we used the term friction bearing. A common term in describing car trucks and repair of such. 

Brad Smith 

Sent from Brad's iPod

On Jun 4, 2016, at 2:52 AM, riverman_vt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

Amen and thank you Tony. The term seems to have taken hold of model railroaders far 

more than it ever did with real railroaders and many of us, myself included, occasionally
slip up and use it.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Andy Harman
 

At 09:44 AM 6/4/2016 -0700, you wrote:
Actually, be careful with this statement. The measured frictional resistance is vanishingly small between solid and roller bearings at all speeds above about 5 miles per hour.

The thing about changing technology is that often there's no special name for the old tech. It was just a "bearing". So when roller bearings came along they had to invent a marketing name for the "old bearings" that implied inferiority. Hence "friction".

Like, today what is a "light bulb"? We'll probably still be calling them that long after argon-case encased glass globes with tungsten filaments are relegated to museums. Or "digital modem", which is an oxymoron - but "modem" no longer means "MOdulator / DEModulator", it means "box between your computer and the communications network.

I suppose the term "friction bearing", whether correct or not, has the same meaning to both railroaders and model railroaders and if one is motivated to correct the terminology, then one must understand the reference. In other words, communication was successful.

There are plenty of cases where modeling terms differ from prototype terms by necessity. In that regard model builders have more in common with the car builders than with railroaders and shippers who use the cars. The "end user" of a car is concerned with its capacity and ability to do the job. Builders and modelers care about details like how many panels, riveted or welded, etc. I enjoy learning about all of these aspects. I bought my first ORER about 10 years ago, and while it contains no photos or much of anything useful to a model builder, it's invaluable for determining the service live of a specific class of equipment. If I have an undated photo, and I can find the car in the ORER I at least know something about its service life. It has come in very handy especially when modeling steam and transition era cars in my own era. I've put aside a number of models I considered too early only to discover examples in service in my era still wearing a 1947 paint scheme.

Anyway... terminology is good, especially when its understood.

Andy

richard haave
 

 I spent 40+ years on four different railroads and it was Roller Bearing or Friction Bearing on each of them.


Dick Haave

Donald B. Valentine
 




---In STMFC@..., <tony@...> wrote :

Tony Thompson wrote:

        Actually, be careful with this statement. The measured frictional resistance is vanishingly small between solid and roller bearings at all speeds above about 5 miles per hour. And even starting friction, certainly distinctly higher for solid bearings, is not a huge difference for days above about 50 degrees F (if memory serves on the temperature number). Of course on really cold days the difference could get huge.
         The enormous advantage of roller bearings is not only the virtual absence of hot boxes, but the elimination of all the inspection and maintenance of solid bearings. In economic terms, this is the ball game.


     
     Unfortunately the reduction in car inspection with the use of roller bearings also has created some problems.
As we all know, bearings, too, can and do fail, and the results are just as serious as when friction bearings fail.
And the life of bearings seems very difficult to predict. For example, my wife and I drive Volvos. I have two 1998
XC-70's and she a 2006.  One of my XC-70's clocked 300,000 earlier this year and the left front wheel bearing
began to show signs of failing. My son and I changed all of them and found another that was also beginning to 
go.  With only 115,000 in hers my wife experienced the exact same problem with her left from wheel bearing
last month. Why mine lasted for 300,000 and hers barely over a third of that someone will have to explain to me.
But the point is the same, bearings ultimately fail whether they are solid or roller and the latter sometimes are
not checked enough, seeming from the false feeling that "roller bearings last forever". We wish!

Cordially, Don Valentine


Jeffrey White
 

I am looking at IC Employee Timetable for the Chicago Champaign Districts (Illinois Division) Number 59 Effective Tuesday, December 14, 1948.  In the Special Instructions on page 21 it says this:

920. Trains shown below when handling one or more cars with friction bearing journals, will stop and make inspection as follows:

Trains Nos. 53-52-5-6 at Kankakee, Champaign and Mattoon.

Trains Nos. 19-20-21-22 at Kankakee and Gibson City.

Trains Nos. 17 and 18 at Gibson City when handled by Diesel Engines.

So at least the IC used the term "friction bearings" in their official publications.

Jeff White

Alma, IL


On 6/5/2016 3:43 AM, therrboomer@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

 I spent 40+ years on four different railroads and it was Roller Bearing or Friction Bearing on each of them.


Dick Haave


Geodyssey
 

In my RRing career (switchman to ops mgt), I may have heard the term "solid" or "plain" bearing two or three times.  Car dept and C&Es called them friction bearings pretty much exclusively. "Friction bearing" was/is in extensive use. (but what do real railroaders know?)


Unless the car dept was ordering parts from a vendor, I can't think of why they would say "solid bearing".


Why should we "stick to the CBD" & a railfan term?  Who made them "official" arbiters of railroad terminology?


If you went to work as a newbie carman and used the term "solid bearing", they would suspect you of being a foamer.  (Same with turnout / switch), but that's for another thread).


I'm sure my comment will have no effect, most railfans will keep using the term "solid bearings".


Robert Simpson

ex-UP, Amtrak California, AC&J, PAR




---In STMFC@..., <tony@...> wrote :

Any take on this?


      No one has seriously argued that railroaders did not use the term "friction bearing," only that it was not in extensive use (and was NEVER in the Car Builders' Dictionary, the official glossary of railroad terms). There were lots of everyday "railroaders' slang terms" that are not in the CBD, and many researchers, including me, feels that rather than try to make use of sometimes inaccurate or even confusing slang, let's stick to the CBD.
      The "friction" term was naturally hammered by Timken, and no doubt many picked up on it. But regardless of occasional usage Ed has found, the CBD never included it, even as a synonym. Since there is friction in both kinds of bearings, it's a silly term anyway, and doesn't really distinguish the two kinds. Roller and plain (or solid) are simple and clear terms.

Tony Thompson



Timothy Sostak
 

Please remove this email from your group.


On Sunday, June 5, 2016 11:35 AM, "Jeffrey White jrwhite@... [STMFC]" wrote:


 
I am looking at IC Employee Timetable for the Chicago Champaign Districts (Illinois Division) Number 59 Effective Tuesday, December 14, 1948.  In the Special Instructions on page 21 it says this:
920. Trains shown below when handling one or more cars with friction bearing journals, will stop and make inspection as follows:
Trains Nos. 53-52-5-6 at Kankakee, Champaign and Mattoon.
Trains Nos. 19-20-21-22 at Kankakee and Gibson City.
Trains Nos. 17 and 18 at Gibson City when handled by Diesel Engines.
So at least the IC used the term "friction bearings" in their official publications.
Jeff White
Alma, IL

On 6/5/2016 3:43 AM, therrboomer@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
 I spent 40+ years on four different railroads and it was Roller Bearing or Friction Bearing on each of them.

Dick Haave



Nelson Moyer <ku0a@...>
 

Robert, you can add the CB&Q term ‘motors’ when  referring to diesel locomotives. In Q parlance, they were all motors. As for steam locomotives, they were engines.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2016 10:18 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Friction Bearings

 

 

Brad, I was just going to make the same reply, so I'll just tag on to yours.  I was in the operating (conductor, trainmaster) department and I worked with carmen & others that dealt directly with bearings.

I heard the term "soild bearing" maybe a few times.  The rest of the time it was "friction bearing".

If you, as a newbie car dept. or operation employee were to call them "solid bearings", you'd be suspected of being a "foamer".

So we have the bizzarre situation where most real railroaders use the "incorrect" term while railfans stand on the sidelines, gonna  school 'em.  (Similar to "switch" / "turnout", "engine" / "locomotive", etc.)

I've made this comment at least three times on different Yahoo groups, it never made a difference.  I fully expect non-railroader railfans to argue about this, again.  I'll keep calling them friction bearings.

Robert Simpson

ex-UP, Amtrak California, AC&J, PAR

Tony Thompson
 

Robert Simpson wrote:

 
Why should we "stick to the CBD" & a railfan term?  Who made them "official" arbiters of railroad terminology?

     Actually, like the entire Car Builders' Cyclopedia, as it says on the title page, "compiled and edited for the Association of American Railroads – Mechanical Division," and the editorial work was done by people from Railway Age, supervised by an AAR Advisory Committee.
      Sorry, Mr. Simpson, the CBD terns are not railfan terms. And the title page info tells you who made them the "official" arbiters. 
      Numerous railroaders have told me, "we always called it a roofwalk." Maybe so, but that term appears in no CBD. Instead, it is always "running board." It is quite interesting what working railroaders called things, and I don't mean to disparage working language. But if we are going to settle on preferred terms, I think using the language chosen by Railway Age and supervised by the AAR is entirely suitable.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Jon Miller
 

On 6/6/2016 8:42 AM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] wrote:
Numerous railroaders have told me, "we always called it a roofwalk." Maybe so, but that term appears in no CBD. Instead, it is always "running board."

    I think in the era we are working in that the brakeman (or whoever was up there) was running, not walking, hence the term.  There are most likely pictures to support this! GRIN

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

Greg Martin
 

Robert Simpson wrote:

 
Why should we "stick to the CBD" & a railfan term?  Who made them "official" arbiters of railroad terminology?
And Tony Thompson replies:

 
     Actually, like the entire Car Builders' Cyclopedia, as it says on the title page, "compiled and edited for the Association of American Railroads – Mechanical Division," and the editorial work was done by people from Railway Age, supervised by an AAR Advisory Committee.
      Sorry, Mr. Simpson, the CBD terns are not railfan terms. And the title page info tells you who made them the "official" arbiters. 
      Numerous railroaders have told me, "we always called it a roofwalk." Maybe so, but that term appears in no CBD. Instead, it is always "running board." It is quite interesting what working railroaders called things, and I don't mean to disparage working language. But if we are going to settle on preferred terms, I think using the language chosen by Railway Age and supervised by the AAR is entirely suitable.

Tony Thompson 
 
 
I want to follow Tony's suggestion, being the good student. For the most part I do but my bad habits get in the way, like when I use the term "Keystone on the Ball" or "Ball Keystone" which I believe to have been a "shop term" on the PRR as that is what I recall from those I knew that worked in the shops in Conway, PA growing up and it stuck. But there is no supporting or little supporting documentation for the terms. Circle Keystone seems to be less descriptive than the other two, but I use Circle Keystone for the most part for the damned Ball Keystone emblem thingie...  3^)
 
The one term that I detest the most is the use of "Hat Section" and I am not sure of where it comes from or if it was in the CBC or not, but the steel industry term for this piece of shaped metal is Round Edged Flanged Channel or REFC. I have been reminded that, "who cares what the steel industry calls it the railroads called it Hat Section". I haven't seen a reference cited, but I stick to my standards and don't call it hat section.
 
The point is there are likely several terms for a thingie...  The slang term often prevails even if it is a corruption of the word, like "irregardless" (even now my spell checker wants to change it) but our culture excepts it either way and often with correction... "Schools in" and we should follow the correct term to the best of our abilities.
 
Greg Martin
 
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean 
 

BRIAN PAUL EHNI
 

Just because you call something a “thingamabob” doesn’t mean that’s the correct name for it.





Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni



From: STMFC List <STMFC@...> on behalf of STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Date: Monday, June 6, 2016 at 10:42 AM
To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Friction Bearings





Robert Simpson wrote:





Why should we "stick to the CBD" & a railfan term? Who made them "official" arbiters of railroad terminology?



Actually, like the entire Car Builders' Cyclopedia, as it says on the title page, "compiled and edited for the Association of American Railroads – Mechanical Division," and the editorial work was done by people from Railway Age, supervised by an AAR Advisory Committee.

Sorry, Mr. Simpson, the CBD terns are not railfan terms. And the title page info tells you who made them the "official" arbiters.

Numerous railroaders have told me, "we always called it a roofwalk." Maybe so, but that term appears in no CBD. Instead, it is always "running board." It is quite interesting what working railroaders called things, and I don't mean to disparage working language. But if we are going to settle on preferred terms, I think using the language chosen by Railway Age and supervised by the AAR is entirely suitable.



Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...

Publishers of books on railroad history













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

Brad Smith
 

On the MILW, it was a "running board".  Different roads had different terms for things.
 
Brad Smith

Randy Hees
 

The original car-builder's dictionary(s) (CBD) were created at least in part, to create a formal name for railroad car parts and assemblies, so the accountants would know what they were paying for, when being billed by another railroad for off line repairs to a car in interchange. An accountant would not realize that a roof walk board was the same as a running board... they needed consistent terms.

The terms found in the CBD are truly the official, railroad vetted terms...  local terms are fine, but they were not official...

Personally, I really dislike the term friction bearing, in part because it was invented by Timkin's sales department, as a way of disparaging the older solid bearings.   It is not a railroad vetted term... its something a salesman would use... Railroad personel did pick it up and use it, but it is still a salesman's term... Before the invention and marketing of roller bearings, the bearing on a railroad car axle was a "journal bearing" ... which did not specific what kind of bearing since there was only one style in use...

Randy Hees


Tony Thompson
 

Randy Hees wrote:

 
Before the invention and marketing of roller bearings, the bearing on a railroad car axle was a "journal bearing" ... which did not specific what kind of bearing since there was only one style in use…

      Actually, Randy, the term "journal bearing" simply refers to any bearing that rides on an axle journal (as you can find defined not only in the CBD but in any mechanical engineering reference). Since that is how most railroad wheel bearings are arranged, BOTH plain and roller bearings are journal bearings. So you are right that before roller bearings, plain bearings were called "journal bearings," but in later years they continued to be so described, as were roller bearings. The name refers to the place the bearing works, not to the bearing itself.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history