Topics

Stupid hand brake question

Peter Ness
 

I know I should know the answer to this, but I don't.  I am sure the collective group will devise an appropriate punishment for my utter lack of knowledge.

Question: for flat cars equipped with a drop staff hand brakes, would the staff be in the lowered position while the car is in a train? I am asking because I don't see that once a car is in a consist that anyone is going to have to set the hand brake and I am not aware of any requirement for correct function of the brake while in consist, that the hand brake must be in the raised position.

OK - punishment can be assigned, but please provide an answer.

Thanks,
Peter Ness 

Dennis Storzek
 

Hey, it's work to lower the brake staff. The brakes were usually in the up position, unless there was some reason (such as interference with the load).  Since the hand brake was otherwise required to be operative for switching and spotting the car, I suspect a lowered hand brake was a defect that the car men were required to remedy when they inspected the train... Anyone know? At any rate, most photos of flatcars in trains show them in the up position.

Dennis Storzek

spsalso
 

So, kind of paraphrasing what's been said:

If a brake wheel was lowered, it was raised the first time someone needed to use it.  And it stayed that way until there was a reason to lower it.

The implication here is that ya can't use the brake wheel in a lowered position.  Is that true?  I don't see how it could be, because what d'ya do if you need to park a flat with a long load?


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Tim O'Connor
 

and just to muddy the waters a bit... :-)

Hey, it's work to lower the brake staff. The brakes were usually in the up position, unless there was some reason (such as interference with the load). Since the hand brake was otherwise required to be operative for switching and spotting the car, I suspect a lowered hand brake was a defect that the car men were required to remedy when they inspected the train... Anyone know? At any rate, most photos of flatcars in trains show them in the up position.

Dennis Storzek
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

Tim O'Connor
 


If the load hung over the end of the car, there probably was an "idler" car, and
that car's hand brake could be used to anchor the loaded car.

More typical would be a load that needed access from the end of the car, so the brake
staff would be only be lowered while the car was being loaded and/or unloaded.

Tim



The implication here is that ya can't use the brake wheel in a lowered position.  Is that true?  I don't see how it could be, because what d'ya do if you need to park a flat with a long load?
Edward Sutorik

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Peter Ness
 

Thanks all.

 

OK – so my understanding is correct in so far as when on hand brake wheel is lowered it is non-operational.  

 

Tim – the side-drop wheel doesn’t muddy the water too much, but it doesn’t count J

 

Other comments that when raised for use it stay raised, on idler flats could be used to anchor the over dimension load when parked..

 

Dennis made the interesting observation;

The brakes were usually in the up position, unless there was some reason (such as interference with the load).  

 

This is exactly what prompted my  question; The New Haven had a couple series of 40’ TOFC flat cars. I’m using the Chad Boas kit to build one series. These cars had full aprons at one end, the drop staff hand brake wheel at the other. When the apron was dropped for circus style loading, it rested on the end of the deck of the car in front – so the hand brake wheel was lowered for clearance.

 

I am guessing the empty cars were moved to the end of the loading ramp,  hand brakes set, hand brake wheel lowered, the aprons dropped, cars loaded, aprons raised and hand brake wheel raised and brakes released when ready to move into consist.

That’s my guess.

 

Not always, but many times the cars were in a solid block, and they were the only car type at a loading ramp, so the thought had crossed my mind; maybe only the hand brake on the last car had to be raised and the brake on that car set for loading or unloading.  But I am guessing either this was not allowed by rule or one set brake on one flat car would not be sufficient to withstand the loading and unloading forces for safety.

 

The reason I ask the question: all my photos are of individual cars setting on track somewhere, no photos of any in a train that is not in a yard.  So all photos of cars with hand brakes in raised position.

 

Regards,

Peter Ness

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2018 5:08 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Stupid hand brake question

 


If the load hung over the end of the car, there probably was an "idler" car, and
that car's hand brake could be used to anchor the loaded car.

More typical would be a load that needed access from the end of the car, so the brake
staff would be only be lowered while the car was being loaded and/or unloaded.

Tim




The implication here is that ya can't use the brake wheel in a lowered position.  Is that true?  I don't see how it could be, because what d'ya do if you need to park a flat with a long load?
Edward Sutorik


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

David Soderblom
 

The photo of a rotated brake wheel is, I would say, for a very non-typical car because it has a wood end sill. I’m guessing a narrow gauge car, but I abso-posilutely guarantee that cars in the time period of this group did NOT have wood end sills. The relative dimensions also suggest narrow gauge.



David Soderblom
Baltimore MD USA
drs@...

Dennis Storzek
 

On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 02:48 PM, Peter Ness wrote:
it rested on the end of the deck of the car in front – so the hand brake wheel was lowered for clearance.
And in such location was inoperative. The ARA/AAR rules required operative hand brakes on all cars, so this was a defect that needed to be remedied before the train left the yard. Likewise with the style where the staff slid straight down so the wheel was flat on the deck, or in a notch provided for it; in this position it lacked the required 4" hand clearance, so again was a defective hand brake.

While they might not occur often, there are situations when multiple hand brakes are needed on the road; to hold the train in the event of switching to set out a car, possibly a bad order car; or in the event of a break-in-two. They were on the cars for more than just a parking brake.

Tim's example looks like a special purpose logging flat.

Dennis Storzek

Tim O'Connor
 

standard gauge (Washington, Idaho & Montana Railroad)

The photo of a rotated brake wheel is, I would say, for a very non-typical car because it has a wood end sill. I’m guessing a narrow gauge car, but I abso-posilutely guarantee that cars in the time period of this group did NOT have wood end sills. The relative dimensions also suggest narrow gauge.

David Soderblom
Baltimore MD USA
drs@...
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

Ralph W. Brown
 

Hi Tim,

In what timeframe would that have been?

Pax,


Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532

rbrown51[at]maine[dot]rr[dot]com

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:36 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Stupid hand brake question


standard gauge (Washington, Idaho & Montana Railroad)



The photo of a rotated brake wheel is, I would say, for a very non-typical car because it has a wood end sill. I’m guessing a narrow gauge car, but I abso-posilutely guarantee that cars in the time period of this group did NOT have wood end sills. The relative dimensions also suggest narrow gauge.

David Soderblom
Baltimore MD USA
drs@...


--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

David,

The Sacramento Northern still rostered a few revenue-service flats and gondolas with wooden end sills into the 1950s. Don't forget that MW equipment even on larger railroads might have wooden end sills.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

On 10/4/18 5:56 PM, David Soderblom wrote:
The photo of a rotated brake wheel is, I would say, for a very non-typical car because it has a wood end sill.  I’m guessing a narrow gauge car, but I abso-posilutely guarantee that cars in the time period of this group did NOT have wood end sills.  The relative dimensions also suggest narrow gauge.



David Soderblom
Baltimore MD USA
drs@...









Peter Ness
 

Thanks for the clarity and ARA/AAR reference, Dennis.

 

Question answered!

 

Peter Ness

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:35 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Stupid hand brake question

 

On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 02:48 PM, Peter Ness wrote:

it rested on the end of the deck of the car in front – so the hand brake wheel was lowered for clearance.

And in such location was inoperative. The ARA/AAR rules required operative hand brakes on all cars, so this was a defect that needed to be remedied before the train left the yard. Likewise with the style where the staff slid straight down so the wheel was flat on the deck, or in a notch provided for it; in this position it lacked the required 4" hand clearance, so again was a defective hand brake.

While they might not occur often, there are situations when multiple hand brakes are needed on the road; to hold the train in the event of switching to set out a car, possibly a bad order car; or in the event of a break-in-two. They were on the cars for more than just a parking brake.

Tim's example looks like a special purpose logging flat.

Dennis Storzek

Bruce Smith
 

Peter,

I’m just going to make two quick points.

I don’t know how it was dealt with under “the rules” but when loads required that the handbrake wheel be removed (F22 gun flats with a gun barrel load, for example), or dropped for clearance, those loads were allowed on the railroad and were interchanged, so cars with “inoperative” hand brakes were in fact allowed. Note that the train brakes (air) still worked, so the issue was in how the car might be “parked”. It is absolutely acceptable for these cars to be seen in trains with the brake wheel dropped or removed and they were interchanged in such condition. No doubt some sort of documentation traveled with the car.  Note the attached photo of PRR 925532 carrying the muzzle end of a 16”, 50 cal, mark 2 naval rifle, taken in Baltimore in January 1941. The brake wheel has been dismounted and can be seen between this car and the idle for the barrel end.

The type of brake shaft that Tim posted, that rotated to the side, was one solution to this issue as you will note that it was functional in either the vertical or horizontal position. Such brakes were seen on a number of steel flat cars and gondolas from class 1 railroads.

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, Al

On Oct 5, 2018, at 6:31 AM, Peter Ness <prness@...> wrote:

Thanks for the clarity and ARA/AAR reference, Dennis.
 
Question answered!
 
Peter Ness 
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:35 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Stupid hand brake question
 
On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 02:48 PM, Peter Ness wrote:
it rested on the end of the deck of the car in front – so the hand brake wheel was lowered for clearance.
And in such location was inoperative. The ARA/AAR rules required operative hand brakes on all cars, so this was a defect that needed to be remedied before the train left the yard. Likewise with the style where the staff slid straight down so the wheel was flat on the deck, or in a notch provided for it; in this position it lacked the required 4" hand clearance, so again was a defective hand brake.

While they might not occur often, there are situations when multiple hand brakes are needed on the road; to hold the train in the event of switching to set out a car, possibly a bad order car; or in the event of a break-in-two. They were on the cars for more than just a parking brake.

Tim's example looks like a special purpose logging flat.

Dennis Storzek 


Guy Wilber
 

On Oct 4, 2018, at 1:40 PM, Dennis wrote:

“Since the hand brake was otherwise required to be operative for switching and spotting the car, I suspect a lowered hand brake was a defect that the car men were required to remedy when they inspected the train... Anyone know?”

Open Top Loading Rules (circa 1910-1960) ~ Figure 2 of the General Rules:

“In the loading and hauling of long commodities requiring more than one car, hand brakes may be omitted on all save one of the cars while they are thus combined for such purpose. (See order of The Commission dated June 6, 1910 of The current edition of the US Safety Appliances.)”

“Brake wheel clearance should be increased as much as consistent with the current load.”


The first sentence is verbatim from The Safety Appliance Act, 1910.

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada

Dennis Storzek
 

On Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 05:39 AM, Bruce Smith wrote:
The brake wheel has been dismounted and can be seen between this car and the idle for the barrel end.
I don't think anyone has argued that a loaded car with a load that required the removal or dropping if the hand brake couldn't be moved... but note that in your example the car is permanently coupled (safety chains in addition to the couplers) to the idler car(s) which did retain an operable hand brake, so each coupled unit still had a hand brake. This is different from the situation Peter describes with the NH piggyback operation in two ways: 1) the hand brakes needed to be lowered only for loading, but COULD be raised for transit, and 2) not doing so could conceivably leave the entire consist with no operable hand brakes. It is my contention that in this instance, sine once loaded the load didn't interfere with the normal operation of the hand brakes, they needed to be raised.

Dennis Storzek

Guy Wilber
 

On Oct 5, 2018, at 7:57 AM, Dennis wrote:

“I don't think anyone has argued that a loaded car with a load that required the removal or dropping if the hand brake couldn't be moved... but note that in your example the car is permanently coupled (safety chains in addition to the couplers) to the idler car(s) which did retain an operable hand brake, so each coupled unit still had a hand brake.”

My previous note covers this, I clipped the wrong message.

You mention chains...I don’t see them within this photo. Last week you mentioned chaining as being required by the MCBA, ARA and AAR. Prior to the Type “D” coupler and advancement of underframe regulations chaining cars for long loads (double or triple) was a requirement though by the late 1800’s the loading rules were revised to show chaining as “optional”. Blocking the couplers to take out the draft gear slack and disabling the uncoupling mechanism were requirements (throughout the timeframe if this list) for cars used in double or triple loads.

In 1920 the ARA removed any and all references to Safety Chains within The Manual Of Standard and Recommended Practice, The Open Top Loading Rules and The Interchange Rules:

“Safety Chains or Temporary Chains for Carrying Double Loads. — Inasmuch as the Rules Of Interchange have automatically eliminated the necessity for such recommended practice, this item has no value at present. It has therefore been dropped with the approval of The General Committee.”

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada

Dennis Storzek
 

Thanks Guy. I knew there was a requirement for idlers to be chained to loads at one time, and didn't recall when it was dropper, replaced by the requirement that the uncoupling devises be made inoperative. Point remains, however, either requirement unifies the load and idler(s) into a single unit, which does have an operable hand brake.

Dennis Storzek

Guy Wilber
 

Dennis wrote:

“Point remains, however, either requirement unifies the load and idler(s) into a single unit, which does have an operable hand brake.”

We are in full agreement!

Guy Wilber
Colfax, California