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Janney couplers full and 3/4 size


Andy Carlson
 

Hello-

For years I have had an understanding that the use of Janney style of safety couplers in narrow gauge RRs consisted of either standard gauge sizes, such as on the D&RGW narrow gauge equipment, or 3/4 size such as many of the Carter Brothers freight and passenger cars for use in California. Considering few, if any, California narrow gauge RRs interchanged, coupler size was only important if the whole fleet were set up the same.

I have been trying to verify my ideas by internet searches, and I have come up zero for any answers to my questions.

So my idea that Colorado Narrow Gauge fleets were equipped with standard sized couplers and California's lines were mostly 3/4 sized be confirmed? I know that a Western RR, the 3' gauge Nevada California & Oregon, acquired several cars and locomotives from the Florence & Cripple Creek RR, a Colorado 3' gauge line. Did these cars require swapping reduced couplers to be used on the NCO, or were both standard coupler sized already? Of most importance to me is to answer which sized couplers were in use by the mid-coast California narrow gauge railroad, the Pacific Coast Ry.

Any help is appreciated, and, btw, happy 4th!

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA


Richard Wilkens
 

Andy,

You might post your question on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum:

http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/list.php?1

Rich Wilkens


Randy Hees
 

As you suggested, most (all?) California and Nevada narrow gauge lines used 3/4 size knuckle couplers (if they used knuckles).  The exception being the NCO, which purchased used cars from the F&CC which came with full size (size D) couplers.  For a short period of time the NCO converted one end of the "new" cars to 3/4 size and ran them in pairs.  The Pacific Coast Ry used 3/4 size.

Of course, the Carter Brothers, who closed their factory in Newark CA installed link and pin draw heads on the cars they built (passenger cars were mostly equipped with Miller Couplers).  Knuckles were fitted to the cars later by the various railroads.  The SP owned Carson & Colorado used SAM "safety link & pin" couplers during the Tonopah boom, and the F&CC cars were equipped with SAMs when built.

Randy Hees


Nick Gully
 

Not all of Colorado was full size couplers.
The Colorado & Southern, Colorado & North Western, used 3/4 size couplers.
The Florence & Cripple Creek and Uintah Ry did as well I think.

My guess would be that the Rio Grande was either too cheap to order NG-only couplers, or was dealing with large coal trains over Marshall Pass and wanted a stronger knuckle.

Best Regards,
 Nick Gully


Dennis Storzek
 

On Fri, Jul 5, 2019 at 11:42 AM, Randy Hees wrote:
The exception being the NCO, which purchased used cars from the F&CC which came with full size (size D) couplers.
That reference to ARA Type D couplers adds more confusion, because the Type D, and all other couplers designed around the ARA No.10 knuckle contour were actually bigger than what would be a "full size" coupler in the context of the turn of the century when the narrow gauge cars were built. The Type D was 12" from the pulling face to the back of the striker horn, whereas the couplers that used the MCB contour were typically 9-1/4", yet in their day these MCB couplers were "full size". The ARA No.10 contour was also shaped different than the older MCB contour, but designed to work with it.

That being said, back in that day the foundries did offer couplers that were proportionally smaller versions of that contour, both 3/4 size and 1/2 size, the later used on mine cars and the like. The 3/4 size found some favor with various narrow gauge lines, and were indeed non-compatible with the "full size" version, as evidenced by this East Broad Top car used around the coal prep plant that is set up to couple with cars of either gauge:

EBT adapter car

Dennis Storzek


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Could you explain what the SAM “safety link & pin” coupler is/was?

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Randy Hees
Sent: Friday, July 05, 2019 2:43 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Janney couplers full and 3/4 size

 

As you suggested, most (all?) California and Nevada narrow gauge lines used 3/4 size knuckle couplers (if they used knuckles).  The exception being the NCO, which purchased used cars from the F&CC which came with full size (size D) couplers.  For a short period of time the NCO converted one end of the "new" cars to 3/4 size and ran them in pairs.  The Pacific Coast Ry used 3/4 size.

Of course, the Carter Brothers, who closed their factory in Newark CA installed link and pin draw heads on the cars they built (passenger cars were mostly equipped with Miller Couplers).  Knuckles were fitted to the cars later by the various railroads.  The SP owned Carson & Colorado used SAM "safety link & pin" couplers during the Tonopah boom, and the F&CC cars were equipped with SAMs when built.

Randy Hees