Topics

Unusual trucks on gon in American Smelting photo


spsalso
 

In the first American Smelting photo, from the group that Paul Krueger so kindly posted (message #171547):

https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b14180/ 

there is a gon, three cars to the right of the KCS vinegar car.  It has sheet metal trucks.  I would call them Fox, but I see that they have a longish wheelbase.

It seems odd to me that sheet metal trucks would be running at this date.  The car appears to be Union Pacific.  To me.

I wonder at the thoughts in this group on the matter.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Edward,

There were other brands of pressed steel trucks besides Fox. Cloud comes to mind, and I think Pressed Steel Car Co. had a proprietary design (along with pressed steel archbars). IIRC, Fox trucks were actually an English invention (per Richard Hendrickson). Fox trucks with a wheelbase of about 3 1/2 feet were, and I believe still are, used under some Festiniog Railway passenger carriages.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff 🦆

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 10:47 AM spsalso via groups.io <Edwardsutorik=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
In the first American Smelting photo, from the group that Paul Krueger so kindly posted (message #171547):

https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b14180/ 

there is a gon, three cars to the right of the KCS vinegar car.  It has sheet metal trucks.  I would call them Fox, but I see that they have a longish wheelbase.

It seems odd to me that sheet metal trucks would be running at this date.  The car appears to be Union Pacific.  To me.

I wonder at the thoughts in this group on the matter.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


spsalso
 

Garth,

Thanks.  

I did look through my limited resources, but did not find anything that looked like "it".  Besides the apparent long wheelbase, it seems that the bottom edge of the sheet metal is lower than on other sheet metal trucks.

Two things, to me, are of interest:  what is this truck, and why is it running in 1938

This car appears to be being used in a train in mainline service.

I thought sheet metal trucks were long gone by this time.  


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Dave Parker
 

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 09:03 AM, spsalso wrote:
I thought sheet metal trucks were long gone by this time.  
To my knowledge, Fox trucks, and similar pressed steel (or built up) trucks were never banished from interchange.  They slowly disappeared, probably because they were all on older cars with K brakes for which railroads chose not to invest in any rebuilding. 
 
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


spsalso
 

Scaling from the photo, I get a wheelbase of 6'-9".  Like I said, seems pretty long for a freight car.

I think built-up arch bar trucks were outlawed in interchange between 1938 and 1941.

It could be argued that this car, which I take to be UP, is on home road tracks, and not interchanging.  Possible.  But the train itself does appear to be otherwise made up of cars that would interchange.  The load looks like scrap, likely steel.  If it stayed on home rails, where would the scrap be delivered?

Nevertheless, the trucks are under the car.  It's carrying a load.  It doesn't look like it's in MOW service.

And the trucks are interesting.

TWO interesting cars in one train in one picture.  Neat.  Might be more.


Ed

Edward Sutorik




Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Friends,

Somewhere there is a close-up photo of these UP gondolas being loaded at a coal tipple. I seem to remember that Richard Hendrickson posted it back on the old Yahoo group. Does it jar any memories?

If it is the same car, I believe these were 46' IL with drop bottoms, and were intended for coal service.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆



On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 1:21 PM spsalso via groups.io <Edwardsutorik=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Scaling from the photo, I get a wheelbase of 6'-9".  Like I said, seems pretty long for a freight car.

I think built-up arch bar trucks were outlawed in interchange between 1938 and 1941.

It could be argued that this car, which I take to be UP, is on home road tracks, and not interchanging.  Possible.  But the train itself does appear to be otherwise made up of cars that would interchange.  The load looks like scrap, likely steel.  If it stayed on home rails, where would the scrap be delivered?

Nevertheless, the trucks are under the car.  It's carrying a load.  It doesn't look like it's in MOW service.

And the trucks are interesting.

TWO interesting cars in one train in one picture.  Neat.  Might be more.


Ed

Edward Sutorik




Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 11:02 AM, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford wrote:
Somewhere there is a close-up photo of these UP gondolas being loaded at a coal tipple. I seem to remember that Richard Hendrickson posted it back on the old Yahoo group. Does it jar any memories?
 
If it is the same car, I believe these were 46' IL with drop bottoms, and were intended for coal service.
 
Do you have any idea who built those cars? Somewhere deep in the recesses of my memory (or what's left of it) I recall that Barney & Smith had a fabricated plate passenger car truck, that from the side looked like a section of fabricated I beam with journal boxes poking through slots. B&S also built freight cars. What I can't recall is if they also tried a freight version, but if so, this is pretty much what it would look like. Unfortunately, there is only one book on Barney & Smith, and I don't own it; I read a borrowed copy.

Dennis Storzek


Tony Thompson
 

Garth Groff  wrote:
Somewhere there is a close-up photo of these UP gondolas being loaded at a coal tipple. I seem to remember that Richard Hendrickson posted it back on the old Yahoo group. Does it jar any memories?

    Garth, do you mean the photos of both SP and UP gondolas being loaded with ballast at Black Butte, California? It includes UP 25218, built in 1903 with the Standard Steel Car Co. version of the Fox-like trucks. It is included in my Volume 1 on gondolas in the series _Southern Pacific Freight Cars_ on page 73.  On page 69 of that volume are two Standard Steel builder photos of such UP gondolas, from Keith Retterer.

Tony Thompson




spsalso
 

I've got Tony's book, and those cars surely look the same as the one in the picture of interest.

I'm pretty confident in my scaling from the photo.  I found the center of the car, and measured to the inside end.  I also measured the spacing of the journal boxes.  Using the known dimension of 20' from the center to the end, I came up with approximately 6 3/4 feet.  Which is interesting, because the photos in Tony's book show trucks that appear to have more typical spacing of probably 5' - 6".  Strange.

UP 25218 has 164 brothers in the series 25000-25296 in the January 1939 ORER.  So, about half were still running.  I wonder how many of those had their original trucks.  For that matter, I wonder how many other sheet-metal trucks were running then.

Thank you, all, for considering my questions, 


Ed

Edward Sutorik


John Riddell
 

36’ truss-rod boxcar QRL&P No. 1119 rode on fox trucks until at least October 1952. The ORER does not indicate that it is  restricted from interchange. A color photo of November 12, 1950  is on page 5 of the CN Color Guide book by Morning Sun.

 

John Riddell

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


Dennis Storzek
 

Further discussion tickled the gray cells. Here is a photo of a boxcar built by the Pressed Steel Car Co. in 1901 for the Iowa Central that has similar trucks:
https://www.midcontinent.org/equipment-roster/wooden-freight-cars/minneapolis-st-louis-4570/

Dennis Storzek


Dave Parker
 

I have never seen or heard of a conventional freight truck with a wheelbase in excess of 6 feet.  Express trucks, sure.  But, freight trucks?

The 1901 IC car looks to my eye to have good old Fox trucks, probably the 40-t, 5-6 wheelbase variety.  Since it was built by PSC, that would make sense.  [IIRC, there was also a shorter, 30-t Fox, but the sideframe was somewhat different in shape].
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Dennis,

No I don't know anything more about them than what I remember from the photograph. I'm pretty sure it was shared on an earlier version of this group, and might be in some archive. That's not something I want to undertake, especially with out painfully slow DSL connection.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 3:00 PM Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:
On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 11:02 AM, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford wrote:
Somewhere there is a close-up photo of these UP gondolas being loaded at a coal tipple. I seem to remember that Richard Hendrickson posted it back on the old Yahoo group. Does it jar any memories?
 
If it is the same car, I believe these were 46' IL with drop bottoms, and were intended for coal service.
 
Do you have any idea who built those cars? Somewhere deep in the recesses of my memory (or what's left of it) I recall that Barney & Smith had a fabricated plate passenger car truck, that from the side looked like a section of fabricated I beam with journal boxes poking through slots. B&S also built freight cars. What I can't recall is if they also tried a freight version, but if so, this is pretty much what it would look like. Unfortunately, there is only one book on Barney & Smith, and I don't own it; I read a borrowed copy.

Dennis Storzek


spsalso
 

I agree that the wheelbase length I got is very strange.  If someone would care to examine the (American Smelting) photo and tell me where I went wrong, I'd surely like to hear.  I would prefer to be wrong, because it's the simplest solution.

It was a simple case of measuring the length of a known dimension (half of the IL) and measuring the wheelbase length in the photo, and doing a ratio.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Tony,

No, that's not the photo I saw. The car in the photo I remember pretty much filled the entire frame. Good call though. This might be the same class.

Yours Aye,


Garth  🦆

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 3:09 PM Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:
Garth Groff  wrote:
Somewhere there is a close-up photo of these UP gondolas being loaded at a coal tipple. I seem to remember that Richard Hendrickson posted it back on the old Yahoo group. Does it jar any memories?

    Garth, do you mean the photos of both SP and UP gondolas being loaded with ballast at Black Butte, California? It includes UP 25218, built in 1903 with the Standard Steel Car Co. version of the Fox-like trucks. It is included in my Volume 1 on gondolas in the series _Southern Pacific Freight Cars_ on page 73.  On page 69 of that volume are two Standard Steel builder photos of such UP gondolas, from Keith Retterer.

Tony Thompson




Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 03:33 PM, spsalso wrote:
I agree that the wheelbase length I got is very strange.  If someone would care to examine the (American Smelting) photo and tell me where I went wrong, I'd surely like to hear.  I would prefer to be wrong, because it's the simplest solution.

It was a simple case of measuring the length of a known dimension (half of the IL) and measuring the wheelbase length in the photo, and doing a ratio.
I went about it a different way... I downloaded the high res TIF, blew the area up, and reasoning that at that distance the adjacent hopper car is essentially the same distance from the camera, simply used a caliper to compare the wheelbase to the T section Bettendorf trucks on the hopper. They are essentially the same. Possible explanation for your results: 1) what you thought was the center wasn't, or 2) the gon is 40 feet long rather than 46.

Dennis Storzek


spsalso
 

Dennis,

I just did the same, twice; and I agree.  A very reasonable alternate method.

1.)  I decided the center of the car was halfway between the inner wheelsets.

2.)  I used the length of 40', as in the ORER.

And I ran my calcs again (twice), and got the same dimension (6 3/4').  In this case:  (20 x 3.3) / 9.5 = 6.9


Ah, well.  'Tis a puzzlement.

Thanks,


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 08:46 PM, spsalso wrote:
And I ran my calcs again (twice), and got the same dimension (6 3/4').  In this case:  (20 x 3.3) / 9.5 = 6.9
Ed,
Don't let it get you down. I replicated your methodology and came up with a truck wheelbase slightly over 6-1/2 feet, and also really can't explain why.  Two things come to mind:

The journals and faces of the wheels aren't actually in the same plane as the car sides.

The car isn't square to the focal plane of the camera, as evidenced by the apparent angle of the car end

But I can't see how either of those would cause that much error. It remains a mystery.

Dennis Storzek


spsalso
 

Dennis,

Thanks for doing a test-run on my process.  Of course, the result would imply that the adjacent truck on the hopper would also have a 6' - 6" wheelbase, since you demonstrated that they match.

While the journals, wheel faces, and car sides aren't in the same plane, they're pretty close in this picture.  I'm guessing the car is at least 500' from the photographer.  The difference in distance from the car side to the wheel face is 2 1/2 feet.  So the "correction factor" would be .005.

And the car angle isn't so far off that the proportions of the dimensions of interest would not still be linear.  I think.  As the "length" of the car side shrinks with rotation, so does the "length" of the wheelbase.  Proportionally.

My continued re-examination of this photo has revealed to me a steam locomotive cab, in the foreground, that appears to be used for a warm-weather break room (no heat, covered windows).  And judging by the remaining snow, warm weather is still in the future.

A wonderful photograph.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Steve and Barb Hile
 

Even the scrap is interesting.  Truck side frames and a pile of Bettendorf center sills!
 
Steve Hile



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of spsalso via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 11:11 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Unusual trucks on gon in American Smelting photo

Dennis,

Thanks for doing a test-run on my process.  Of course, the result would imply that the adjacent truck on the hopper would also have a 6' - 6" wheelbase, since you demonstrated that they match.

While the journals, wheel faces, and car sides aren't in the same plane, they're pretty close in this picture.  I'm guessing the car is at least 500' from the photographer.  The difference in distance from the car side to the wheel face is 2 1/2 feet.  So the "correction factor" would be .005.

And the car angle isn't so far off that the proportions of the dimensions of interest would not still be linear.  I think.  As the "length" of the car side shrinks with rotation, so does the "length" of the wheelbase.  Proportionally.

My continued re-examination of this photo has revealed to me a steam locomotive cab, in the foreground, that appears to be used for a warm-weather break room (no heat, covered windows).  And judging by the remaining snow, warm weather is still in the future.

A wonderful photograph.


Ed

Edward Sutorik