Carmer uncoupling hardware


Eric Hansmann
 

I installed Carmer uncoupling levers on a few models recently. Prototype details and installation tips are featured in the latest DesignBuildOp blog post. 


Bob Chaparro
 

To the question, “In what time frame were these levers phased out?” Eric replied, “…at a point in the 1930s, uncoupling moved to a bottom pin pull on new freight cars and the uncoupling hardware became somewhat standardized for a couple of decades. As the older cars with the Carmer hardware were retired, the design slowly disappeared. Some lines replaced the Carmer hardware early with the rotating rod similar to what I installed on the Canadian Pacific car in this post. I think the NYC did that on all of their USRA freight cars. You can still find freight cars in museums with the Carmer hardware. The last time I visited the Cass Scenic Railroad, a couple of their excursion cars had Carmer uncoupling levers.”

 

Was Carmer hardware banned from interchange or outlawed by law or regulation? If so, when?

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Jeff Coleman
 

When I hired out as a brakeman in 1976 I saw one boxcar with a Carmer uncoupling leaver. It was right after I hired on and was the “pin man” switching at night, didn’t get reporting mark of car.

Jeff Coleman 

On Tue, May 17, 2022 at 12:13 PM Bob Chaparro via groups.io <chiefbobbb=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

To the question, “In what time frame were these levers phased out?” Eric replied, “…at a point in the 1930s, uncoupling moved to a bottom pin pull on new freight cars and the uncoupling hardware became somewhat standardized for a couple of decades. As the older cars with the Carmer hardware were retired, the design slowly disappeared. Some lines replaced the Carmer hardware early with the rotating rod similar to what I installed on the Canadian Pacific car in this post. I think the NYC did that on all of their USRA freight cars. You can still find freight cars in museums with the Carmer hardware. The last time I visited the Cass Scenic Railroad, a couple of their excursion cars had Carmer uncoupling levers.”

 

Was Carmer hardware banned from interchange or outlawed by law or regulation? If so, when?

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


--
Jeff Coleman 


Guy Wilber
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:   “In what time frame were these levers phased out?” Eric replied, “…at a point in the 1930s, uncoupling moved to a bottom pin pull on new freight cars and the uncoupling hardware became somewhat standardized for a couple of decades."

1933 Interchange Rule 3, Section (c), Paragraph (9) Coupler operating rigging of the rotating type handle (which pulls out and up through an arc similar to type shown on Plate B of The United States Safely Appliance specifications), required on all cars built new or rebuilt on or after August 1, 1933.  Note -- It is recommended that where cars built prior to August 1, 1933, receive Class 1 general repairs and new couplers are applied, that the rotating type handle of uncoupling rigging be applied.

"Was Carmer hardware banned from interchange or outlawed by law or regulation? If so, when?"

Carmer type uncoupling devices were never prohibited in interchange.
 
Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada
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Eric Hansmann
 

Thank you for the clarification, Guy!

It seems the newer rotating handle uncoupling designs came into use almost at the same time as AB brake systems on new freight cars.


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN



On 05/17/2022 9:32 PM Guy Wilber via groups.io <guycwilber@...> wrote:


Bob Chaparro wrote:   “In what time frame were these levers phased out?” Eric replied, “…at a point in the 1930s, uncoupling moved to a bottom pin pull on new freight cars and the uncoupling hardware became somewhat standardized for a couple of decades."

1933 Interchange Rule 3, Section (c), Paragraph (9) Coupler operating rigging of the rotating type handle (which pulls out and up through an arc similar to type shown on Plate B of The United States Safely Appliance specifications), required on all cars built new or rebuilt on or after August 1, 1933.  Note -- It is recommended that where cars built prior to August 1, 1933, receive Class 1 general repairs and new couplers are applied, that the rotating type handle of uncoupling rigging be applied.

"Was Carmer hardware banned from interchange or outlawed by law or regulation? If so, when?"

Carmer type uncoupling devices were never prohibited in interchange.
 
Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada



Jim Betz
 

Guy/anyone who knows,

  Did the coupler itself change?  I'm asking if the Carmer cut levers would
not work on 'later' couplers.  And were those couplers 'mandated' or the
top activated 'outlawed' thus ending the usefulness of the Carmers?
  Sind bottom activated cut levers 'replaced' the top activated ... what
was the advantage of them over top activated?  Was the pin more
likely to drop correctly with bottom operated or something like that?
                                                                          - Jim in the PNW


Jim Betz
 

  "Sind" should have been "Since".


Bruce Smith
 

Jim,

 

While couplers changed over time (for example type D to type E around WWII), iirc, both could be either top or bottom operated. Carmer devices were not the only top operated device as many early rod type uncoupling levers were also top operating. That was not the issue.

 

The issue was that, to operate a Carmer lever, the operator had to press DOWN on the lever. To operate either top or bottom operating rod levers, the operator had to lift UP. Pressing down was a safety hazard because a slip placed you on the ground, near the wheels whereas it was easier to brace and not slip when lifting.

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Jim Betz <jimbetz@...>
Reply-To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 8:23 AM
To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Carmer uncoupling hardware

 

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.

Guy/anyone who knows,

  Did the coupler itself change?  I'm asking if the Carmer cut levers would
not work on 'later' couplers.  And were those couplers 'mandated' or the
top activated 'outlawed' thus ending the usefulness of the Carmers?
  Sind bottom activated cut levers 'replaced' the top activated ... what
was the advantage of them over top activated?  Was the pin more
likely to drop correctly with bottom operated or something like that?
                                                                          - Jim in the PNW


Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, May 18, 2022 at 06:23 AM, Jim Betz wrote:
Since bottom activated cut levers 'replaced' the top activated ... what
was the advantage of them over top activated?  Was the pin more
likely to drop correctly with bottom operated or something like that?
As Bruce said, both the Type D and later Type E could be had either way, but bottom operated came to be preferred. Top operated had an opening that allowed water, ice, and debris into the lock mechanism, which could then jam. In addition, the clever pin lifter linkage of the bottom operated style provided a mechanical advantage that made them smoother and easier to operate. We had both types at the railway museum where I was active years ago, so I've worked with both types.

Dennis Storzek


Guy Wilber
 

 Eric Hansmann wrote:

"It seems the newer rotating handle uncoupling designs came into use almost at the same time as AB brake systems on new freight cars."

Yes, "AB" brakes were required on all new cars built on and after September 1, 1933.  

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada 






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