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Duryea Underframes (Was: Coupler Distance . . . )

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Friends,

Ed Bommer said (in part):

"The Duryea design reduced much of the stress from rough handling on the car body and its framing by isolating and spring-loading the center sill. A major problem with it was the need for special tooling and skills to repair it, for which not all railroads were equipped to handle. As Duryea under fames aged, increasing maintenance and repair work was required. They were banned from interchange service in the 1960's."

Banning Duryea underframes must have put a big dent in the fleets of some railroads and some private owners, probably hastening the end of older cars. Nearly all the D&RGW's 40' steel boxcars, for example, were Duryea-equipped, and some survived in MW service into the UP-era. The ATSF was also a big Duryea user, and there were a lot of Duryea-equipped URTX refrigerator cars. OTOH, the Western Maryland had numerous Duryea-equipped cabooses which survived until the end of caboose operations in the 1980s under the Chessie System. A few still survive at museums or for non-railroad uses, including one still in Staunton, Virginia which I was able to crawl under to shoot pictures of the underframe (when I was much younger and more agile!).

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

Tim O'Connor
 


EARLY Duryea underframes were banned sometime around 1971 or 1972. Later
Duryea underframes (mid 1950's) were never banned, as far as I can been able to find.

Tim O'Connor



On 3/3/2020 1:26 PM, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford wrote:
Friends,

Ed Bommer said (in part):

"The Duryea design reduced much of the stress from rough handling on the car body and its framing by isolating and spring-loading the center sill. A major problem with it was the need for special tooling and skills to repair it, for which not all railroads were equipped to handle. As Duryea under fames aged, increasing maintenance and repair work was required. They were banned from interchange service in the 1960's."

Banning Duryea underframes must have put a big dent in the fleets of some railroads and some private owners, probably hastening the end of older cars. Nearly all the D&RGW's 40' steel boxcars, for example, were Duryea-equipped, and some survived in MW service into the UP-era. The ATSF was also a big Duryea user, and there were a lot of Duryea-equipped URTX refrigerator cars. OTOH, the Western Maryland had numerous Duryea-equipped cabooses which survived until the end of caboose operations in the 1980s under the Chessie System. A few still survive at museums or for non-railroad uses, including one still in Staunton, Virginia which I was able to crawl under to shoot pictures of the underframe (when I was much younger and more agile!).

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

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Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Randy Hees
 

Per AAR interchange rules (my copy is 1975) per rule 90 (cars banned for interchange) under sub-section 3a, " all freight cars 46 years or older from date built or rebuilt... (at the time 1929) and sub-section 3b "Cars built prior to April 1,1950 equipped with Duryea underframe"   

I also note that the FRA bans freight cars (including cabooses) over 50 years of age... 

Randy Hees

Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 09:52 AM, Randy Hees wrote:
I also note that the FRA bans freight cars (including cabooses) over 50 years of age... 
Randy,

That ban didn't take effect until far in our future, sometime right around the publication date of that book.There were no blanket age related bans during the steam ream and for that matter, waivers were available for specific pieces of equipment under the ban you cite.

Dennis Storzek