fox trucks

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nachoman, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Anyone have any info on the "fox" style trucks supplied in a few old MDC kits? What era were they used and on what types of applications? Did this design have any advantaes/disadvantaes? I'm thinking about using some for variety sake on my wwI era layout, and I am not sure if they would be appropriate.

  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The "Model Railroader's Guide To Freight Cars" (Kalmbach Publishing) covers trucks from the WWI to present, and makes no mention of Fox trucks. I know this isn't much to go on, but I would believe that Fox trucks were "in absentia" by the WWI era.
    I would recommend that you do not use them for interchange service, but I see no reason why you couldn't use them for MOW equipment, especially if you are freelancing your own road.
    If you are modeling a known railroad, I would think you'd be able to find pictures of that road's MOW equipment, to see if any Fox trucks were used.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I first had Fox trucks on a model of The General, which puts it about Civil war era. MDC supplied then on a number of their 36 foot cars. British railways used something similar until the diesel era.
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Thanks for the replies. I take it, they must not have been a very proven design, and must have only seen limited use prior to 1900. Maybe I will stick them on a work car or two, for conversations sake.

  5. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've found a few posts on the Early Rail's a sampling...

    " Joe,

    I can recommend Page 469 of "The American Railroad Freight Car" John
    H. White, Jr., Johns Hopkins University Press.


    With regard to a wreck on the Colorado Midland...
    " Another one upside down with FOX trucks, so probably NYC something or
    other" (that was 1903)

    " I did a drawing of an Santa Fe (GC&SF) box car that had Fox trucks with
    outside hung brakes. This car ended up in M-of-W service and then
    became living quarters for track workers at Allensworth CA."

    I also found a post mentioning a New England road using flat cars with Fox trucks into the 1970s, although it appears their era was 1890-1910. It was the primary truck of the PRR for 1890-1905

    Here's a couple more posts:
    " wrote: I have seen pictures of two types of Fox trucks, one with only
    coil springs over the journal, and the other with coil springs above
    the journals and leaf springs sticking out of the center of the side
    frame. I would presume that the latter were to allow some equalizing

    The Fox trucks with the blank side panels between the journals have
    the truck bolster plate rigidly fastened to the side to side transoms.

    The Fox trucks with the leaf springs sticking out the hole in the
    center of the sides have a "floating" truck bolster. That is to say,
    the truck bolster that directly contacts the underside of the car then
    sits on those leaf springs. The bottom of the leaf springs are then
    mounted to a plate on the bottom of each side frame. What holds the
    bolster in place are the side transoms and straps across the top of
    the transoms to keep it (the truck bolster) from popping up when
    removed from the car.

    This arrangement probably provides a limited amount of side to side
    flexibility and some extra cushion and a much improved ride but no
    direct equalization per se as one would get using levers and so on as
    in a passenger truck.

    Actually, from what I've read, neither the Fox nor the various types
    of arch bar trucks provided true equalization. However, the sloppy
    tolerances and inherent flex in the metal bars of the arch bar design
    provided a "practical level" of equalization far superior to the Fox.
    Hence the Fox truck was prome to develop stress cracks on the
    relatively rough US roadbed which led to its going out of favor.
    Bob M."


    " Yes, Fox Patent trucks would still be in use in 1910. They also lasted on
    non revenue cars until those cars were scrapped or sold to logging lines, etc.
    The East Branch & Linloln RR in New Hampshire bought old flat cars from the
    B&M that had Fox trucks and they were used until the 1970's, on their line,
    carrying pulpwood. I thought that I posted a pic of one of these cars."
  6. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    The oldest piece of rolling stock on Conrail's roster was a snowplow, equipped with fox trucks that had been converted with roller bearings. I believe it was in service into the 1990's. I do not know if it made it to the CSX/NS split.

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The Gold Coast Railroad Museum has a tender with Fox trucks under it! I think the loco dates to 1913 (labelling was scarce). Can't really tell how accurate it is, whether the trucks are original or not, etc. They are the ones with leaf springs under th bolster. Interested in a photo?
  8. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    yeah, I am interested in a photo!

  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    This tender is attached to (i think) an FEC pacific. (Can't find their list right now!).

    Attached Files:

  10. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Wow, thanks! Those are definitely some unique trucks. Now that I can see more how they are constructed, it makes sense that they were phased out shortly after 1900. Arch-bar trucks were made up of several pieces bolted together. I assume the arch bar design had a weakness because of all those bolted joints. These riveted fox trucks were probably stronger. But once cast sideframes came about, the arch-bar and the fox were obsolete.

  11. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I've always thought they were the most interesting of the common truck designs.

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