Freight car trucks

Discussion in 'Trainspotter ID' started by ezdays, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Just has a thought :idea:(Oh man, does that ever hurthamr ). How about someone listing all the different freight car trucks, their era and description? I remember reading somewhere about one type being banned after a certain date, but I can't find much about them right now, and I thought it would be a great addition to this forum. We could add a sub-forum for freight cars and equipment if you all think it would be a handy reference and something you'd want to work on.

    Let me know what you all think.:wave::wave:
  2. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Hey Don, Hotbox has some neat info:
    The Hotbox - details

    These ones are of particular note:
    • 7/1941 arch bar trucks outlawed for interchange
    • 3/1978 white dot/yellow dot wheel inspection begin
    • 12/1978 white dot/yellow dot wheel inspection ends
    • 1/1995 solid bearing trucks outlawed for interchange

    Roller bearing trucks:
    • 1966 required for all new and rebuilt 100-ton cars.
    • 1968 required for all new cars.
    • 1970 required for all rebuilt cars.

    I've been doing some modern research lately myself, trying to figure out wheel diameter, per car weights. Here's what I've learned so far.

    Quoting myself from Model Railroad Forums.
    And this is from Train Orders.
    Last but not least, check this one out:
    Great Northern Empire - Then and Now
  3. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    P.S. Hope that helps some.
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    A few basics...

    Freight emphasized...
    Different railroads used different trucks. For instance, my beloved DSP&P (which was 3' gauge) used many a UP Swing Beam Style A & B trucks throughout the 1880s. The successor C&S was used archbar and later Bettendorf.

    I think their competitor, the 3' gauge D&RG/D&RGW used mostly archbar.
    While the 3' gauge EBT was well known for their Vulcan trucks which they used at least for most of there later cars.

    Generically, I'd use archbar for early cars and bettendorf for transition era. If you have diesel disease ;-), you'd probably look at bettendorf early on or ACF trucks on modern cars. Modern stuff also is generally roller bearing with the 3 dots in a triangle on the end of the axles, while older friction bearings had a box & lid over the ends of the usually has a sponge full of oil/grease in my experience.

    Tenders would probably get either archbar or andrews. Cabooses can be a variety of trucks.
  5. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Archbar trucks can be 28" or 33" for the later standard...33" for bettendorf.

    Lightweight passenger cars typically had 36" wheels in 2 axle trucks. Heavyweights commonly had 3 axle trucks...although smaller coaches of the era had 2 axle trucks too. I'd recommend checking White's American Passenger Car book for info on passenger cars.
  6. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Darn, thanks nkp174, I left out the passenger car info. From what I gathered there, most heavyweights, and 3 axle trucks are 36" with some variances in 33" depending on the car (same with some 3 axle trucks under freight). My Walthers bi-level commuter cars come with 33" but I think they're supposed to be 36", but I'm not sure there.

    In all you should always check with the prototype, and if you can't find anything, ask, and if still nothing, guess!

    I think I should compile a "blanket" wheel sizes list and add that to Model Railroad Tips.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I think we've got our thinking juices going. I do believe this does call for a bit of organization. I think we need to add a couple of sub-forums here. One for locos, the other for freight cars and related equipment. It would be nice to have a thread for each truck type, Bettendorf, Arc Bar, Barber and so forth. We may also want to start threads on different types of cars. I think the biggest problem is when someone is doing a specific era and they're not sure what is appropriate for that time. Me, I don't care, I run an "anything goes" RR.... well, almost, as long as it runs, it qualifies to go on my rails.:twisted: :twisted:
  8. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Well, the problem with the thread per truck, or thread per type, is, well there's many variances.

    Such as covered hoppers. Most modern ones run 36" where as 1970's and earlier may have 33" due to lighter loads.
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    You make my very point. There are lots of people, including myself, that have a hard time differentiating between things that are so very simple to others. I want to have a place to share that information and for us denser types to be able to reference it. If you read my initial post, that's why we started this forum in the first place, and I think it's worked out very successfully.
  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I would recommend a thread explaining some general guidelines...and then something more specific for those that want it right.

    On a similar note...The N&W 611 has commonwealth tender trucks...yet it had buckeye when it was retired. The NS steam program's Birmingham shops got sick of working with the buckeye trucks and swapped in the commonwealth trucks...buckeye's are superior performs but a pain for maintenance.
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    that hotbox link is interesting...

    I always thought that SW stood for switcher, but it stands for 600 hp welded frame.

  12. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    And they stopped making cast-frame switchers pretty quickly, too. So SW eventually just meant switcher.
  14. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Which fits with their most famous product...the GP...general purpose.

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