.
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Learn something new everyday.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America
    Posts
    1,688
    Blog Entries
    2
     

    Default Learn something new everyday.

    While doing research on my pending King's Park route, I noticed a number of early boxcars and locomotives with a curious coupler on them. While a "knuckle" coupler I noticed that they featured this odd slit in the coupler face. I'd always wondered why this was, but didn't think too much about it. However upon doing more research, I happened across a post on Shorpy (photo site) that actually explained it to me. So, here's the skinny on the slit face coupler (in case you were curious.)



    Though adopted as "standard" by 1877, conversion of couplers from link and pin to janey (knuckle) type was actually rather slow. Some railroads converted right away, others took longer to do so. Even as late as 1900, it was not uncommon to still find freight cars using the outdated link and Pin system. To cope with this eventuality, couplers were designed to act as a kind of "transition" between the two. The slot in the coupler face was designed to accept the link of the old Link and Pin system, while the pin would be dropped through the hole in the end of the knuckle. (In operation, the Coupler face would be closed and coupling done manually like the old Link and Pin system.) By 1912, 99% of Link and pin couplers had been obsoleted and railroads adopted the new automatic system. However, for some time the split face coupler could still be found. (Largely in situations of older locomotives, or MOW stock which might still use the original obsolete system.)

    By the 20's, the split face coupler had fallen by the wayside, with federal regulations finally putting the end to the obsolete and dangerous system. However, you might find this interesting.

    To this day, a remnant of the old original coupler remains, in the form of a hole that travels vertically through the end of the coupler knuckle. That hole is the same hole which in the earlier days the pin was thrust through. Why it remains isn't quite known, but crews have made use of it for everything from holding FREDs, to sticking red flags in.

    Now, from a Trainz point of view, if you're modeling anything up to about 1905 you shouldn't feel weird about including one or two link and pin cars in with your trains. It's entirely plausible that the real world railroads had similar consits at one time or another.
    http://kabukikitsune.wix.com/magicklocoworks
    My website with my donation based routes. Go check it out!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, West Virginia, Podunk
    Posts
    902
    Blog Entries
    1
     

    Default

    Neat post on an interesting topic, magicmaker.

    Another problem with the link and pin coupler system was the lack of a standard for coupler height, size of the link, and size of the coupler pockets. Various adapter links and other methods were used to get around this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by magickmaker View Post
    ... By the 20's, the split face coupler had fallen by the wayside, with federal regulations finally putting the end to the obsolete and dangerous system. However, you might find this interesting.
    Dangerous indeed! Brakeman were often issued clubs and other sort of tools that they could use to position the links when coupling cars, but many (perhaps most?) brakemen found them difficult to impossible to use so they ended up using their bare hands.

    It's been said that back in the link-and-pin days it was very easy for the boss man of a railroad to tell if a job applicant was lying about having prior work experience as a brakeman. If the man had all his fingers on both hands, he obviously had never worked as a brakeman.

    The job of brakeman was dangerous in many ways. Walking atop the cars to control brakes during all types of weather and in the pitch black of night was a challenge, but almost everything they did involved some degree of danger. I had a relative that worked as a brakeman around the turn of the 20th century. Remarkably, he worked several years without loosing a single finger. Then one day after coupling a car in a busy freight yard, he turned around, stepped back and away from the car only to lose an arm to a speeding passenger train that running on an adjacent track that he never heard coming.
    Last edited by wva-usa; February 12th, 2013 at 11:12 AM.

    Visit my website: SteamSoundz.com, my blog: WV Railroads @ Blogger, and my YouTube channel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, Michagain, Berkley
    Posts
    5,619
    Blog Entries
    6
     

    Default

    That type of coupler was used a lot on logging railroads and for much longer, no I.C.C.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, AZ, Tempe
    Posts
    4,731
     

    Default

    Thanks for showing why the slot is there..
    Bob Cass December 15th, 1937 - February 23, 2015 Thank you for receiving him, Father.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, Tennessee, Smyrna
    Posts
    4,575
    Blog Entries
    3
     

    Default

    Yes, that's very handy information. Thanks
    Mike

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •