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Bliss Pattern Truck

Bliss Pattern Truck

Postby Solomani » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:51 pm

I have been attempting a couple of projects over the Christmas vacation this year. I have to go on a TDY for a week but I plan to pick this up when I get back. I used the photographs of the "California" style Central Pacific cars and the drawings of the Carter Brothers standard gauge truck that is shown in the book "The Birth of California Narrow Gauge." I also found the patents of the California truck but the four wheel truck that Charles F. Allen patented with patent #54,085 but it does not look too similar in my mind. I have not found a patent for the Bliss truck, if there is one.

As always, I am trying to make it as accurate as possible so any notes or corrections you could send my way are most appreciated.

The basic dimensions are from the drawings Herman Darr did and from a photograph of Carson and Colorado car # 105.

Best regards,
John
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Re: Bliss Pattern Truck

Postby Randy Hees » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:12 pm

Hi John,

I don't know if I have heard the term "Bliss truck" before. The Carson & Tahoe Lumber and Flume had two groups of flat cars, one built in the east (by Detroit Car?) and the second built in the V&T shops.

The Allen Patent for the "California Truck" is basically patenting a wood transom beam swing motion truck. Trucks built to this patent can look very different in practice. Theilson's patent was for a similar swing motion truck, using iron transom beams and a casting between the two. Again, there are a variety of trucks built to this design, that look different from each other.

I have lots of detail photos of the standard gauge trucks under the various flat cars at NSRM it that will help.

I am also starting to research the 22' long C&TL&F flat cars. There is a plan afoot to build a new full size replica for use with Glenbrook. The plan is to build it as a public project at the railroad fair at Carson City in July 2014

Randy
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/
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Re: Bliss Pattern Truck

Postby Solomani » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:04 pm

Hi Randy,

None other than our own Andrew Brandon was the first to tell me about them being perhaps called a "Bliss" truck in response to some questions I had on the Candelaria trestle scene with the ore cars. I think it is on the second page of the ore cars topic here on PacificNG.

The other place I found them called such is in Robert Bader's book "Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Locomotives and Freight Equipment" on 337 in the chapter on freight trucks. He calls them "Bliss Patten trucks..."

I don't know if the word "Patten" is a typo and was to be either "Patented" or "Pattern" or if "Patten" is correct as is. The only reference I have been able to find on the word "Patten" is that it stems from the old french word for Shoe.

To quote Robert's book, " The first freight cars on the Carson and Colorado Railroad were eighteen 30 foot wood flat cars equipped with Bliss Patten trucks built in the V&T Carson City shops in 1881. The Bliss Patten trucks were designed by D.L. Bliss for the Carson and Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company. The Bliss truck was a wood beam arch bar trucks with metal end castings separating the transoms." On page 340 he shows a drawing of the truck by Herman Darr.

On page 216 the C&C flat car #105 drawing by Mr. Darr has a caption that the 22' cars were built by the Detroit Car Co. for the C.T.L. & F just as you noted above. #105 is part of the set from the Detroit Car Co. and car #100, shown on the trestle, perhaps does not have "Bliss" trucks underneath it if it was built by the Detroit Car Co.? Or, could they have been ordered with this kind of truck? I can't see any differences between Mr. Darr's drawing of the Bliss truck and the trucks under the Detroit Car Co. flat cars.

Have you seen any photographs showing the the flat cars the V&T built for the C.T.L. & F.? the notes in Roberts book on these cars note that one may have survived. The note says that C&C #18 was converted to a derrick took car in 1905, sold to Dale Gentry in 1957, went to Roaring camp as #251 and then sold to the SVRR.

I would be very interested in the detail photos as I agree that if they were truly different they were still likely a variation on the 'California' truck.

Something I am having trouble with is the type of springs used on these trucks. The photos hint at the use of leaf springs but I just can't be sure.

Best regards,
John
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Re: Bliss Pattern Truck

Postby Randy Hees » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:34 am

In 19th century usage, "Pattern" would be defined as "in the style of" So, if this was a Bliss Pattern, it could be the truck Bliss specified for his cars. My question was, is this a 19th century term, or a term coined by one of us, to describe this truck? Both would be appropriate, but I like to understand the origin.

It could be either leaf or coil springs... they would be hidden behind the transom casting. I would expect (note this is conjecture) coil springs, Leaf springs usually extend through the transom casting, which I don't see on these trucks, and generally are require taller transom beams. I believe that leaf springs are taller than coils for a given spring capacity.

One detail I note on Flanger 108. It has two bolts showing at the body bolster end, consistent with a wooden bolster, while the Detroit cars have a single bolt, consistent with a early iron body bolster.

Randy
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/
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