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V&T wooden ore cars

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V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Solomani » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:18 pm

Hi all,

I have been researching the wooden ore cars the Virginia and Truckee had used and later narrow gauged for use on the Carson and Colorado branch at Candalaria. Not much seems to be known about them in the historical record. I have been working on collecting info for a few years and finally sat down and used the project to learn Sketchup, a "hobby CAD" program available free from Google. Attached is what I have so far. Would love to discuss these cars with anyone interested.

-John
Attachments
CC Narrow Gauge Ore Car.jpg
V&T / C&C wooden ore car
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby dsp&p_fan » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:26 am

There's a nice engraving of this type of car in the 1879 Car Builders Dictionary on page 237. I'm under impression that they were primarily used by contractors, with the V&T/C&C being a notable exception. They are interesting cars; they seem to be unique in some of the design details.

I've wondered how the C&C cars were converted. Were new frames built, or just long axles used.

Michael
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Solomani » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:49 pm

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your reply. The Car Builders Dictionary (CBD) was a great source. I used it to base my initial sketch as it is the most clear drawing I have found to date. The tip box in the photos I have are largely the same as the CBD design at least as far as I can discern from the pictures.

I too am wondering how they were converted to narrow gauge. Sketchup has a pretty good scaling tool that you can use a known dimension and use that to get/estimate other dimensions. From doing that my best guess is that they did actually narrow the frame and used shorter axles. There are very few timbers to shorten and you likley could use the original timbers and just modify one side.

The main difference I could see between the photos and the CBD tip car was the one in the CBD used a drop down rocker bearing timber and I cannot find any evidence for that in the photos I have. This could be my poor attempts at fiddling with the scans using the free picure editing tools I can find. I see a brake beam but can't really see if there is an additional cross beam going at that point. I think there is at least one cross beam at this point and I suspect that this is a locator with a rocker bearing next to it. Still, not 100% sure as the shadow prevents any real certainty.

I really appreciate your reply,
- John
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closeup.jpg
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Andrew Brandon » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:18 am

John,

As a V&T modeler I am certainly interested.
I am currently working the C&C section of our site in fact so I am positive the C&C fans will be interested in this topic.

-=Andrew=-
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Solomani » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:23 pm

Below is my notes and assumptions for the Carson and Colorado (C&C) wooden ore cars

I first discovered that the C&C had wooden ore cars while reading Mallory Ferrell’s book Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge published by Pacific Fast Mail in 1982. On pages 44 and 46 of that book are photos showing the C&C at the National Belle Mine, on the Candelaria Trestle and at the Northern Belle mine in Candelaria. Of the three photos the trestle and the Northern Belle mine show the most detail

In talking to Dale Darney about these ore cars he confirmed what Mr. Ferrell had said in his book about the ore cars originally being on the Virginia & Truckee railroad and that they had been narrow gauged for use on the C&C. He also stated that, based on the wheel base (7 feet for a Baldwin 8-18-C I believe) of the locomotive in the Candelaria trestle photo that the ore cars had a 4 foot wheel base.

The trouble is that the photos do not show enough detail to determine what the dump mechanism is. Unless I can find additional photos or plans I will have to guess based on common practice for the era.

The 1879 Master Car Builders Dictionary has engravings on pages 208 and 237 of tip cars very similar to the C&C photographs (the 1888 version of the dictionary also has engravings.) I am using the Car Builders Dictionary terminology in this paper.

Edwin P. Alexander’s book Civil War Railroads & Models ( published by Clarkson N. Potter Inc in 1977 ISBN0-517-53073-2) has a photograph on page 210, figure 209 of four-wheel dump cars on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Piedmont, West Virginia in the 1860’s. these cars look very similar to the cars on the C&C and perhaps there are drawings and better photographs of this type of car in the records of the B&O.

The trouble with scanning and blowing up images from books is that books are mostly printed in half tone or about 150 dpi dithered. This resolution is inadequate for much more detail being revealed by enlargement. The 1200 dpi scans that I have recieved from the University of Nevada show great detail.

Anthony J. Bianculli in his book series Trains and Technology, the American Railroad in the Nineteenth Century ( Published by the University of Delaware Press in 2002, ISBN 0-87413-730-6 mentions dump cars on page 150 in Volume 2, Cars, that the typical car in the 1860’s and 1870’s was the rocker type. This matches what is in the Car Builders Dictionary. He also mentions that these cars were often called “Paddy Killers” due to the cars high body and tip mechanism making the cars relatively unstable.


Tip Mechanisms

There is no clear detail in the photos I have of the C&C cars on how the tip mechanism works.

I have run across several tip mechanisms in my research. The 1879 Car Builders Dictionary shows a rocker type tip mechanism and two different car frames. These utilize a drop down rocker-bearing timber to support the rocker. The rocker in these illustrations appears to be a cast iron rocker.

There is a similar tip mechanism for a car shown in the book Lima , the History by Eric Hirsimaki (published by Hundman Publishing, Inc in 2004) on page 44. The main difference here is that the rocker is not as tall and attaches to the car above the car frame instead of being slung on a rocker-bearing timber below the coupler height of the car. This builders photograph is very clear about the details of the tip box and the bolt and hardware placement.

Other contemporary or near contemporary tip mechanisms are
• Nettleton and Bartlett’s dumping car rack and pinion (page 150, Trains and Technology)
• Air operated Thatcher dump cars patented 1889 (figure 3.6, page 153, Trains and Technology)
• Ball and socket joints (text, page 152, Trains and Technology)
• Western Wheeled Scraper type (several models in several scales including the Bachmann tip car in 1:20.3 scale)
There are also a number of patent drawings available on Google patent.

My suspicion is that the drop down rocker type as illustrated in the Car Builders Dictionary is not what was used on the V&T / C&C cars as there is no evidence in the high resolution scans that I have. My guess is that these cars use something similar to the car shown in Lima, the History.

I used the Car Builders Dictionary and William Voss’s book Railway Car Construction originally printed in 1892 (Reprinted by Orange Empire Railway Museum, ISBN 0-933563-24-8) to create a Google Sketchup drawing of the pedestals and bearing journals. Interestingly, even though the drawings appear to have been created by the same artist and just reprinted in the later book, one of the drawings has an error. To have this error in one drawing but not the other is very odd unless it was done for copyright protection.

I relied heavily on the Car Builders Dictionary and Railway Car Construction to assist me in creating the Sketchup drawings. Using the dimensions gathered from measuring a scaled photograph of the Candelaria trestle scene I was able to get what I think is a good reconstruction of the basic ore box. The car frame is another matter.

While the side frames are pretty well detailed in the trestle photo there is no detail of the draw timber or the cross-frame tie-timber. I have been able to make some basic estimates from what appears to be the ends of timbers and from similar cars constructed for other purposes such as Mich-Cal log bogies.




Still need to do

I still need to find higher resolution scans (1200 dpi or greater) of the B&O tip cars at Piedmont. Plans those cars or of similar type cars will help too.

I am still trying to determine what the most likely method of narrow gauging these cars might have been. Would it have been more likely to get new axle and wheel sets and narrow the pedestal-timbers to a 3 foot gauge for the bearings? Or would it have been more likely for them to purchase a new axle and narrow the wheels on the axle keeping the pedestal-timber, pedestals and bearings at a standard gauge distance? Based on the photos I have blown up I think that they actually narrowed the frame as there does not seem to be too many timbers that would have to be trimmed and they could then just use narrower wheel sets.

Any suggestions or arguments to my hypotheses are more than welcome.

Thanks again for reading my long ramble,

John
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Solomani » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:18 pm

After uploading that ramble I find myself pondering what else I need to do on this project. The brakes need to be worked on but I found myself looking at the support "stick" that appears to be what keeps the tip body from tipping during transit. Any ideas on which way it would tip? A Right or left turn would seem appropriate but what appears to be a cam (maybe to hold it tight?) seems to be in the way and so do some of the bolts. Tipping inwards is possible with a hinge but there are bolts that seem indicate a twisting motion to set and release.

Any thoughts?

-John
Attachments
Untitled.jpg
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Andrew Brandon » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:16 am

John,

I typically keep an eye out for images, do you know if the B&O image you're looking for is in the Library of Congress or not?
I did a quick check to see if I could turn up any shots of V&T cars themselves the only one I could think of from the top of my head is this:

http://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=%2Fspphotos&CISOPTR=854&DMSCALE=100&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMMODE=viewer&DMFULL=1&DMX=652&DMY=4090&DMTEXT=&DMTHUMB=1&REC=10&DMROTATE=0&x=488&y=265

Not much detail there beyond a car tipped and showing the floor. I have found that C&C images are tough to come by online, there are a few here and there but I have yet to find a shot of the dump cars for example. I suspect as UNR gets around to scanning more images this will change.
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Solomani » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:55 am

Andrew,
Thank you very much this is fantastic. I had heard about this photo from Charlie Siebenthal <sp?> but had not found it. I blew it up some more on my computer and the floor of the tip bed looks like it might be covered in metal from the way it is warped. I would guess that it is sheet iron.

I don't know if they are in the library of congress or not. I did do some searching for it based on the info from the book. found a few things about the roundhouse and town. I will try to see if it is in the LOC though as that is a good tip.

Thank you again,
-John

Gratuitous photo of the sketchup model
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20091010220302_46s.jpg
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Andrew Brandon » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:11 am

John,

I am still working on digging up info, I do however have the following for you.
I am attaching a drawing I had scanned in my files, I have no information as to its origin.

This wonderful photograph was also found by Brian Norden recently and raises more questions than answers.

http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/snv,5989

Take a look at those two dump cars and notice that the upper body appears similar to the older 4 wheeled dumps.
The roster of C&C equipment I am working on does not list any notes about car 10.

Info I have available:

Flat cars 1 - 18. Built by V&T Shops, Listed as being in service July 15 1881
I do however have the following note for flat car #8: Rebuilt to “salt car & dump” at an unknown date.
Since the photo shows only the number #10 and the second car has its number obscured, these two cars could possibly be "Salt Car & Dump" cars. Incidentally, the Railroad Commission Report from 1896 notes that the C&C had:
54 Box and Stock Cars
94 Flat Cars
22 Ore Cars

I don't have any references in front of me, how many of the 4 wheel dumps did the C&C have?

http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/snv,5989
Attachments
Dump Car PW 1888.JPG
Aspects of this car are similar to the C&C cars, although this car I would assume is a bit newer.
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Re: V&T wooden ore cars

Postby Solomani » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:53 pm

Hi Andrew,

I suppose it should not surprise me that there were other cars but there it is, an eight wheeled tip car! It does look a lot like the four-wheel car body on an eight-wheel car frame. I will have to see if I can order a scan from LV. I am including a scan from the 1879 Car Builders Dictionary for reference.

Dale Darney told me when I interviewed him that the V&T narrow gauged 15 cars with the first ten done in 1883 and the other five some time after that. I am a little concerned with the wheelbase dimensions he quoted as i believe he told me that the wheel base for the engine on the trestle was 7'6" and I recall that was what I got when I measured the engine when I was doing the scaling on the photo I used in sketchup. I will have to go back and check. The reason I am concerned is that there was a post here on PacificNG saying that the wheelbase for C&C 4-4-0's was 98". I will have to swing over to that thread and ask about this. Unfortunately, there is no detail as to the name of the engine as that part of the photo is washed out. Perhaps fortunately, I believe, the locos were largely the same.

Thank you for the photo as that just adds to the mystery and to the fun. Now I can add to my list of F scale models to build when I get a round two-it.

Paging through my notes I found that some of the patent's on Google Patents are similar. In particular, a fellow by the name of M. Van Wormer had some patents on dump cars. He had one patent from 1883, number 284,691, that looks similar. His 1885 Patents 311,047 and 316,507 drawings also look close and seem to have the four door feature. Van Wormer seems to have been rather prolific with the patents for dump cars around this time.

-John
Attachments
Eight Wheel Tip Car.jpg
From 1879 Car builders Dictionary page 208
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