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  • Braking gear design

    Hello everyone,

    I hope you can help me out with this one:

    I'm considering to equip my flatcar with working brakes and I'm lost on finding reference material on how braking systems were designed and constructed.

    I'm looking for a 1900-to-1930 design, from what I could gather at those times Westinghouse breaking braking systems were longtime standard and braking system had evolved from k-type to ab-type, though older cars were still in use. Correct, so far?

    My difficulties start with finding diagrams or explanations of
    • how the braking gear was attached to the frame
    • how the frame's gear connected to the truck's gear
    • what a typical archbar truck's breaking braking gear would look like


    My goal would be to build a working breaking braking gear that can be operated by the hand brake. Somewhere down the line I could imagine to build an R/C servo into the brake cylinder. However, this all depends on me understanding the design and construction in the first place.

    So I do hope you help me get some insight.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Best regards,

    Frederic

  • #2
    Well, the first thing to note that the word "break" and the word "brake" sound the same, but mean different things. (Isn't English fun?!?) In this case, you want to use "brake" A brake is a mechanical device that inhibits motion by absorbing energy from a moving system.[1] It is used for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle, wheel, axle, or to prevent its motion, most often accomplished by means of friction.

    Now in 1900-1930, the Westinghouse K series was pretty common. This diagram shows Westinghouse brakes for a passenger car, but it's a good image overall to show the parts of a brake system.



    Now one problem you have for -working- brakes on a model is that a lot of the components of an air brake system will not be of any use. In O Scale, Bernard Kempinski has done brakes for his American Civil War (1860s) era cars. See https://usmrr.blogspot.com/2010/06/working-brakes.html

    I hope this helps!

    dave
    Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a little experience (as a volunteer) at crawling under standard-gauge equipment to work on stuck brakes. This document is from 2004, but has decent coverage of 'foundation brake rigging', where a single brake cylinder mounted on the carbody actuates brake shoes on all eight wheels:

      https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/...rangements.pdf

      You may have to turn the '%20' HTML escape sequences into space (' ') characters to make it work.

      If this doesn't cover the era you're interested in, do you have, or can you conveniently get, Railroad Model Craftsman magazine articles from Ted Culotta's "Essential Freight Cars" series? He provides good photos of his HO scale models, including well lit shots of the underbody. His brake equipment and rigging is accurately modeled.
      James

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      • #4
        Frederic:

        You might want to search for a Car Builders Dictionary on this site:

        https://www.hathitrust.org/

        Mike
        _________________________________________________

        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you all very much for those helpful links and pictures!

          Dave, you got me there! I was way too tired yesterday when I posted that thread, now I'm not allowed to correct my misspellings. On the other hand, now they will show up in the forum's search if some other poor chap with improvable grammar looks for help on braking(!) gear...

          That's quite a lot of information to take in, I will spend some hours or days trying to understand what I'm looking at here and then come back with some more questions. As of now, you've already helped me very much, thanks again!

          Frederic

          Comment


          • #6
            I suspect many of us are better at 'breaking gear' than we are at 'braking gear :-) :-)

            dave
            Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

            Comment


            • #7
              A bit of humor here. When I first saw the header of Breaking Gear Design I thought somebody had invented a new type of gear for model railroading. Imagine my confusion when I saw Dave's post on brake rigging. Just thought I'd relay the humor. I got a laugh out of it.

              Bernd
              New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:


                Originally posted by Bernd


                A bit of humor here. When I first saw the header of Breaking Gear Design I thought somebody had invented a new type of gear for model railroading. Imagine my confusion when I saw Dave's post on brake rigging. Just thought I'd relay the humor. I got a laugh out of it.

                Bernd


                Me too! I though it was an add-in for a CAD program to help draw involute or helical gears.

                Jim
                Take the red pill

                Comment


                • #9
                  I finally figured out how to edit my original post. However, I didn't want to take the joke away, so I stroke, rather than deleted the funny parts.

                  jbvb(?), that PDF file is a gold mine, thank you so much! My browser had no problems interpreting the URL.

                  Dave, do I understand correctly, that the whole gear was supported only by the cylinders' brackets and some carriers for the levers and the rods?

                  I see your reasoning on working brakes, although I don't quite agree with you: The hand braking mechanism depends on the complete system of levers and rods to articulate all 8 brakes (almost wrote "breaks" again, this one is deeply buried in my mind it seems... ). So the only parts not being of actual use would be the cylinders, reservoirs and the plumbing. Of course that means a whole lot of work to get the system working as it should, but most of the parts will serve their prototypical function. That is, if I can actually pull this off.

                  Could anybody enlighten me concerning the way the brakes were mounted to the trucks? It seems to me that in the early 20th century most archbar trucks had their braking equipment placed between the wheels, rather than on the outside. How were they attached to the truck's frame?

                  Many thanks,

                  Frederic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Frederic,

                    Here's another to place look at:

                    http://ibls.org/mediawiki/index.php?...es#Brake_Types

                    The Arch bar configuration is what we were building back in my Live Steam days. the brake rod was connected as in the K brake system with a detented gear Hand wheel to tighten the chain linkage to apply the brakes. We had to 'undetent' the brakes before moving the cars. When you are only pulling 2 or 3 cars not an issue. It would be an all day job with the 100+ car trains of today. We probably built 20-25 pair of those trucks in 1-1/2" scale.

                    Jim
                    Take the red pill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Frederic, remember the piston in the brake casting controls the entire system. So if you want brakes to be controlled by the brake wheel, you need to figure out either (1) how to make the piston move or (2) how to remove the piston from the overall system. In Bernie K's Civil War cars, that is not a problem, those are from before the time of air brakes :-)

                      I don't know if outside hung brake gear was prohibited by the Safety Appliances Act in 1906. Can anyone comment on that? But yes, inside hung gear was much more common in the 20th century.

                      dave
                      Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A little early for you but they show how brakes are suspended from the trucks.





                        More in your time period but hard to see clearly:



                        These are in John White’s book on freight cars in the 1800’s.

                        Mike
                        _________________________________________________

                        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Frederic,

                          Mike's post above is very close to what we were doing in 1-1/2 scale. They are an older but should be a little easier to fabricate in a smaller scale.

                          Jim
                          Take the red pill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mike's top illustration is also close in functional arrangement to the brakes on a 1930s steel interurban - levers are hung from the frame at the top, shoe position is adjusted via threads in the bottom link.
                            James

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another set of drawings. Mid 1890’s.




                              _________________________________________________

                              Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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