Sunday, April 17, 2016

CPR 1943 - Instructions for the Care of Journal Boxes, Part 2

Gil Reid, 1918-2007 was a railroad artist who frequently produced illustrations
for Model Railroader and Trains.
from: Trains, October 1947; Kalmbach Publishing. Collection of LCGagnon
Above: A packing iron is used to check the journal box on a locomotive pilot truck.
The collar of the axle and the waste/oil lubricating system below can be seen.
The can carries oil in case a top-up is indicated.

Previously, parts of this booklet were posted here:

These instructions were published to deal with a crisis. During World War Two, the CPR was experiencing too many train delays because of hotboxes. 

Basic on-the-road procedures and journal packing instructions were covered in the earlier post. This final segment will look at some of the carmen's instructions - they were the skilled tradesmen who were responsible for the maintenance and repair of railcars at most terminals. As the unsung heroes of keeping the wheels safely turning ... it was they who were called out of town on short notice to assist the auxiliary crane and its crew at derailments and wrecks.

If you've read the first post on this subject, you'll know that a train crew could sometimes work on a hot bearing to enable it to travel to the next terminal where carmen could perform a permanent repair. This was advantageous because it was much less efficient to transport carmen out to some lonely siding to temporarily repair a car. It was preferable for train crew to spot the problem as early as possible, and to nurse the car along to the carmen and their fully-equiped shop.

Treating the overheating journal with special grease and tagging it for a carman's attention was previously described as a temporary fix for trainmen out on the road with a hot bearing.

By way of clarification, journal box packing is referred to as 'dope' ...

... Regarding 'Worn-in Bearings 39' above. Previously it was explained that a new bearing, sitting on a turning journal which had already been in service ... would not have the same cylindrical shape worn into it. 

With this 'flat' bearing firmly held on a round journal, there was an increased risk of a 'waste grab' ... that is, loose fibres from the packing could more easily find their way into the gap between the bearing and journal ... and become trapped at the point where the load was being borne ... causing a hot journal.

... so simply installing a new bearing with a pristine babbitt would be more likely to cause problems 'down the road'.

*  *  *

Next, the railway lays out the standardized procedures to be used when preparing, handling and recycling journal packing material and its constituent parts. The long-term health risks of constantly handling this material would have been undesirable.

As you can imagine with such a geographically large operation - there were thousands of cars moving at all times. Each car generally had eight journal boxes packed with oil-soaked cotton/wool 'waste'. When the value of all this material was added up by accountants at the Montreal headquarters, it constituted a large investment in petroleum and fabric - which was too expensive to throw out after a single use. As well, with a war on, petroleum, cotton and wool were strategically important materials which could not be wasted. 
(Historically, Hitler's failure to manufacture, to stockpile, and to maintain supply lines adequate to provide his eastern troops with winter clothing and fuel guaranteed the failure of his invasion of the USSR before it even began in 1941)
A CPR bean-counting form follows so you can see the extent to which the company wanted to know what was happening with its 'dope'.

On a lighter note ... at the very end, we will discover the first step of 'how to start a steam locomotive'.