My take on plain bearing cars, in interchange, is based on the following: Cars in "restricted service", not for use in interchange service, and under FRA waiver/approval only. Section 49CFR 215, parts 215.201&203 paragraph (a) section (2), lists the requirements, to confer with Appendix "A", which then states, under section "E" "plain journal bearings". The plain journal bearing, is listed under "Restricted Equipment", under the scope of interchangeability, for cars not accepted, in interchange. They may continue to operate, in Restricted Service, on the road of ownership, with FRA approval/waivers only. My take on this, is that if a car is equipped with plain friction bearings, it may operate on road that owns said equipment, with prior approval/waivers, from the FRA, and the car is stenciled, as per part 215.303, and cars will not be accepted/presented, for interchange. There is a list of inspected items, for using plain bearings in service, but this would be, reasonably, under permission to continue use, from the FRA. Not having the complete set of "freight car safety standards" available at this location, the CFR, in the parts I mentioned, were what I used, to make my determination. Railroads may "place into service" (use) cars with the plain bearings, when the parts of 215.107,109,111,113 are met. It IS possible, that the cars are suitable to interchange, but I don't have the interchange rules available here, to verify that. Aji is probably correct, and without further material supporting the ban on interchange, I will defer to him. I do know, as a matter of consequence, most rule books, will have, as he mentioned, a requirement to reject plain bearing cars, if discovered in a train, at interchange points. (unless they are the cars, of the road you work for, then the cars are acceptable, under the provisions I provided above). Will continue to search, for the definitive rule of law, on this matter.
Added, after more research: The AAR's 1994 ban, of friction bearing equipped cars, and some discussion on it's effect, of movement of MOW equipment, between railroads, can be found here: http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/counsel/mowterm.pdf
This would seem to indicate, that the friction (plain) bearing equipped cars, and/or locos, are not to be presented, or accepted for interchange. I will look into this some more, but the three pages present, in the PDF, are pretty good reading, regarding friction bearings. Regards
Also added, reference to removal of all plain bearings, with dates of removal from interchange service requirements: http://www.amstedrail.com/aar/C7513.htm
http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2 ... 27-02-7364
I will note this, as an aside. The AAR's "Rules for Interchange" are just that. Rules. While the rules are mandatory, they are not "Laws", and don't carry the civil penalties, that the violation of a law, would incur. The items in the CFR are, Laws, and carry a list of penalties, or fines, for accidental, or "willful" violation, of those laws. As Aji states, the "rules" about plain bearings, are indeed seperate, from the Laws, in the CFR. Regards