• Hot Bearing Detector

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

Everyone - This discussion about friction and roller bearings is very interesting - especially some history
of the transition between the two used on most types of rail equipment.

I noticed mention of the September 6, 1943 PRR "Congressional" wreck at Frankford Junction, Philadelphia, PA.
(Note spelling: Frankford is a nearby neighborhood in the City of Philadelphia-and not the capital of Kentucky.)
A common misconception (that I also had) was that excess speed on the 50 MPH curve just east of SHORE Tower
was the prime reason - until reading that an overheated friction journal box was the actual cause...

The posted Wikipedia page for the 9/6/1943 Frankford Junction wreck has two informative external links:
"September 6, 1943 - The wreck off the Congressional Limited at Philadelphia, PA" which leads to an issue
of the Lancaster (PA) Chapter-NRHS "Dispatcher" September 2009 issue (Volume 40-#9) that has a three
page article about the wreck along with 18 pictures - The Wikipedia page looks to be directly copied from
this writing that interestingly does not have an author mentioned. The second is a 9 page PDF of an ICC
report - Investigation #2726 PRR Accident Shore (Tower) PA 9/6/1943 giving more insight on this subject.

A more recent derailment that some may be more familiar with was the November 10, 1979 CP wreck
in Mississauga, Ontario just west of Toronto involving hazmat - the cause was an overheated friction
journal box - which were being gradually phased out at that time...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Miss ... derailment

Something I was not fully aware of was the actual time period when friction bearing trucks were banned -
From Ed Kaminski of ACF Industries: (research finding)
Interchange service of hazmat materials: January 1, 1991
Non-hazardous materials: January 1, 1994
Conversion friction roller bearing side frames: January 1, 1995
Reason for ban: Hot Bearing Detectors could not "see" them...

This is the type of historical research that I like to contribute to - Thanks All...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu Mar 02, 2023 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by BR&P
NYCRRson wrote:In general during 1943 roller bearings were not in widespread use.
Agreed. Just was not sure whether the cars in question had been upgraded or not.

And previous posts triggered my memory. There is discussion of that Frankford Jct wreck in Griswold's book "Train Wreck", published 1969. It notes that in just over one week, there were 3 tragic rail incidents - the Wayland NY wreck on the DL&W, the above mentioned wreck on the PRR, and a NYC boiler explosion at Canastota NY.