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 Post subject: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:22 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:55 pm
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Location: San Diego area
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Attached is part of a 1956 photo we have in our collection of Coos Bay Lumber Co #11. The engine itself still has the knuckle shown on the photo in place (actually the ones on both ends are the same). I have wondered about the slot in the mid point of the knuckle, but then I noticed the pin in the knuckle in the photo. I'm now assuming that this type of knuckle is designed to be used with either knuckle couplers or with link and pin couplings. Am I correct?

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Jim Baker, Pacific southwest Railway Museum


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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:31 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:01 pm
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Location: Bath, Me
The slot is to connect to link and pin. A lot of the remaining Maine two foot knuckles have slots for the same reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:42 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
True as far as it goes, but slotted knuckles were obsolete on the mainline railroads before WWI... there simply were no more link and pin drawbars that needed to be accommodated.

Logging lines, on the other hand, used a variety of long shackles to connect disconnect style trucks, or loads with overhanging logs, so the slotted knuckles lasted pretty much to the end.

One other interesting thing to point out is the overly tall knuckle, which helped prevent the knuckles from overriding on rough track and abrupt vertical curves. Traction lines also often used tall knuckles due to abrupt vertical curves.

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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:56 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Dennis Storzek wrote:
True as far as it goes, but slotted knuckles were obsolete on the mainline railroads before WWI... there simply were no more link and pin drawbars that needed to be accommodated.

Logging lines, on the other hand, used a variety of long shackles to connect disconnect style trucks, or loads with overhanging logs, so the slotted knuckles lasted pretty much to the end.

One other interesting thing to point out is the overly tall knuckle, which helped prevent the knuckles from overriding on rough track and abrupt vertical curves. Traction lines also often used tall knuckles due to abrupt vertical curves.


All absolutely true--and on top of that, at least one logging road still had some cars with link and pin couplers into the 1970s!

This was the Meadow River Lumber Company at Rainelle, W.Va., perhaps best known today as the road where Cass Scenic's Heisler No. 6 and long out-of-service Shay No. 7 came from.

This road was the last working logging railroad in West Virginia, operating with a pair of GE 70 tonners at the end. Most of the equipment had knuckle couplers, of course--but the road still had some very old camp cars around with links and pins. Those cars weren't moved much at all later on, which was why they never got newer couplers. I don't think they had been moved in years before their last move, from the woods to the scrap line, at the time of the road's closure and abandonment.


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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:50 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:58 am
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When attempting to date a photograph, the first place to look is the coupler--link/pin, slotted knuckle, or smooth knuckle? Obviously one has to pay attention to whether its a logging railroad or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
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Location: Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
DJSullivan wrote:
When attempting to date a photograph, the first place to look is the coupler--link/pin, slotted knuckle, or smooth knuckle? Obviously one has to pay attention to whether its a logging railroad or not.


Yes, but it's not always so simple. Consider for example this Art Huneke photo of LIRR G5s No. 24 at Port Jefferson, NY (my hometown) in August 1954. The engine's front coupler clearly has a slotted knuckle. Maybe the shop guys at Morris Park had some old parts they wanted to use up? :)

Image

There are also some 1950s photos of LIRR No. 35 with a slotted knuckle on the front coupler, which leads me to wonder if it's still with the engine today in Oyster Bay.

-Philip Marshall


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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
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In 1955, when Walt Disney was building the locomotives and rolling stock for his 3-foot gauge park trains, one of his staff purchased equipment from a company called C.M. Lovsted Co. out of Seattle, WA. Lovested was a supplier of railroad equipment for logging lines. The couplers Disney purchased for the trains from Lovsted are small AAR couplers, with the slot as shown above.

One of the Disney engines has a pilot with a drawbar, which can be and sometimes is used with the couplers.

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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
Also very handy around the shops. Our #9331 always had slotted knuckles while here, and they made it very handy for switching the drawbar end of steam locomotives as needed.

I wanted to save them when we sold the engine to Walkersville, but these knuckles wouldn't fit in #8618's couplers.

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 Post subject: Re: Coupler Question
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Kelly,

Looks like the coupler head of an ARA type D... I assume this is a short shank, pin in the pocket coupler. The spotting feature of the D (as opposed to the later type E, still standard) was the small knuckle; 9" tall, as I recall. Since the D was the first standard coupler after all the proprietary designs, dating to 1913, stands to reason they offered the slotted conversion knuckle in the early years. The ARA type D was was superseded by the type E in the thirties. The E had an 11" tall knuckle, which is visually the same height as the coupler head. I'm not sure a slotted E knuckle was ever offered.

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