Monday, May 20, 2013

Tracks in New Freedom, PA

The headquarters building of Steam Into History is in New Freedom, PA at 2 West Main Street. The building is right next to the York County Rail Trail and the tracks that they will be using to run the Civil War steam train excursions. Steam Into History will be using an American-type, 4-4-0, which is a reproduction of a typical Civil War steam locomotive.
Last week, the trucks arrived for the passenger cars that will be used for the first phase of the steam train operation. They are a derivative of the journal box, Bettendorf T-Section trucks. They look a lot like the Pennsylvania Railroad Class 2D-F8 50-ton freight. The bolster might have been replaced, which makes positive identification questionable. The actual 2D-F8 had a riveted bolster.  It's not unusual to have train equipment with mixed lineage.

The journal boxes contain oily rags that serve as lubrication for the end pins of the wheel to rotate within. The journal boxes are at the end of the cast frame, which resembles a "T".  The cast frame has springs that support the bolster. This sprung support cushions the ride, much like a rubber tire cushions the ride of wheels used on a bicycle or automobile. The bolster of the truck supports the railroad car above it by attaching to the underframe of the car. Usually, this is done by means of a pin that goes into a hole in the bolster of the truck. On a real train, the weight of the car holds the truck in place. On model railroads a screw or snap keeps the truck attached to the underside of the railroad car.
This is the view from Main Street in New Freedom, PA looking north with the York County Rail Trail and the Steam Into History Headquarters on the right.
Looking south from Main Street in New Freedom, PA, the York County Rail Trail is on the left. The New Freedom Trains station is also on the left. It contains the Rail Cafe (a great place to eat), a museum and nice restrooms (that's a real plus).

Note that the ballast is not only multi-colored, but it also has a variety of sizes of ballast. Modelers should remember that ballast is rarely one uniform color.  Looking at color photographs of railroads in the 1950s, it amazes me how there was such variety of ballast on one section of rail line.  Repairs and adjustments might be made at different times using ballast from different quarries or sources.

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