Friday, April 14, 2006

Blind drivers

From: "Wendell Huffman"

... One thing I ran across when reading the correspondence between C.P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins was the issue of blind drivers and concern that they would fall off the rails on sharp curves. The problem was their 2-6-0s from Danforth. The first ones were shipped with flanges all around. Hopkins complained that they broke rails. At this stage, these fellows really didn't know much about railroads, so Huntington (in New York) asked around and wrote Hopkins back to have the flanges turned off the middle set of drivers. Hopkins responded with the concern that those wheels would fall off the rail and said they needed tires 8" wide if they were going to be blind.

About a year later Huntington wrote that another batch of Danforth locomotives were heading to California and that they had the 8" blind tires that had been requested. Apparently in the meantime the fellows in Sacramento discovered that regular blind tires would ot fall off the rail after all. Hopkins asked Huntington (and I paraphrase): where'd you come up with that crazy idea!? Huntington knew (and I know) exactly where the idea came from, but he was pretty nice about it. He did say that it had been a lot of trouble to get a manufacturer to roll those extra wide tires.


[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]