Steel wheels on steel rails is a great way to move a lot of freight, but those wheels better be circular! From time to time, wheels must be changed out due to defects, particularity for flat spots. Usually the result of the car being dragged with the brakes still applied, the spots are cause for concern as they can do damage to track and lead to wheel failures.
For this two-bay covered hopper, a wheel impact detector, a high-tech piece of wayside defect detection, caught it leaving Chicago thumping along. So when the car arrived at the Wisconsin & Southern's Janesville yard, it was kicked to the repair track for a new set of wheels.
Watch as the carmen show off the wheel replacement process to the next generation of railroaders from Michigan Technological University's Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC).
How are railcar trucks connected to the cars? What parts make up a truck? How do they swap out wheels? All of those questions and more in this 504th episode of the Thornapple River Rail Series.
NOTE: this film was taken and published with the permission of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. All individuals on the tour wore proper PPE and had authorization to be on property - the WSOR and TRRS remind all to NEVER TRESPASS on the railroad. It's dangerous, it's illegal, and it makes the job much more stressful. Don't do it!
Does railroad engineering sound like a career path for you? Check out Michigan Tech's railroad program by following the link below! www.rail.mtu.edu
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: They forgot the cotter pin in the brakes! A: We know. They did it after filming finished as part of doing the rest of the brake hook-ups
Q: They forgot to put the brakes back in! A: Same as before, this was done after. It is best to install the brake shoes after the car has been put back down and reloaded the truck, otherwise stuff will not line up quite right. Everything will have to be adjusted for the new wheel treads anyway.
Q: Did anybody see that graffiti on the car behind the camera? A: Everybody saw it.
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