Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hot Boxes


Those who have traveled much by rail are more or less acquainted with the hot box. A hot box, as it is commonly called, really means a hot journal bearing or a hot journal, or both. It arises sometimes from the use of poor material in the bearing, sometimes on account of imperfect casting and sometimes from too great weight upon the bearing, producing friction and heat.

There are now far fewer hot boxes than formerly. Some of the heaviest cars are now carried upon six wheeled trucks, thus distributing the weight of each end of the car upon six journal bearings, instead of four, and reducing the danger of excessive friction. Better materials are used, and the workmanship upon them is better, weights to be carried are calculated more nicely, and greater care is exercised in operation, so that the hot box is not what it once was. A man thoroughly familiar with railroading, who made not long ago a trip of 10,000 miles, which included points as far apart as the City of Mexico, San Francisco and Chicago, said that he did not encounter a hot box until he was within 20 miles of New York on his return. — New York Sun.

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