A Brief History of Freight Car Trucks
Compiled from information on the Kadee website (http://www.kadee.com) by Frank Martin

The Arch Bar Truck is a typical truck from around the turn of the century (1900s). Despite the age of these trucks, they saw more than seventy years of service in some applications. The arch bar was allowed in interchange service until about 1941. On railroads that were not common carriers such as logging or other industrial lines, this restriction of the trucks did not apply since the trucks did not operate on rails other than the owner's. The Northern Pacific, for example, used truss rod frame maintenance of way cars fitted with arch bar trucks well into the early 1970's. Many logging railroads also used them at least until then. (Kadee #501 & #551 Arch Bar 33" ribbed back wheels)
The Andrews truck (1898) is also a turn of the century design that was long lived. It represents one of the first steps in the development of the modern freight truck with its cast frame. The journal boxes are bolted to the main frame. This truck was used through the end of the 1950's although by that time was only used in lighter applications such as refrigerator cars. Andrews trucks are probably still used were logging railroads remain in operation. (Kadee #509 & #553 Andrews (1898) Truck 33" ribbed back wheels)
The Bettendorf T-Section truck was introduced in the 1920's with a one-piece cast side frame. It had a life similar to the Andrews truck. (Kadee #511 & #554 Bettendorf T-Section Truck 33" ribbed back wheels)
The Vulcan truck was introduced in the 1920's as another replacement for the arch bar truck. The Vulcan design incorporated a pin which held the journal box in place. Removal of the pin allowed the journal box to be quickly replaced. This truck lasted to the end of the steam era on mainline railroads and somewhat longer on logging railroads. (Kadee #515 Vulcan Double Truss Truck 33" ribbed back wheels)
The Pennsylvania Railroad Class 2D-F8 50-ton freight truck was originally manufactured in the 1920's with a riveted bolster but a cast steel bolster version was introduced in the 1930's. This type of truck was in faithful service for more than fifty years.(Kadee#517 Pennsylvania 2D-F8 50-Ton Truck 33" ribbed back wheels)
The Bettendorf Double Truss Truck was introduced in the 1930's by U.S. railroads and was allowed to be used in interchange service through 1993. (Kadee #500 & #550 Bettendorf Truck 33" smooth back wheels)
The A S Foundries� A-3 Ride Control� 50-ton freight truck was introduced in the 1940's and is one of the forerunners of modern freight trucks. Features embodied into this design include a longer spring travel, no spring planks and constant friction control using friction castings in the bolster to dampen excessive lateral roll of the car. These design features allowed for a higher train speed with less danger of derailment than previous designs. ASF� sold over 140,000 sets by 1949. This truck is excellent for modeling the transition era up to 1994 when friction bearings were no longer allowed in interchange service. (Kadee #504 & #552 ASF� Ride Control� 50-Ton Truck 33"smooth back wheels)
The Barber S-2 70-ton Roller Bearing truck is a logical development from the original friction bearing truck first introduced in the 1940's.  The sturdiness of the Barber� S-2 truck is evidenced by the forty plus years it has rode the rails to date. A careful observer will spot these trucks in interchange use today. This truck can be used under almost any pre-1970 built 70-ton rolling stock. (Kadee #518 Barber� S-2 70-Ton Roller Bearing Truck 33" smooth back wheels)
The 100-ton Roller Bearing Truck is from the modern diesel era. It has standard 36 inch wheels and a longer wheel base than the 50 or 70 ton roller bearing trucks. Our model is a faithful reproduction of the American Steel Foundries� Ride Control� truck. This truck is currently in use under a variety of rolling stock in North America. (Kadee #513 Roller Bearing Truck 36" smooth back wheels)


Last updated: 11/27/10