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 Post subject: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2657
Anyone know of a good source for Sharon Coupler Knuckles? Either used in good condition or new, whichever is available...


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:38 pm 

Dear Bob (and list),

What differentiates a Sharon coupler knuckle from other knuckle types? Also, what equipment were they used on? Did they offer any special advantages?


Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2657
To be honest, I don't know the exact differences between Sharons and other couplers. They look a lot like a standard knuckle coupler from what I can see.

I think is that the only real distinguishing point that matters in this discussion is that the only knuckle that will fit a Sharon coupler is a Sharon knuckle. Since that's what's on the end of the coach in question (ex SP commuter car) that's what I'm looking for.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2540
Location: Northern Illinois
You might want to try contacting these folks:

http://www.greatlakesrailcar.com/couplers.htm

I have had absolutely no dealings with them, in fact, ran into their web site linked to a modeling site that was using it to illustrate different historic couplers, but they do show both the Sharon bottom and side operated style, and seem to have some contacts with the foundries that supplied parts. It could be worth a call.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:41 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:15 am
Posts: 166
The Northwest Railway Museum has faced the same question for a 1915 Barney and Smith car. Apparently National castings was once the place to have something like this made - in appropriate quantities of course. Their rail castings division in Cicero is all but gone and no one has been able to point to another source for patterns. So there were two options: build a pattern or retrofit type E couplers. The Museum opted to install type E couplers and hired a crew from AOE to perform the work. Total cost for materials (lightly used couplers, new draft gear, new mounting hardware) and labor was approximately $15,000 for one car. I've read the AOE crew may be headed for Colorado but perhaps they are still available...

Richard


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:30 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:01 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Seattle, WA
http://rypn.sunserver.com/forum/viewtop ... ght=sharon

Previous post on the same subject.

Don't know if any ever got made or not.

Be nice to get an update.

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Hume Kading
Don't eat live food.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:18 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:42 am
Posts: 404
Location: Haslett, Michigan USA
I have never heard of anyone successfully reproducing Sharon coupler parts, but I no longer spend much time in passenger-car draft-gear pockets, so I could be out of touch. I heard a story once about the group now at Grand Rapids, Ohio having come knuckles cast, but they were in the wrong alloy and quickly wore out even in weekend tourist service. So far as I know, you are utterly out of luck once your supply of junk Sharon parts is exhausted.

I would like to know for sure why the Sharon coupler persisted so long. My guess is that it was marginally lighter and cheaper than a standard Type "E," and that the railroads used it on commuter and local passenger cars where strength wasn't needed because they were cheap. We have a 1934 C&O heavyweight combine that was built with these paper-clip drawheads.

My guess is that the time spend back-engineering Sharon patterns would be better spent measuring your draft-gear length for conversion to Type "E's" or "F's." If you get lucky, you will find that your Sharons can be replaced by a standard-length modern coupler, but be prepared to find that the closest new coupler will be long by a couple inches. That will require redesigning the buffer. With luck and a good welder, you can beat the $15,000/car price mentioned above, but not by much if you are paying for the fabrication of new coupler carriers.

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Aarne H. Frobom
The Steam Railroading Institute
P. O. Box 665
Owosso, Michigan 48840-0665


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:10 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
The other question that needs to be asked is what are you going to do with them? Erie doodlebug 5012 has Sharon couplers on it. When I attempted to have the car moved in 1991 the first thing Norfolk Southern told me was that Sharon couplers would not be accepted for interchange.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:48 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:13 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Baltimore. MD
The last brand new Sharon couplers ever made went to Steamtown in about 1976.

As Car Foreman for Steamtown in the mid 1980's I did extensive research into Sharon couplers, and found out that the patterns no longer exist. At that time Steamtown had over twenty cars in operation with Sharon couplers.

In the early 90's I was able to get a sympathetic engineer from National Castings to price out a one time last time only deal to make patterns to produce 50 locks and 100 knuckles. National was not about to give out the manufacturing drawings due to liability, but they would make non-production patterns and do one last run. The price was to be $50/lock and $150/knuckle. The deal was announced through TRAIN, and only 20 were subscribed for. End of deal. Engineer is now retired, National has gone bankrupt, and the sucessors deny any knowlege of any engineering expertise in the Sharon parts.

The fact of the matter was, even though in the long view these prices were bargains, no one wanted to step up to the plate. If I had been entreprenurial (and had the money to sit on) I could have bought the batch and charged $500 each for the knuckles now. And many would take my name in vain for "ripping them off".

I apologize for being a little emotional about this, but a lot of arm twisting went into getting the opportunity, and our industry let it get away.

Steve Zuiderveen


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:42 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Spencer, NC
There was an ad in the June 2006 issue of Trainline for Irwin Transportation products. One of the items mentioned was an industrial mill "Sharon Coulper". I'm thinking that the spelling my be wrong. You might try them.

http://www.irwincar.com/irwintrans/about-us.asp


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2657
Yes, we'd noticed that and I think the master mechanic was going to contact them. I wasn't concerned about the typo, but the "industrial mill" part had me worried that it might not be the same thing as what we're looking for.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2657
Aarne H. Frobom wrote:
My guess is that the time spend back-engineering Sharon patterns would be better spent measuring your draft-gear length for conversion to Type "E's" or "F's."


Yes, I doubt we'd go to the trouble of creating a pattern.

As for conversions, it sounds like that Great Lake Railcar has the capability to do some mixing and matching and come up with a solution. Anyone ever worked with them before?


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:00 pm
Posts: 818
Location: NJ
So what is the difference between the Sharon coupler and a regular coupler?

Later!
Mr. Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2540
Location: Northern Illinois
Well, the shape of the parts, for one thing. I believe the Sharon is a proprietary design that pre-dates the adoption of the ARA Type D, the first truly interchangeable coupler; not only would it operate with couplers of all other manufacturers, the parts were interchangeable with all other Type D couplers. Seeing that it pre-dates the Type D, it is undoubtedly lighter, and very likely uses the old MCB knuckle profile. This coupler has essentially been obsolete since the introduction of the Type E in the early thirties; no wonder no one wants to support it with parts any longer.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharon Coupler Knuckles?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 904
Location: NJ
Black River just took apart a few cars, including a CNJ coach, which may have been built with those Sharon couplers. Also, the Boonton cars may have them as well.


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