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 Post subject: Re: roller bearing conversions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:32 pm
Posts: 91
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
I attended a seminar on this topic this week at the TRAIN convention in Harrisburg and points made were that the successful steam engines with roller bearings were designed and built new for roller bearings, example is N&W 611. Friction bearings were considered and used in engines built new right up to the end of new Class 1 RR steam and there was a reason for that. You can almost always limp home if a friction bearing heats up or has a problem. Roller bearings that fail would need to be changed out at the site of the failure. In addition, conversion driver roller bearings would need to be designed to fit the existing driver box and therefore not necessarily be the proper ones for the lateral and impact forces for that locomotive since the engine was designed with friction bearings. The advantage of less maintenance during the operating season of roller bearings may be outweighed by the expense of replacing them during the off season when the wear out or due to today's fast pace of things becoming obsolete, the true example given was the company which supplied the bearings was called for replacements after the 5 year life expectancy was reached and the caller was told they were obsolete and no longer made.

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