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Western Railroad Discussion > The AAR Type B truck

Date: 07/01/02 12:57
The AAR Type B truck
Author: Evan_Werkema

This came up at the tail end of another thread,
and I was hoping someone had more information.
There was a two axle, double drop equalized
road truck used by Alco, GE, Baldwin, and to an
extent by FM. The truck is referred to as the
"AAR Type-B" truck or simply "AAR-B" by the
several Kalmbach reference books (the various
Diesel Spotters Guides, the Locomotive Cyclopedia
Vol.2, and Greg McDonnell's new Field Guide to
North American Locomotives) as well as the Withers
version of the Contemporary Diesel Spotters Guide.
None of them go into the origins of the truck
except for Withers. In an extended caption, he
says that the truck:

"was designed at the prompting of an Association
of American Railroads mechanical committee,
whose goal was to standardize design components
as far as possible in the early days of diesel
power." (p.219)

I've heard the point raised more than once
that this truck shouldn't be called an "AAR"
truck, but I can't remember and can't find the
reasons why. Can anyone help here?

Date: 07/01/02 18:29
Re: The AAR Type B truck
Author: ATSF100WEST

Hi Evan-

While I can not specifically find anything along the lines of what you were inquiring about, I must also say that I thought it was just the opposite argument.

That is to say, when it was finally disclosed to the railfanning public-at-large (the beginning of the Jerry Pinkepank era), the AAR "Type B's" had already been incorrectly dubbed "Alco" trucks.

Like you stated, however, they actually rode under a myriad of manufacturers. Euphonically, it is much easier to say "Alco Trucks", versus "AAR Type B's". By the time G.E.'s U-25-B production model was released, it was WAY too far ingrained.

The same could be said about the AAR "Type A" switcher trucks. EMC/D, Alco, Lima, Baldwin, and a few FM's, all used this truck on the vast majority of their switchers.

There was, IIRC, a Canadian version of the "Type B's" as well; however, it looked different upon closer inspection.

Alco, finally came up with their own version of a 4-axle truck, albeit though just a tad too late, for their "C-430"......

Does this make any sense? Let me know......

Take Care-



Date: 07/02/02 18:00
Re: Type B truck
Author: myfordbrowning

Doug Cummings had a thread in another board about why it is not really an AAR Type B. He uses as a source John Kirklands's book on Alco locomotives. He stated that "the AAR was never involved in the design or designation of any truck design as an AAR standard".

I know that in the early day of diesel interest by railfans there was not a lot of information available and some assumptions were made and they became "fact" until more information was available.

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