locked Southern OC-21 and Three-axle Swing Hanger Trucks

George Eichelberger

I checked in on the progress on Southern Railway office car OC-21 in the TVRM shop before the SRHA archives work session this weekend. I am far from knowledgable about Southern passenger car “nuts and bolts” so the skills at TVRM amaze me every time I stop by.

The Southern replaced standard Pullman trucks with swing hanger versions on multiple office cars in the mid ‘60s. The prior owner of OC-21 (NS-8 “Tennessee”) sold them when he quit work on the car. TVRM acquired a pair of Canadian (Dofasco) Pullman trucks for when the car arrived (Via Interstate-24) from E. St Louis). On a return visit to Gateway Rail Car (good folks!), I noticed a pair of swing hangers under an ex-NYC office car, then named “Hiram” (not a NYC name??) As an early P-S lightweight car, I knew to “smack” the car side with my fist and listen to the result. The chunks of rust I heard falling in the sides and off the side sill told me the car was beyond saving. I bought the car mainly for the trucks but there were many salvageable parts now at TVRM.)

Participating in having anything like Hiram scrapped troubled me but I know the trucks will serve for many years under OC-21.

One piece of “truck trivia” I did not know was that GSC made several versions of this truck. (I’m told this was the last pair made!) This version used 9” roller bearings, rather than the Southern’s 11” version so the frame is 6” shorter. Turns out, that’s a good thing as the truck will be easier on TVRM’s curves. (There are thousands of NYC drawing aperture cards in the SRHA archives that will be at the NYCHS soon. The cards/drawings files use NYC’s filing system that is unfathomable to me without any kind of index. Might anyone know the NYC drawing number? The pattern number is in photo 2.)

OC -21 is being restored to as near as possible condition as it was when Southern rebuilt it from Pullman “Point Richmond” in 1956. Kitbashing at 12”:1’ takes time and money. As everything is owned by TVRM (a 501-c-3), I’m sure donations to the effort would be appreciated (I’m not an officer or speaking for TVRM, just an interested party.)


PS The gentlemen in the photo, contemplating something cosmic (?), is Ryan Miller, the project lead. He is one of the folks at TVRM that seem to be able to figure out hardware that is many times older than them. I’m guessing that he just read someone’s assembly instructions that said “install trucks with a 2-56 screw”.