[N&W] Re: Question on Y6a Tenders

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 4 22:17:59 EDT 2004

Ed Case asked:

    Did you know there were 5 different tenders on Y-6bs.
And two different ones on Y6/Y6a's. But my question is :
On Y-6a's did all the tender trucks have solid bearings or
roller bearings?

                           Thanks ED
Ed King answered:

In checking the photos I made of Y-6as in the late '50's, all show solid 
bearings.  I don't think this reflects what was under all the tenders, 
though.  I have photos of Y-6s made in the same period, some with all 
roller bearings, some with all friction, and some with a mix - one or two 
axles on either or both trucks with both kinds (a 1947 shot of the 2122 
shows lead truck friction, rear truck roller).  I'll bet that if you could 
find photos of all the Y-6a tenders (and I don't have them all), you could 
find some roller bearings.  The outer bearings could be changed with only a 
slight modification of the side frame, if that, because the pedestals were 
designed to drop the wheels out over a pit; conversion of the middle axle 
required a whole new frame section.

Hope this helps.

Ed King
Mason Cooper added:

This question came up in writing the Shenandoah Book .
Tom Dressler, was the source.....
....roller bearings were set into the friction bearing journal
boxes,... so that by observing photos the engines appear
to have friction bearings, while in fact the tenders have
roller bearings.
TDD said this was a correction from his USRA 2-8-8-2
book co-authored with Ed King.
mention of this tidbit appears on pg. 137 of the Shenandoah
book as TDD said it applied to the Y5 rebuilds also.

Jim Gillum replied:


My records do not indicate that any of the Y-6 or Y-6a tenders had roller
bearings on the tender trucks.

Between 1948 and 1950, the Roanoke shops built 30 Y-6b locomotives, #2171 -
2200.  These locomotives had roller bearinsg on all engine trucks as well as
the tenders.

Gary Rolih adds:

      Y6a tenders were 22C's with two different types of construction and
      detailing ( I cannot claim to understand the differences but the
      photos show the different construction and rivet patterns.  Detailing
      - electrics, lights and such- evolved with the overall change in
      capabilities of the design team, standardization and component
      improvement.)  Trucks were Buckeyes in all cases with, Timken, SKF or
      ASF roller bearings. Buckeyes were preferred- more flexible- for mine
      tracks and sidings: Commonwealths had bettter high speed performance-
      more stable dynamically- and so were applied to A's and J's.

Jim Williams adds:

There were not five different type tenders on Y6b's. They were all classified
as 22 I. However, there were five different style rivet patterns. They welded
more seams, which resulted in fewer rivets.

Ed Case replies to his own question:

  Hi Ron, I just wanted to inform you that I had a discussion with Jim
Williams, yesterday, about the Y-6b tenders. Jim and I go back 29 years,and in
all that time, he has always been right, ?and I have been wrong. Well,
this time I am right for a change. To be sure, I just looked up the word
different. We already know what it means. Jim is right about all 29 "bs"
having 22-I tenders; but there are 5 DIFFERENT rivet patterns. I believe that
makes them different.

Ron Davis asks:

Is this going to become another "Tuscan Red" question? 

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