Rail Oiler

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Aug 29 21:44:12 EDT 2004

Thanks to every one the list that replied to my inquiry about rail
oilers/greasers. It sounds like the oilers/greaser were a great thing on
paper but left much to be desired in the "real world".  I really enjoyed
those responses about the real every day situations with the equipment.

Thanks again

Dave M
Milford, oh 

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 20:51:42 EDT nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org writes:

I goofed ... For the number of degrees of curvature between rail greasers
I should have said 720 degrees ,,, 2 full circles if all the curves were
sectioned together. Sorry bout the lapse ... Bob Loehne

A retired track boss (not sure of his title but he was #1 between
Bluefield and Williamson in the early 80s) once told me that the N&W
installed rail greasers every 360 degrees of curvature. Of course, the
Pokie along that stretch is much more curvy than, say, N&W rails in
eastern Virginia, and I don't know if straighter track requires fewer or
more rail greasers per degree of curve. I'd guess more.

Bob Loehne

Actually, rail oilers are very common, and are still in use today.  There
is one about a mile west of my house to lubricate a very curved section
of the Bristol line.  (And I think it isn't working, because the cars
squeal terribly lately!)  Point being, these are used to lubricate the
flanges on the car wheels which lubricate the inside of the rail head to
prevent friction on the inside of the rail surface in curves.  If you
hear a loud squeal, then you are wearing out rails and wheels.  Its not
done so much to keep them quiet, but to make the rail last longer.

Hope this helps,
Ben Blevins

As I was perusing my recently purchased copy of the NWHS "N&W Signal
Diagrams" book I found something I had never seen or even been aware of. 
It is found on pages 59 and following in the a fore mentioned book. It
is a "rail oiler". Can any one on the list fill me in on why they were
used and where. It's obvious that it was to put oil on the railhead. 
I've always thought that oil and rails don't mix and make for a very
slippery time. 

Thanks ahead of time for any and all info.

Dave Moorehead
Milford, OH
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