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Monday, May 07, 2012


After spending 40-plus years in the ball and roller bearing business, I was amazed to see this photo of a locomotive with rubber tires being used by the Pennsylvania Railroad as described in the photo-article above. I immediately recalled all those rules of ball and roller bearing engineering in situations where heat builds up as speed and friction builds up. I came to the conclusion that these rubber tired vehicles would run quieter and more smoothly, but the wear and tear on the rubber would cause premature failure of the rubber. Obviously, the rubber wheels were not practical, and we still have those steel wheeled train wheels. How about trying that experiment with silicone rubber tires?

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