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Question for Train & Railroad Expert

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A friend was out in the woods here in Central Florida and ran across an old railway bed. He took some photographs of a number of some remnants of some hollow, box-shaped iron parts (less than 1 cubic foot) would appear to be part of the railway. We were wondering what the parts might be used for...

If there is anyone that might know a thing or two about railways that would be willing to take a look at a couple of pictures, please let me know and I could post them. We are very curious.



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A colleague who is a steam train enthusiast (loco driver & engineer for an org that runs a couple along the main trunk lines here) thinks they might be bearing boxes - ie they would have had white metal or bronze bearings that fitted in them, through which axles would run.

If they weer found "in the middle of nowhere" then he thinks they might have come from a derailed wagon that had bits just left to sit where they lay.

But it's only an edumacated guesstimate! :)

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I recall interviewing an Allied POW who was pressed into working at a big rail freight yard in Germany, clearning bomb damage. He and a couple of his mates would, every now and then, ditch the lubricated waste out of the bearing boxes on idle wagons and replace it with chunks of concrete, gravel etc. The theory was that this would cause an increase in friction, melting/distortion of the axle and then hopefully fire or even derailment of the whole train.

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Back in the good old depression days, the hobos would take the oil soaked waste in order to start their campfires.

One thing they and the PW's Affie mentioned did accomplish; kept the fellow in charge of replacing that waste in a job! And that my friends was and continues to be the railroad workers main mission, "Make sure you always leave something for the next shift."

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