Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sperry Rail Service 136

Sperry Rail Service 136, Prince Rupert, May 1958. What a thrill for a young man such as I to be able to see and explore the Sperry Inspection Car jammed full of fascinating equipment!

This rail flaw detector car uses the “
induction method” to identify cracks and flaws in the rail. An electric curent is passed through the rail, setting up a magnetic field around the rail. A pair of searching coils was suspended at a constant distance above (but not in contact with) the surface of the rail to detect any deflection or variation in the magnetic field caused by fissures within the rail.

Results are recorded by a series on pens on a strip recorder, the resulting patterns alerting on-board technicians of potentional flaws, with a dye spread on the suspected trouble spot.

The car was completely self-contained with a bunkroom, galley, and inspection room chock full of fascinating electronic equipment.

I was further treated to her return visit in June of 1959! Here is the story of her sister, SRS 131 getting slammed by a derailment up at
Aleza Lake several years earlier!

Railroad Stuff: Sperry Rail Service 136, built by J.G Brill as New York Central M11 and acquired by Sperry in 1948. Original power was the 220 hp Winton 106A.

Official Sperry Rail Service website; “Unofficial Sperry Rail Service” website; photo roster.

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