Car 437 is shown heading eastbound on Main Street East
at Union Street, awaiting entry into East Main Station after the morning
rush hour on March 25, 1936. Car 437 is riding on the Brill 39E trucks
it acquired in 1912. Note how the unpowered wheels nearest the platforms
is of a smaller diameter than the powered wheels adjacent to the center
of the car. Previous to 1912, the car rode on Bril 27G trucks that had
equal-sized wheels throughout and two motors per truck. Photo by George
When the Brill 77E trucks for 437 were delivered from
WRM to NYMT, they were placed on NYMT's loop track with motors inboard
to match the motor locations on the Brill 39E trucks the car rode of
from 1912 to 1936. While this would have permitted use of the access
hatches in the car flooring to reach the motors, building the levers and
rods needed for the hand brake would have been made much more
complicated. Therefore, the decision was made in early 2003 to reverse
the arrangement of the trucks under 437 so a proper hand brake could be
rigged. Note that these trucks have truck-mounted air cylinders.
On June 24, 2003, the 437 carbody was slid
sideways from its long-time (since 1997) resting spot alongside the loop
track. Matthews Building Movers was hired to do this difficult work.
This view was made two days later.
The wheelbase on 437's new trucks is somewhat
longer than on either of the cars previous type trucks, and a conflict
point was soon discovered. When the trucks would swivel on curves
sharper than about 120' radius, the Brill 77E truck frames would strike
the car's outside platform braces. Since the new trucks were also
several inches lower than the car's earlier trucks, it was decided to
shim the new trucks so that the car would ride higher and the truck
frames would clear the platform braces on curves.
The conflict point between truck frames and
platform braces can be seen in this photo. Eventually, it was decided to
shim the carbody 2-1/2" so that the carbody would ride at its original
height and so that trucks frames would swing clear of the car on
By late July, the first truck had been shimmed. The
center bearing was shimmed the required 2-1/2" with two steel plates of
1-1/4"-thick steel while the side bearings were shimmed 3" with 3 plates
each 1" in thickness. The side bearings needed much more shimming than
the center bearings as these trucks probably were sprung for a much
heavier car. The new shims are seen here as unpainted steel. Steel
Works, Inc. made up the steel plates and drilled the required holes;
new, longer bolts were obtained from Rochester Screw and Bolt.
The new shims were painted just before the truck was
rolled back under the car.
To remove the trucks from underneath car 437 during the
re-shimming process, it was necessary to jack the carbody up, one end at
a time. Here, the re-shimmed front truck is read to be rolled back under
By mid- August, 2003, all was in readiness to re-shim
the second truck at the rear of the car. Since the remains of steps hung
down at the right rear corner of the car, it was decided to move the
trucks just enough to free the center bearing and to work under the car.
Here, the new shims are in place on the rear truck. While the side
bearings were simple to disassemble and reassemble, the four bolts
holding the center bearings in place were so rusted that the bolt heads
had to be ground completely off and the bolts old bolts driven out. To
place the new bolts, many of the holes in the various shim plates
required enlarging so the bolts could finally be driven through the
truck bolster and all shim plates.
With both trucks re-shimmed and the carbody lowered back
onto the car's trucks, considerably more carbody-to-truck clearance was
Sufficient clearance for truck swing was obtained once
the re-shimming process was completed. Compare this photo with the
earlier photo showing the car as it earlier had riden on its new
Once car 437 was re-shimmed, the previous conflict
between truck frames and platform supports had been eliminated.
Car 437 is seen riding on its new trucks on NYMT's loop
track. All is now in readiness with the car for its eventual move into
NYMT's main car house, perhaps during 2004, the centennial year of the