Railway Air Brakes and Appliances

So You Can Keep Moving Forward

Railroads have been using railway air brakes to safely stop trains since 1869. Since then, air brake technology has evolved into many new forms, but the old systems worked well and are an important part of railroading history. 

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Services uses the original, vintage locomotive air brake systems, supplied by the manufacturer. Retaining the original brake systems on a historic locomotive preserves the integrity of the equipment and eliminates the need for an expensive and time-consuming modern conversion.

We are equipped with air brakes valve test racks manufactured by the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, which allow us to rebuild obsolete valves to factory specifications. These racks isolate valve functions, test individual valve parts, and ensure that the valve performs like new. 

The Strasburg Rail Road takes pride in preserving the skill required for the repair and operation of these old systems. When the need arises, we have the expertise needed to complete nearly any antique air brake restoration to factory-fresh condition.

Types of Air Brake Valves

The following lists highlight each type of air brake restoration we are able to service.

Locomotive Brake Valves

  • 6ET type brake equipment
    • S-6 independent brake valves
    • H-6 automatic brake valves
    • 6 type distributing valves
  • 14EL type brake equipment
    • K-14 automatic/independent brake stands
    • 14 type distributing valves
  • Feed valves
    • B type
    • C type
    • M type

Freight and Passenger Rail Car Brake Valves

  • H type
  • K type
  • L type
  • P type
  • Plain type

Steam Locomotive Appliance Repair and Restoration

Even the best-maintained locomotives can be taken out of service due to failing appliances. Don’t let an air compressor, injector, or safety valve be the source of worry that your machine may not make it through an operating day. 

Regular maintenance and upkeep are critical to keeping any auxiliary system in good operating condition. 

We will repair and restore the following steam locomotive appliances:

  • Injectors
  • Feedwater heaters
  • Dyanmos
  • Electrical components
  • Pumps
  • Air compressors
  • Stokers
  • Booster engines
  • Power reverse gears
  • Safety valves
  • Any other appliance in your locomotive

Case Study

Preserving The Baldwin Locomotive 152

Our mechanical team rebuilds and restores all aspects of the trains, including the construction and refurbishment of wooden passenger cars, like the ones you ride in when you visit Strasburg Rail Road. One of our projects was restoring the Baldwin Locomotive 152 for the Huckleberry Railroad.

Strasburg Mechanical Employees standing by a steam engine part

Get in Touch

If you suspect you have a railroad air brake or locomotive appliance that would benefit from a part or complete overhaul, we can provide that for you. Start your journey to preserve your piece of history below.