Re: Lumber Loads

Donald Ford <ford.donald77@...>

Gentlemen and Ladies

In the May 1986 Mainline Modeler is an ad for Cascade Models of a GN flat 65000 series with a lumber load of dimensional lumber secured just the 
Tony  explained in his blog.  The stakes are lighter in color than the lumber with different colors in the lumber.  Its a B&W photo so you can't be too sure and the photo is dated 1969
Don Ford 
Kanab UT

From: Anthony Thompson <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Lumber Loads

Dennis Storzek wrote:
By the time Jack Work was writing this in the fifties, most likely
the only lumber that was being shipped uncovered on flats/gons would
be dimensional timbers... 6x6 and larger.
Not sure where this idea came from, Dennis, but it's strongly
contradicted by photos as late as the 1980s of lumber much smaller
than 6 x 6, uncovered, on flat cars. In fact, in the mid to late 1950s
(Work's article was published in February 1957, but I don't know when
it was written) I can't recall a single photo of COVERED lumber on
flat cars. Finished wood did tend to travel in double-door box cars
(when available) in the 1950s. One place you can find lots of photos
of western lumber loads on flat cars is in the flat car volume of my
series on SP Freight Cars.

In those days the dominant wood species for timbers was Douglas Fir,
which, indecently, only grows in the Pacific Northwest and BC. Doug
Fir looks NOTHING like the imitation wood available today at the
"home center", species which in those days weren't even commercially
cut. Douglas Fir is considerably pinker, for want of a better
description, than today's "white wood."
Conversely, timbers from the southeastern US would most likely be
Southern Yellow Pine, which is quite yellow/orange in color.
Certainly a lot of Doug fir was being cut in the Northwest in
the 1950s, but Ponderosa, Sugar and other pine was still being cut
too. Maybe there is a new frontier in freight car modeling here:
correct representation of lumber loads by species -- and we haven't
even gotten to redwood yet <g>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history

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