Re: Richard Hendrickson

Andy Harman

To add to all that has been said... though Richard's passion was steam era freight cars, he saw the bigger picture of prototype modeling and the importance and value of people getting together for a meet to share information and modeling techniques, regardless of our area of interest. Instrumental in taking model building away from the contest mentality and scoring points and jealously guarding trade secrets, to the open atmosphere we enjoy at RPM meets all over the country today.

Technically I have no business being on the Steam Era Freight Car List, since I decided back around 17-18 years ago to concentrate on modeling the mid 1970s N&W. But there is so much knowledge here - as well as others who model outside the subject area, that there's too much to be missed by not being here. Of course thousands of steam era freight cars operated in the 1970s and while off topic here, the cars themselves are still largely the same.

I recall a conversation I had with Richard, who was giving me a little grief about modeling the NYC in the steam era, and my favorite locomotive being the Niagara. Which he said was ugly and a few other words. I said "Well think of it as an FEF-3 built to eastern clearances". And his response with a twinkle in his eye was something like "I believe I said that".

Also at one of the shows - and I forget which - Richard put together a complete Santa Fe train of his freight cars and operated it on one of the show layouts. It wasn't just an era-appropriate train with period freights. It was an exact model, end to end, of a train that ran on the Santa Fe one a specific date - end to end, I believe all cars with the correct numbers from an actual manifest. Including the locomotive. That's prototype modeling, I'm lucky to approximate it with a 12 car passenger train - he nailed it with a 35 car freight train.

All in all, I didn't know Richard nearly as well as hundreds of others, yet I still have "Richard stories" to tell. Many of them are a whole story in a one-line response. I'm sure many more will be told in the coming weeks, and they should be collected someplace for future generations.

As to a memorial freight car - well, in order to be legitimate I need to find a Santa Fe freight car from Richard's era that saw service east of Chicago into the 1970s. I don't think he'd mind appropriate data and an ACI label.


Join to automatically receive all group messages.