Mike after researching for the Northern Pacific’s lumber train, the J Manifest, my research closely matches both your post and Tony’s post 127431 also. Per Tony, I also found that the shipper’s preference was as Tony relates, 50-ft DD XM cars. However in any case, boxcars, any ones boxcars seemed to take preference over flats for the reasons that follow.
The NP always preferred that lumber be loaded into boxcars whenever possible as this prevented the possibility of the lumber shifting in a dangerous manner. NP records reference ICC records of wrecks being attributed to shifting lumber loads and the NP had several “load shifters” to deal with these shifted loads between the west coast lumber areas and St. Paul where it handed off this traffic. Some loads were dealt with (resorted) up to nine times between the two prior mentioned areas.
The NP’s J Manifest started after an investigation of a semaphore being knocked down and other subsequent notable events even after this manifest started include a shifted load shattering the windows of a car on a local and breaking the arm of a passenger aboard the same. Also a shifted timber on a flat nicking a switch at Coon Creek Junction, MN, which then threw the switch under the train and piling up the 40 or so following cars.
The lumber shifting was thought to be caused by the dynamic augment of the piston thrusts of steam locomotives being transmitted through the drawbars. (If someone with a better grasp of physics can explain this better, go for it).
I think many of the sheets regarding shifted loads I have, list car numbers and so I will search for these and scan some pages so we can see the variety of cars used. I may have a Conductors report of a J Manifest itself, and will try to get a scan to the files. XM’s predominate on that train report as you list on your finding Mike on the train report you found.
One thing notable in these shifted loads on flats seems to be various sizes of lumber loaded on a car and even more so; larger timbers loaded on top of smaller sizes of lumber and this did not have to be great differences. One example had 4x10 inch under 6 x 12 inch, with 4x10s causing trouble.
That would be my only (very minor) concern with the Owl Mountain kit. Different sizes of lumber.
This kit alone or with various other sizes set on top does much to as Tony relates in his blog; saves time and saves strip wood for other projects.
I do welcome the Owl Mountain kit and want to thank Tony for bringing this to the group’s attention.
Jim Dick - St. Paul