Re: One Last X29 Question


From Bruce Smith (more info at

49313-54463 built 1928-1930 5151 cars
54464-57643 built 1928-30 3180 cars
90633-92500 built 1924-25 1868 cars
93995-96126 built 1924-25 2132 cars
97949-99999 built 1924-25 2051 cars
100000-101324 built 1932 1325 cars
101325-103324 built 1934 2000 cars
50200-505948 built 1924-25 3949 cars
566091-574090 built 1924-25 8000 cars

So, I count:
18,000 cars built 1924-25 (61% of total built)
8,331 cars built 1928-1930 (29% of total built)
3,325 cars built 1932 and 1934 (11% of total built)
29,656 total cars.

Yes, percentages do not add up to 100% due to round off errors. From my lower-division "Numerical Methods" class back in the stone age, you can't expect 3 digit accuracy using 2 digit numbers. And since my current thinking is a fleet of about 10 X29s, that's more accuracy than I need to figure out what models I need to build.

On the one hand, if I want to build a representative fleet, I have to built 6 of the 1924-25 cars, and 3 of the 1928-1930 cars before I have to worry about having one of the 1932 or 1934 X29s with Dreadnaught ends. What I really need to do is to break out my 1953 ORER and other research material, and take out the Merchandise and Express cars that would not likely be on the Southern Pacific's Coast Line in 1953.

(Note: I spent some more time than I did computing the above than I did computing lead lost on California roads, but I have not double checked my figures. I will do so after my research material arrives, and before anything is done to models. The bigger concern to me is not what was built, but what survived to 1953, and even more specifically, what cars were likely to run on SP's Coast Line in 1953. At present, I'm interested in signature freight cars likely to be seen on the Southern Pacific Coast Line in 1953, but as they say, PRR freight cars were so common in interchange that every modeler is a PRR modeler, whether he likes it or not.)

I have 5 RC models (in kit form) on their way courtesy Mike Brock and Tony Thompson, so I have my work cut out for me as it is. Tony said he might have a sixth for me. Sometime soon, I need to turn to building 3 of those RC-7000 kits for the 1928-1930 series. Then, and only then, can I worry about an X29 with Dreadnaught ends if I were to keep my roster of X29s in proportion to the number of cars built. I need to get a better idea of what the X29 fleet looked like in 1953, as I said, discounting the cars unlikely to be on the SP Coast line (per discussions with Tony Thompson and others).

I suspect I'm going to be tired of building X29s by the time the models from Mike and Tony are done! At best, a car with dreadnaught ends will be in the second batch I'll build. But I think there are more 1928 X29s to worry about than 1932/34 X29s with their dreadnaught ends.

The RC-7000 kit is interesting. Since Cocoa Beach, when the idea for modeling an X29 first dawned on me (long story), I have yet to see a kit surface on eBay. It's not listed on the Red Caboose site, so I assume there are no more plans to produce the kit. Red Caboose has not offered the car painted in any of it's kits, and to the best of my knowledge, Intermountain hasn't imported the 1928 body in its RTR line. If I hadn't seen multiple messages and other references to the kit, I'd say it's vaporware. At this point, it's definitely the rarest X29, at least in HO.

I still have a lot to learn and to figure out to have this signature car on my roster of freight cars. Learning is part of the fun. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. However, making mistakes is no fun. Doubly so after Ben Hom and Tim O'Conner get through beating me up. :-)So, like the adage to measure twice before cutting once, research thoroughly before modeling.

AAR mandated AB brakes in 1933, so I'm quite sure about the 1934 cars being built with AB brakes. Were the 1932 cars built with K brakes? I doubt it. Handwriting was on the wall by then. I believe I've seen that the 1932 cars were built with AB brakes. In 1953, K brakes were banned from interchange service, so the only cars I plan on modeling with K brakes are my cabooses. I'm galvanized about cars interchanged not having K brakes on my roster, even if a few slipped by the deadline. The subject of K brakes is a bit esoteric for me. Whether a car was built with K brakes or not, by the time I model, all should have AB brakes.

Arved Grass
Arved_Grass@... or Arved@...
Fleming Island, Florida


On Thu, 1/22/15, Chris Sawicki casawicki2@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

Hi Arved- I understand your point on Red Caboose #7000 1928 with plate ends
there are (2) 1928 side panel and DNE kits#7001 with K brakes#7004 with AB brakes
#7001 appears incorrect with K brakes and DNE's
Chris Sawicki

On Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:21 PM, "Benjamin Hom b.hom@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:

Chris Sawicki wrote:
"From Ben's TKM articles, the 1928 version should have plate ends (my understanding) if it also has K brakes."

Yes, for AS-BUILT cars. Keep in mind that cars were eventually retrofitted with AB brakes.

Speaking of AB brakes, this is a "gotcha" with the Red Caboose model. The AB brake arrangement assembled in accordance with the instructions (with transverse reservoir on the same side of the car as the AB valve) is correct ONLY for Dreadnaught end cars built between 1932-1934. It is incorrect for all cars retrofitted with AB brakes. The reservoir should be mounted parallel to the center sill on the opposite side of the car from the AB valve. Additionally, the retainer line no longer runs diagonally across the B end, but parallel with the car ladder straight down the end from the retainer valve.

Ben Hom

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