Re: Oregon lumber traffic

Greg Martin

Jeff answers:


You're welcome!

I hesitated to do that math (4940 cars per year, divided by 365 days per year = 13.5 cars per day).  I don’t know if finished lumber is shipped seasonally or if it is shipped uniformly throughout the year.  I'm willing to bet that others (Greg Martin) know the answer.

I suppose it doesn't matter much.  The number of cars is far less than a prototype train.  So one can model it as a single block of lumber cars per day, or perhaps a couple of smaller blocks.  Obviously, the number of cars in a “block” on most model RR’s is far fewer than on the prototype.



Fred, Jeff and all,

Lumber was bought,  sold and shipped every day to some degree. It was a commodity market product and being so the price was either up or down everyday just as you would expect of any commodity.  As you would expect there were certain times of the year that the market would go up due to supply/demand issues.

Here is what trends I can recall and I believe are still common today, the buyers would come to play in late February considering the transit time the material would arrive in early March and to the jobsite by months end. The market would climb through the last week in April and first week of May. June was a month of tapering, Fourth of July "shut-downs" would help hold the market up and August and September were down months. Somewhere about the 10th of October the market would get a kick start again and if the market took "baby steps" it could hold through Thanksgiving week "shut-downs" then the mills would have a good Christmas. There were always some market runs for various fabricated reasons, so lumber was always moving.

So I guess if you are modeling the spring months you would see the largest groups of cars headed south to Californian and also east towards Chicago.

Remember eighty percent of all commodities in a common house are plate stock, studs and roof sheathing. So think surfaced dimensional 2"x 4" with a dab of 2"x 6" (plumbing walls) 2"x 4" P.E.T. studs, and 1"x 6" (or wider) solid or skip sheathing.  The balance was surfaced floor joists, rafters, and header material as well as floor sheathing. Heavy un-dress timber was a small commodity where as 4"x and 6"x dressed timber was common for headers for the walls and timbers for the floors.


Greg Martin


Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean

Join to automatically receive all group messages.