Re: HO 20 car freight car train

Tim O'Connor

Has anyone tabulated? ... for all North American railroads:

1. the number of 10'0" IH 1937 AAR box cars (4/5 ends)
2. the number of 10'6" IH 1940 AAR box cars (5/5 ends)
3. the number of 40 foot 1947-1949 PS-1 box cars
4. the number of 40 foot 1950-1952 PS-1 box cars
5. the number of 40 foot 1953+ PS-1 box cars

The above 5 car types, I think, must represent a significant percentage
of all box car production for the 20 years, 1937 to 1956.

For example, for (1) alone the SP and T&NO had 7,994 cars by my count.
The C&NW/CMO bought 9,765 of (3)(4)(5) altogether, and were also large
buyers of (2) - thousands of cars. So we're close to 20,000 cars and that's
just two major railroads. For ALL owners, I think the above 5 could easily
break 100,000 cars, or about ONE out of FIVE 40 foot box cars of all types
by the late 50's.

My point being that if you follow the N-G model, the above types may be
20% or more of the cars that you'd need.

Tim O'Connor


Not to beat a dead horse, but if the request is with respect to boxcars, it most certainly is possible and since Andy refers to the N-G model, I'll assume that's what he meant.  Flat cars work that way too. Doing it that way one would fail to account for home road cars being present in higher numbers but basically, we should just name the 20 most common boxcar classes in the US for 1955.

If you add in hoppers, guns, tank cars, and reefers, then yes, I agree with you.

Bruce Smith

There really is no "generic" location, and while sparking an lively conversation, "generic" has no real relevance. The suggested mix of cars seems to be typical of the upper midwest, and that's fine if it is your interest. It probably gives the best spread of roads nationally.

A train on the West Coast would be quite different, and would be tipped heavily toward whatever major railroad owned the track (or for a shortline was their main connection): ATSF, UP, SP, WP, GN, NP, or MILW.

My interest right now is a Southern-connected Virginia shortline, and the mix would be tipped heavily towards Southern equipment, with boxcars, a hopper and a gondola making up around 1/3 of the train, 1-2 FEGX reefers, representative cars (mostly boxcars) from the B&O, NYC, PRR, SAL, ACL, with the requisite NP boxcar and one boxcar each from the SP and ATSF.

Garth Groff

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