Re: GN front facing goat likelihood

Robert Heninger

My responses are bolded.

---In STMFC@..., <jimbetz@...> wrote :


  My reference for the date for the front facing goat is non other than
Scott Thompson's "Great Northern Equipment Color Pictorial" (book 1,
page 73).

Jim, that is just a date range under the side facing "Great Northern Railway" side facing goat herald, which was not applied to a Great Northern FREIGHT CAR until 1948. Clearly, as has been documented elsewhere, that logo was first used on GN literature in about 1936. In fact, it is on the back cover of my 1940 GN Annual Report. It was also used on diesel locomotives starting about 1940/1941. The FTs might have been the first to use it, but I'm not sure. That's a whole other can of worms. 

Can you provide photographic evidence of a GN freight car with a side facing goat herald painted between 1936 and 1940? If you can, I will gladly stand corrected.

By the way, as useful as it is, Mr. Thompson's book is not a particularly reference for documenting steam era GN paint schemes, inasmuch as the vast majority of the photos in the three volume set are color photographs. I think the earliest photo in Volume 1 is dated 1957.

Were there some cars painted in the front facing goat after 1936? Probably.  

No, certainly. I have photographs of newly painted GN boxcars with 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1940 dates (over a dozen photos) in my collection. Every single one, across multiple car series, painted both by the GN, or one of three different commercial car builders, has a front facing goat herald. The latest has a November 1940 date. Furthermore, in my last post on this subject, I suggested the possibility of the 52000-52999 cars as the first series to use this herald. However, on page 39 of my copy of the 1940 GN Annual Report, is a photo of a string of cars from this series, the highest numbered being 52783. All of them have the front facing goat herald. It seems unlikely that Pullman would paint the last 200 cars differently from the first 800. Therefore, the first documented evidence I have of the use of the side facing goat herald, on a GN freight car, is GN boxcar 48743, dated February 1941. If others have photographic evidence otherwise, I'd love to see it.

Were there very many of them surviving in 1950-51 (the
O.P.'s date of interest)?  I submit "not many" as my answer.

I'll agree with you there. 

  Can he use some of them on his layout?  Of course he can.  The
questions are "how many?" ... and also "what service was the car in?"
and "what type of car?".  And, of course, the proverbial "it's my RR
and this is what I want to be seeing".  I did not answer "none".

  There is no way, at least that I know of, to "know for sure" what
percentage of cars would still have the front facing goat.  At the
same time - as the percentage goes up the "feel" of the early 50's
is compromised ... more weathering on those cars would
certainly help.
                    - Jim B.

Again, complete agreement. I have a couple photos showing boxcars with front facing goats taken in 1949, and 1952. The white part of the herald has almost completely worn off the side of the car. Only the black background is visible.

Well, I've sufficiently flagellated this dead horse. I've annoyed the list enough for one day.

Bob Heninger
Minot, ND

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