I have begun to study chalk marks. Well ... actually just look more closely at them. The truth is that with few exceptions I have no idea what the chalk marks are trying to convey.
Some might appear to be train numbers applied by a yard clerk to aid classifying a car to a specific train. Or perhaps they are track numbers? Or perhaps the marks denote something entirely else. Those that say to "hold" a car are understandable as are marks that explain or denote a bad order car. But the majority of marks are more or less a foreign language to me.
Also, did the use of chalk marks change over time? That is, would the use or need for chalk marks change from the 1920s to the depression era, to the WWII era, to the post WWII era, etc?
With my past modeling, I have added chalk marks to my weathered models based simply on "looks". Now that I am modeling a specific stretch portion of a specific branch line, I am beginning to wonder about this random approach.
Any knowledge you can provide to this old dog modeler would be appreciated.