Re: Number Change On Kadee Cars

A&Y Dave in MD


Life is full of similar, but just slightly different pursuits. Museums, historians, diorama builders, model builders, and railroad modelers overlap 90-99% and so we focus on the 1-10% differences instead of the commonalities because otherwise we'd just say "yup" and move on.  It's the differences that catch our eye and need explanation.

Thanks for pointing out the history.  That's good to know.  I was also wondering about the black ends, thinking that was not usual Southern practice but trusted Kadee to get it right.  Now we know why they only had one car number.  The Southern has so many (*%&(%^&%()^ unique and "custom" features that it is just a royal pain to model.

The number change was enough for me, since this was out of my era of interest (1934) and I was trying support industry by buying something in Southern from a manufacturer who does quality work.  I got two, because I will run it on the FCSME modular club layout and I hate to have a single car "there goes the Southern boxcar" effect.   I like to have something that is not unique so it better reflects the usual (hundreds if not thousands of similar cars), but having two of the exact same number is going a bit too far in that direction.   Unless, I knew that car was always going to the same industry (in virtual or real captive service), then I wouldn't want a car that is "single instance" on my layout.  It may be historically accurate and interesting, but then it goes on a display shelf or a museum, otherwise it defeats the railroad modeling aspect.  I tend to buy my cars in clusters of 2-15 so I capture the feel of railroading in my necessarily selectively compressed railroad and trains.  It's like each car is a pixel in a photograph.  When that ONE pixel is orange in a field of maroon (go Hokies!), it may be accurate, but it sure distracts.  That is not a complaint about Kadee or about those wanting each car to be a museum quality or high fidelity representation.  It is just my observation and explanation of my hobby choices.

IF this was a '34 era car, I might have spent more time worrying about whether the new number was appropriate, but the 'focus on the fifties' as a 'transition era'  is another issue for another time.

Good discussion!


Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 9:38:42 AM, you wrote:

> Just changing the number on the Kadee Southern boxcars may not be enough!

> I’ll skip the details but when I purchased and received one of the cars, I questioned the black
> ends. That led to a spirited series of emails with Kadee and who I consider to be the “most knowledgable” P-S freight car person.

> The conclusion, I believe we all agreed to with the “evidence” available, was that the black
> paint on the Southern car was NOT specified by the SR. The SR cars were part of a lot of 500
> produced by P-S that went to a number of railroads to introduce them to the new car based on P-S
> components. The P-S specification describes the black ends but the Southern spec for 40’ P-S box cars does not.

> As the group of SR cars was very small, specific documentation is hard to find but without saying
> “never”, I think the odds are very high that ONLY the car produced by Kadee had black ends.
> Multiple photos in the SRHA files of other cars in the group show only FCR ends. While I realize
> paint could fade before the photos were taken as many as ten years later, no appreciable color
> difference can be seen between the car ends and sides. Before the remainder of the (25 car?) group
> left P-S, I expect they were painted in the Southern freight car brown standard. (I can send a
> copy of one of the photos if anyone would like to look for themselves.)

> Please note…this is NOT a criticism of Kadee! Their work is always amazing and their (Sam’s)
> attention to detail is first rate. Based on the data in the P-S lot spec, the paint scheme is
> correct. The model is beautiful and I will have more of them. Maybe Kadee with come out with an
> undec version, I’ll simply spray the car ends ,or, better yet, Kadee will offer more road numbers without the black ends.

> Ike

> PS I don’t know how Kadee does it, but I appreciate the fact that their products are (mostly?) made and assembled in the US.


David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC
David Bott, modeling the A&Y in '34

Join to automatically receive all group messages.