Re: Photo: NP Automobile Boxcar 6181 (1934)


Schuyler writes regarding oversize gaps on modeled cars: Are we only talking to ourselves here? 
I think that it is very possible that we are. And then there could be the same who feel that even this conversation is - nuts! - to lean upon researchers "bell curve" 

The NP 6000-6999 series cars built by General American Car Company in 1923 were the NP's desire to get a larger share than they had of the automobile market. I have written prior that when the NP had Detroit area traffic agents made inquiries on how the NP might get more traffic, they found that they needed to have empty cars at the ready locally to the auto plants.  GACC was approached and asked if the NP could have cars delivered ASAP and GACC stated that they currently had jigs in place for SP cars of generally the same design and would the NP accept SP clones? Though the NP and SP were on quite amicable terms with (with the President of the NP often spending lengthy holiday visits with the SP President) the NP Mechanical department wanted a more substantial floor which had letters back and forth to the point GACC stated that a decision had to be made or else the NP could go back to the end of the order line which was 9 months at best, more likely a year. 
       About 10 years or so after they were built, some of the cars (500) of the then 998 cars were rebuilt into the 30000 series with single six foot door instead of the original door and a half six and three foot doors.  Many of these cars soldiered on well through this lists end date BTW as appliance cars, grain cars, general service going all over.  
     I had a conversation with a resin caster while turning over a mailing tube of plans on the 6000/30000 series NP cars about 6-10 years ago at CCB and made sure to mention my concerns about "oversized gaps or overly distressed and warped boards".  Something, after decades of reading letters of the Mechanical department and elsewhere, that stated the NP wood sheathed cars were generally maintained in better shape than the industry as a whole and I relayed that to this person. 
      While a completely cordial conversation, the reply as I recall had something to do with the total market in that there were sales to the toy train modeling aspect (my words, not his) and that this part of his sales which (paraphrasing his words) were people whom he doubted would ever assemble his kits however were fascinated by how the model looked in their display. And to these people - seeing oversize gaps and deep graining was actually part of the appeal.  He gave me what he felt was an estimate of this group of his sales and said (paraphrasing again) as long as they put bread on his plate he was not going to go out of his way offend them. I'll go on to say that I think the person and the company are very good folks and have added many, many, good models to our model railroad realm.    

     The corollary is of course that folks who desire greater fidelity are in part, held captive by these people however well meaning, do not care, none the less make purchases in the margins.   
And of course higher fidelity has lead to some price increases - which to me only makes sense.
Quality invariably costs more, I accept that.
However in this list can be found opinions of those who feel otherwise regarding cost increases.                                                                               Jim Dick - Roseville, MN  



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