Re: New member checking in


Craig Wilson
 

On a friend's layout, the focal point was the harbor at Frankfort/Elberta Michigan and car ferry dock/yard there.  He visited there on his sailboat every summer.  He knew little of the railroad beyond that yard and it was populated with freight cars that caught his fancy.  After he became interested in prototype operations we helped him with reworking the layout and changing the freight car fleet to better represent the prototype.  We were fortunate enough to get access to a large volume of the car ferry manifests for his era.  I put all the pages into 3-ring binders for the RR's historical society and as I did so, I kept track of the reporting marks and commodities that went through that yard.  Summary pages were made for each month as shown on the attached sheets.  This particular example is for the connection at Manitowoc Wisconsin so there is a higher proportion of Soo Line and CNW cars.  Other manifest sheets cover the connection at Kewaunee and as expected, there are almost no CNW and Soo Line cars but many GB&W cars.

Having this data showed which railroads were underrepresented in his fleet.  And which cars he should probably dispose of (like the three Intermountain C&IM boxcars - one might be there occasionally but there would never be three of them on that railroad at the same time).  New purchases focused on cars to fill the voids (either RTR or cars that could be painted/lettered for the needed prototypes).  It took a while but I vividly remember the op session where I took a break and sat down in a chair overlooking the yard and remarked to my friend "this is the way I remember this yard looking."  The mix of car types and paint schemes just "looked right."  That is the goal - not specific numbers and mixes of cars - but something you and other people familiar with the railroad will recognize.

Craig Wilson


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