Re: ADMIN: Statics & Probability...was Re: Ownership of freight cars in the Steam era

Richard White

Dear Group members,

Eugene Deimling asked:

"So is this a new site for people who like doing statistics or is it the
site on freight cars?"

Tim O'Connor replied:


The moderator reponded:

"From the Steam Era Frt Car Group Rules:

"The purpose of the group is to discuss all aspects of North American
standard gauge freight cars of the steam era [ 1900-1960 ]. The
include the sharing of
information about railroad freight cars including their operation,
distribution and the various techniques of building
models of them."

Note the term, "distribution". OTOH, no one should expect the STMFC to
the site of even reotely invoved discussions of statisctics OR

Although I am not a statistician, I did learn enough about statistics to
find the discussion fascinating in its own right and very helpful in my
quest to figure out what freight cars should I acquire to operate a model of
an itty-bitty branch line serving an agricultural area in the mid-west.

What is striking from analysis of photographs is the way that the
distribution of some car types, e.g. boxcars and flats, appears to closely
approximate to a random distribution, while the distribution of others, e.g.
reefers, coal hoppers and stock cars does not. From what I know of similar
work on freight rolling stock in Britain, this probably relates to a
combination of the operating rules, the flexibility of use of different
types of car for different traffics and the flow of traffic.

As I understand it, the de-jure operating rules are that cars should be
returned to their home road via the same road(s) they travelled over to get
to where they are standing now. However, it's obvious that different
de-facto rules operate and that these rules may vary for different types of
car. What were the de-facto rules in the steam era (i.e. what did the
railroads actually do with unloaded cars) for different types of car?

Richard White

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