Re: How many....fleet composition and unserviceable cars

Gatwood, Elden <Elden.Gatwood@...>

Those interested;

After reading thoroughly the interesting data (much in previous posts
and years) from Tim, Bruce, Ben, and others, I went back and looked
closely at my area and era, and the photos available to me of same.

What struck me again was the differences. As expected, my area (Pgh)
was replete with hoppers, flats, and gondolas. There also seemed to be
a disproportionate number of 50' double door box cars as compared to
plain old 40-footers. But, this was the nature of the era and the area,
which was dominated by coal, iron and steel, and auto parts manufacture.
And, the almost complete absence of reefers and stock cars.

But, what made an even bigger impression on me was Tim's data on
unserviceable cars on the PRR. I always wondered about the huge strings
of rusting X29's, H21's, and round roofs, found in many of the major
yards. IF you are modeling a big yard, you ought to model a feature
like this. And, what a cool feature it would be!

But, it also seemed that there were always a few cars (mostly gons, but
also buckled or holed hoppers, deck-less flats, and contaminated or
door-less box cars) around in each seldom-used siding. Whether these
were the result of a continuous conveyor belt of forced set-outs, or
otherwise, I will never know. But, some of these cars sat in under-used
sidings for YEARS. They collected dirt, garbage, and gradually a small
forest of vegetation.

When I read Richard's description about the "time machine" at La Mesa, I
was brought back to this issue. I need DOZENS of bad order, or NEARLY
bad order cars, on my layout. Non-revenue cars are as much a part of
this time machine we are trying to re-create, as the revenue cars are.
And the home road was a collection point for all the dregs of the fleet.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Gilbert [mailto:tgilbert@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 12:23 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: NYC "USRA" Boxcars - How Many is Enough?

Bruce Smith wrote:

As I hope I indicated, that is for the total of all types of cars.
numbers are really close to 50% over quite a range of years and were
provided by folks on this list from federal documentation. The
is that they (the documents) didn't bother to separate out the box
or hoppers or whatever to give us a better idea of WHICH car types
circulating. So, all you can do is guess. Based on roughly equal
numbers within the PRR fleet of hoppers, gons and box cars, I decided
to look at them with the idea that the biases had to even out.

I guesstimated that home road % were 70-75% for hoppers, 50% for gons
and 25-30% for box cars. I think I am overestimating PRR hoppers,
perhaps underestimating gons, and who knows about the house cars??
Due to the Pennsy's inordinately high percent of cars unserviceable,
perhaps a better percent of home cars on line would be those for
serviceable cars only.

The Operating Stats did provide the percent of unserviceable freight
cars for each road. This percent is for Total Cars on Line. In a table
in the ICC's BLUE BOOKS, the percent of unserviceable cars on line was a

maximum of 1% with the remaining Unserviceable Cars being owned by the
Home Road.

The table below shows the 1940-1960 data for:

A) Percent Unserviceable of Total Freight Cars.
B) Home Serviceable Cars on Line - by subtracting Serviceable Foreign
Cars from Total Freight Cars on Line.
C) Foreign Serviceable Cars on Line - 99% of the Total Foreign Cars on
Line shown in the earlier table today.
D) Total Serviceable Cars on Line - One less the % Unserviceable
multiplied by the Total Cars on Line of the earlier table.
E) Percent of Serviceable Cars at Home.
F) In contrast to the Percent of Total Cars on Line (Serviceable and

Percent Serviceable Cars on Line Serv+Unserv.
Year Unserv. Home Foreign Total %Home % Home
1940 15.0% 149,387 60,101 209,488 71.3% 75.4%
1941 10.4% 135,112 82,994 218,206 61.9% 65.6%
1942 3.5% 138,173 103,435 241,608 57.2% 58.3%
1943 2.9% 119,009 119,015 238,024 50.0% 51.0%
1944 3.3% 111,929 125,924 237,853 47.1% 48.3%
1945 4.9% 108,680 123,789 232,468 46.8% 48.8%
1946 7.9% 107,232 120,897 228,129 47.0% 50.7%
1947 9.9% 87,293 134,374 221,667 39.4% 44.8%
1948 9.2% 96,224 123,256 219,480 43.8% 48.5%
1949 12.3% 114,573 89,636 204,209 56.1% 61.1%
1950 15.0% 70,420 113,007 183,427 38.4% 47.1%
1951 9.0% 74,237 119,469 194,007 38.4% 43.4%
1952 9.5% 78,865 109,780 188,645 41.8% 46.8%
1953 8.0% 90,470 96,817 187,287 48.3% 52.0%
1954 11.3% 90,776 89,874 180,650 50.2% 55.4%
1955 11.7% 83,407 93,309 176,717 47.2% 52.9%
1956 6.8% 87,030 93,309 180,460 48.2% 51.3%
1957 8.9% 84,954 91,905 176,859 48.0% 52.2%
1958 15.9% 100,001 65,466 165,467 60.4% 66.4%
1959 17.5% 86,738 76,713 163,451 53.1% 60.9%
1960 13.8% 81,806 79,121 160,927 50.8% 57.2%

For 1944 because of the low 3.3% unserviceable car rate, whatever Bruce
Smith's adjustments should be would be minor. On years when the
unserviceable rate was high, an adjustment might be done in order to
reflect a truer picture of cars being used on a model railroad.

Tim Gilbert

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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