Re: Essential freight cars in RMC

Andy Miller <asmiller@...>


I'm sorry you are so down on Easterners, but the "poll" was for resin cars
and I believe there are enough Pennsy fans alone to warrant a PRR car not
yet available except in brass.


Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Tim
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005 11:40 AM
To: STMFC@...
Cc: Ted Culotta; bills@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Essential freight cars in RMC

Andy Miller wrote:

If this is a poll, you have my vote. Hear, hear, K8s, K8s, K8s!

And how about X29Bs. There are rumors that F&C will do one this year.
It appears that C&BT is long forgotten.
Nonsense! If you remember Ted Culotta's Introduction to "The Essential
Freight Car" series on page 79 of the April 2003 RMC, "Essential Freight
Cars ... should be present on almost ALL steam/diesel transition or first or
early second diesel-era layouts ...." Since when could a PRR stock car
appear on RR's on the West Coast in any quantity to justify a western RR
modeler to waste his time and resources on a PRR stock car at the expense of
other freight cars which would be far more appropriate to appear on his

I'm not saying that a PRR K8 is not an appropriate prototype to model, but
it would be foolish for a manufacturer to rely on many Western RR modelers
to buy a K8 model. The market would be restricted to eastern RR modelers
including the SPF's.

A boxcar such as the X29 is different than a stock car because of the
variety of commodities that a boxcar could carry versus the relatively few
which a stock car could. Boxcars regularly traveled to all parts of the
nation, and when they were emptied, a large percentage of them were
reloaded, and sent elsewhere. Stock Cars were essentially a rural to urban
movement with few possible return loads. Also, LA slaughterhouses (or
feedlots) did not buy much livestock from Pennsylvania.

The last paragraph of Ted's introduction said "This series will not focus on
cars that were not widely interchanged, however. An example would be the N&W
H2/H2a/H3 hoppers which were built in vast numbers, but tended to stay on
the home road." I beg to differ with Ted's statement that N&W's hoppers were
mostly "stay at homes." For most years in the 1940-60 Era, the daily average
of cars on the N&W were fewer that the number of hoppers the N&W owned.
which infers that N&W hoppers were interchanged with other railroads (in
1947, the N&W delivered over 195,000 loaded cars to the PRR at Columbus OH:
- most of them N&W hoppers - because of Car Service Rule C-411, it can be
assumed that any loaded N&W hopper east of the Rockies was loaded with coal
from N&W's territory).

The movement of N&W hoppers off-road, however, was mostly restricted to
nearby roads. The occasional N&W hopper did go over UP's Sherman Hill, but
it was a rarity - estimated to be about one every 2,000 freight cars. Now if
a Sherman Hill modeler has 2,000 cars on his layout, he may be justified in
having one N&W hopper.

The use of the adjective "essential" may be unfortunate which some have
applied locally or regionally. A better adjective may be "universal" or
"ubiquitous." In the context of Ted's series, the cars to be discussed were,
in large part, designs developed either by individual RR's (or private car
lines) themselves, by an association committee, or a manufacturer. These
designs had to be produced in large enough quantities so as any modeler
could justify having them on his layout regardless of where the prototype
for that layout was located. Once in service, cars of the particular design
could appear in revenue service on any railroad - real railroads, unlike
some modelers, usually hauled cars for a purpose.

Most of the series that Ted has discussed have been boxcars for good reason.
Other cars within car types which could be discussed would be eastern fixed
bottom gons in steel service, tank cars owned generically by the large car
lines and long haul produce reefers. General Flat Cars were also widely
dispersed, but the total of these in service barely exceeded the number of
X29's which were in service in 1947.

Tim Gilbert

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