Re: The Rules

Jim Betz


My 40-40-20 is a "perception" rather than a number arrived
at thru actual counting.
That said I -have- gone thru my books more than once and
looked at freight cars in the pics in a form of non-empirical
research (an oxy-moron - I admit) ... for the express purpose
of getting an idea of the mix of freight cars.
The other input is that there is a guy who has been posting wheel
reports to the NP list for quite some time now and those
seem to be "in the same range" (again a non-counting).
And finally - one time I did an actual search of photos in my
books for Eastern roads (not long after I had that 40% rule quoted
to me) and not only found the 40% rule to be flawed but actually
had to hunt for pics that had any quantity of Eastern RR cars
(ie. not oneseys and twoseys). I had two reasons for this particular
research - first I felt that the '40% rule' was in error and secondly
to get a feeling for which RRs I should include in my fleet.

I know, I know ... do the hard (tedious but easy?) work and
actually COUNT.

I'm -not- claiming ... and have never claimed ... that my ratio is
"very close to actual" and have often wondered just how right/wrong it
is ... however the basic claim behind what I said is still something
that I think is true:

"The mix of freight cars was considerably different for
locations on the West Coast (let's say either a state that
is on the Pacific or one that touches one) than it is for
trains East of the Mississippi and especially for locations
on the East Coast (either a state that is on the Atlantic
or one that touches one)."

And I will say that it seems pretty close ... but again - I haven't done
an actual count.
- Jim in San Jose

P.S. To those of you on the East Coast ... I -do- know that the "Official
East Coast" doesn't run all the way to the Mississippi ... but it
is also true that the West Coast doesn't start "somewhere between
Pittsburgh and Chicago". *VBG* So - I'm using the loosey-goosey
definition that RRs that don't have track East of the Mississippi
are "Western" RRs and all those with no track West of Ol' Miss
are "Eastern" RRs and I look at where the bulk of their track is
for the rest.

Message: 7
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 19:47:24 -0400
From: "Benjamin Hom" <b.hom@...>
Subject: RE: Re: The Rules

Jim Betz wrote:
"I've looked at a lot of pics of trains and although you do see a
fair number of East Coast freight cars they do not seem to be
represented in the kinds of percentages I've heard quoted ... one of
which has that has been quoted many times is "Forty percent of your
freight car fleet should be PRR/NYC." I can't even say my studies
have shown even that number for 'non-West Coast RRs'. It seems to
me that the percentages seem more in the 40-40-20 range for most
freight trains on the West Coast (no matter what RR) ... that is
40% home road, 40% other West Coast roads, and 20% East Coast RRs
(East of the Mississippi).
Perhaps that 40% PRR "rule" is more an East Coast guideline?"

I don't know who's been quoting this "40% PRR/NYC Rule" to you, but it shows
a total lack of understanding of the analysis that we've been discussing.
It fails to take many of the factors that we've been discussing into account
regarding car types and commodities. The "40% PRR/NYC Rule" is barely valid
for PRR or NYC layouts, and that's because of the large numbers of hoppers
owned by these roads, making 40% hold only for modeled locales that feature
large amounts of coal or mineral traffic.

I'll have to challenge your 40-40-20 assertion for all West Coast railroads.
What have you based your analysis on?

Ben Hom

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