Re: Freight TRAIN Consists (Long)

Gregg Mahlkov <mahlkov@...>


It is called the CT1000 on the PRR and it lists every single siding on the Pennsy and its location by milepost. It was last issued in 1945. After that, there weren 't sufficient clerical forces to keep it current.

It is available on Jerry Britton's PRR Keystone Crossings website

The "Arranged Freight Schedules" were in looseleaf form and pages were distributed whenever major changes were made.

Gregg Mahlkov
Florida's Forgotten Coast

Shawn .Beckert wrote

Elden wrote (ages ago it seems) a long post on the subject
of researching the freightcar consists of freight trains, in
particular those of the Pennsy, in order to model that road's
trains in a more accurate manner. This is (another) subject dear to
my heart; now that we're past the Christmas rush and it's a quiet
day at the mouse factory, I'll attempt to address some of his

I wanted to pass on that this is a subject of great interest to
me, and also of GREAT frustration, because so few complete sources
of information exist.

Very true, and someone talked about the various documents that the
railroads did - and didn't - keep around for any length of time. The
railroads seemed to be much better at holding on to the records and
diagrams of freightcar construction (lucky for us) than they were at
keeping documents on how and where they were used. Some of the items
we'd like to know (number and types of cars in train, their origin
and destination, etc.) will never be known, because 99.9% of the wheel
reports, switchlists and conductors logs were tossed long ago.

The advice I'd give on this subject is to try to re-create the blocks,
by establishing the industries served, their traffic needs, and car
types, by who was served by the yard that received each block, then
assembling the blocks into a train, which might be confirmed by data
on the number of cars per train. It is not exact, but MAY be closer
to what you need than you have currently.

This is pretty much the approach I've used in trying to determine what a
particular freight train might have looked like on the Southern Pacific
and Cotton Belt in the late 1950's and early 1960's. You mentioned a PRR
document called "Arranged Freight" - I'm going to assume this is similar
to Espee's "Schedule of Through Merchandise and Perishable Freight" that
was published on roughly an annual basis. This listed the freights that
currently ran on each route (Sunset, Coast, Overland, etc.) and the areas
or cities that they were (in theory) blocked for. How close SP/SSW followed
this book in making up trains is anybody's guess, but it gives you an idea
of how things were *supposed* to work.

Given the absence of documents or other definite information, your concept
of recreating a train consist based on the industries located in the region
it ran in is the best way to go, in my opinion. I've been lucky in that the
SP/SSW did make "side track records", "terminal directories" and "station
plans" that listed what industries were located on a particular line for
various time periods. A great many of these were saved and are in good hands
at the California State Railroad Museum library in Sacramento. An example is
the San Francisco peninsula; Espee made an "industry map" for the entire line
in August of 1958, showing every industry from the Embarcadero to South San
Francisco. A goldmine of information, it resides at the museum now and I
recently had a copy made for my own use.

I've been given the impression that a lot of Pennsylvania information and
documents have been preserved by various entities (like the PRRH&TS) and are
available for use. It might be fruitful to look and see if anything similar
to "station plans" or "side track records" are in their collections - at the
least it would be a good starting point for trying to recreate train consists.

Shawn Beckert

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