Re: Freight TRAIN Consists (Long)


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@d...>
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
comments:

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. <
snip>


Shawn,

Sadly that is true, and most of them went into the waste basket at
the end of the work day. And I was guilty of doing it from 1960 to
2001. I only have a few wheel reports from my working days and wish
I had more. Working an average of 300 days a year for all those
years would have resulted in a large pile of paper. And my
interest in railroading was during the 1940's and 50's, even when I
was 20 years old.

Most railroader's interests did not include, railroads and preserving
their history. Their many concern was doing their jobs and
collecting the paycheck, so their switch lists and wheel reports went
into the trash can. Many did keep their conductors books though and
that is where much of the information we have today came from. The
railroads kept records long enough to satisfy the auditors and to
provide a back up source of reference to deal with lost cars, etc.

Chet French
Dixon, IL

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