Frt car distribution...again: Was: Re: new books - Lack of Eastern SS Boxcars in LA during the Depression

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Jeff Aley asked:

Huh? I thought that Mssrs. Nelson and Gilbert used wheel reports
to show
otherwise: that at any major point in the U.S., boxcars are
according to their national percentage.
Well...I don't think tim Gilbert is saying that. The time element has to be considered. IOW, at any major point we don't have a clue what the population of frt cars was or should be at a particular time. It MAY be that over a relatively long period of time...say, a year...the wheel reports suggest the Nelson/Gilbert theory might be a useful predictor. However, we DO know that, in 1949, the theory fails with regard to the UP mainline across Wyoming using information from the infamous 34 UP frt trains. As anyone who has been a member of the STMFC for a year is painfully aware, the number of SP and CB&Q box cars in those trains exceeds their national average considerably. Why this is so doesn't really matter. We are more interested in the way things were since we are interested in reproducing them. I might add that movie photography is not an example of shooting an interesting frt least as seen in the Big Boy Collection which shows entire UP frt trains rather than a particular car or group of cars. And, those frt trains definitely violate the population predictor. What we do know from the population studies is that a RR's box cars went all over the nation whereas other types of cars, particularly coal carrying cars, tended to be more regional in distribution. Stock cars and gondolas [ and the pronounciation of the term doesn't seem THAT important ] seem to be more nationally distributed as well. Now...if you wish to monitor your layout's op sessions on a yearly basis, the population predictor might be very useful.

Mike Brock

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