Re: Pennsy, Arrogance, and Bad Management,What? Think again!

Greg Martin

Richard, Tony and all,

The point that seems to be overlooked here is that in the logical
chronological order the PRR X29, X31/X32/X33, X37/X38 were cars produced with
advancements ahead of the industry at any given time. Most of these cars were built,
upgraded and then often rebuilt into cars similar to ARR cars designs (sans
the underframe changes, until the X29D came along) after the war.

I never said that the PRR designs were better in terms of structural sense,
that is subjective. One only needs to ask a few questions, like did they
perform their intended duty, did they last a "normal" lifetime of service, was
the design diverse and serve the shipper. All underframes were built to last a
given period, hauling a given tonnage, regardless of design so how it could be
superior might be more subjective than one would like to admit. All the
above classes met this criteria as did the USRA SS class X26. I am not saying the
ARR underframe was not "the Best" as I personally like it and it makes a lot
of sense and it has become the standard so that is a good reason to believe
that it was better. But regardless, the PRR underframes were upgraded from
one lateral stringer to two that now ran the entire length of the car(unlike
the way that Bowser depicts it with the stringers stopping at the bolster and
the diagonal brace in the corner of the car) so they did see the need for

Personally, I just see the rest of the mechanical departments slow in
changing or some may say meticulous in design offering, which I see as an arrogant
position. But it is also and issue of investment, i.e., "we just get underway
with our new car designs and the PRR wants to make the damn car taller, stop
already, if our shippers hear this we are gonna hear it from marketing..."
Their unwillingness to even accept the PRR design show some arrogance, and
let's see I don't recall that all carriers jumped on board with the 32 car
design, until it evolved into a taller car. By then the PRR was off to a taller

I do believe that there might be some perception that we PRR guys are
arrogant (modelers as well as the RR's management), but if you sit in our chairs we
see it as being defensive, not arrogant. I also believe that it comes with
the territory, that during the era we discuss here that the PRR was the biggest
carrier, perhaps not the best in some folks opinion, but I don't recall many
modelers taking this position except perhaps me 3^). Certainly when you
get as big as the PRR, there are so many mistakes made in all areas, marketing,
operations, mechanical, infrastructure and finance that not even they could
see that they were headed for their own train wreck. But many of their steam
era freight cars were still alive and well, let's just leave it at alive. 3^)

The my dog is better that your dog doesn't work with me. I just see it as a
timeline of development. And the PRR just appears to be ahead of the others.

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