A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies. Was: Re: Re:Fwd: Re: Freight car distribution

boyds1949 <E27ca@...>

The discussions on this list should serve two purposes: accurate and
complete (so far as is possible) knowledge of the prototype freight
car fleet and how to accurately model them.

Determining as best we can how the cars were actually distributed
should be just as important as knowing the type of underframe on a
particular class of freight cars.

How modelers use this information may vary. I may not have the
skills or patience to accurately model every aspect of an FGEX
refrigerator car as well as many others on this list, but my starting
point still has to be an accurate set of data.

None of us may be able to develop a fleet which exactly reflects
percentages of the national ownership but we need to have the data to
provide an accurate starting point. If nothing else, having access
to accurate data on the distribution of freight cars can help us keep
from going overboard when some exciting new model comes out.

John King

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, John Stokes <ggstokes@...> wrote:


When you get to the end of your commentary on freight car
percentages and what UP might have been running in a consist in a
given time period, you end up with virtually nothing concrete but
using the national averages to play around with it, and vary from day
to day, and let it rip. This reminds me of the old saw about if you
let a group of monkeys play with typewriters long enough they will
end up writing the great American novel, by pure random chance. Build
up a fleet of over a 1000 cars from all roads and then mix them up
endlessly over time and maybe, just maybe, on one day you will have
replicated an actual consist. Otherwise you are guessing and trying
to create some semblance of reality, but reality is always waiting
for the next roll of the dice.

The other factor that seems to be evident is that the UP is not
typical of many railroads, given its national significance and
overland route that channeled a lot of freight across the West, and
the same time period for the CB&Q would produce a very different mix
of cars, given the nature of the Q and the types of traffic it
generated, as an example comparison. All of this is speculation piled
on infinite possibilities based on very small snapshots of what
happened in a really great big country over thousands of days, every
one of them different and reflective of an ever changing rail scene
and traffic and commodity trends. If spending inordinate amounts of
time agonizing over this and trying to match real consists on your
favorite railroad on a given day or month or year floats your boat,
then go to it, but I think Gene has a cogent question, and I have
seen no good answers yet.John Stokes
Bellevue, WA

To: STMFC@...: brockm@...: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 13:18:54 -0400Subject:
A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies. Was: Re: [STMFC] Re:Fwd:
Re: Freight car distribution

Gene Green writes:"All this discussion of freight car distribution
has what purpose? Apurpose does not seem self-evident to me."A very
legitimate and timely question.OK...here's an opinion...and it seems
obvious. The data developed by Dave Nelson and Tim Gilbert have
resulted in a theory that the % of a foreign RR's box cars on a given
RR will match the % of the foreign RR's % of the national box car
fleet. Tim noted:"The freight car data which Dave Nelson & I have
parsed from wheelreports and other car reports will not solve Mike
Brock's "CaliforniaZephyr" problems. All they represent is a pool of
cars which werereported by a railroad over a course of time."Tim was
responding to a comment that I made that my op sessions always
replicate May 14, 1953. While I did say that, it was tongue in
cheek...I actually simulate the entire month of May, 1953. But his
point was, I think, that the theory could predict and, therefore,
project the foreign box car population over a relatively long period
of time...I think a year was suggested. The problem with this concept
is that frt train consists, at least on the UP in Wyoming, were very
variable. IOW, 30% of one train might be UP box cars while another
might have no UP box cars although 50% of the train was box cars.
About 8% of the box cars should be UP [ home road % of about twice
the national % ]. As I pointed out, major RRs interchanging with a
RR...at least in UP's case...seem to be more represented than that of
the national %...as in the case of SP. The problem is, even with
compression of model train lengths and compression of the number of
trains present during an op session, the need to have enough cars to
match a particular train...like the lumber trains with 31 SP box cars
in 1949...means that a rather large car base would be required...in
this case, at least 1000 box cars IF that base reflected the national
per centages. So...what does one do? Well, I for one recognize that
the value of the theory and statistical data is that it shows that
box cars went everywhere. The numbers of different foreign box cars
on a given layout probably reflect the RR being modeled. IOW, there
might be a "local" factor at work as in the case of UP and Milw,
CB&Q, C&NW and certainly SP and I would have more of them than the
theory calls for....probably calling for 1.5 times the national %.
Why? I don't care. It's just the way it was. At the same time if I
wanted to simulate a particular train...compressed...I would simply
have enough of those cars available as well and I wouldn't be
concerned that the total box car fleet would not reflect the national
per centages. IOW, my box car fleet probably won't exceed 150 cars[
hmmm...guess I'll have to count ] .I realize that we have a great
deal more information about UP in Wyoming than might be available for
other RRs and what applies for the UP trunk line across WY might not
apply to other areas. After all, everyone knows that at least one of
every class of frt car went over Sherman Hill at some time. Heck,
even General Tojo went over Sherman Hill.Mike Brock

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