ORER inaccuracy

Robert kirkham

Given the assertion (and I doubt any will argue it) that the ORER lists would include equipment that was not really available for service - whether retired or in storage or .... etc - is there a realistic research approach one could adopt to try to identify what parts of a given railway's fleet were no longer in service?

I suppose if the ORER data was in a data base and one focused on dropped entries over time you would develop a starting point of cars where something happened (including re-builds, sale to other lines and retirements). But my impression from reading some of the e-mails that mention these issues is that cars could be more or less out of service for several years - some to return to service, others to be dismantled, etc.

Comparison (in another data base that to my knowledge doesn't presently exist) with corporate equipment lists would be another method of identifying possible equipment that was sidelined. But again, from what I have seen reviewing CPR equipment lists, this data is similarly prone to small but significant errors.

I wonder if anyone has spent any time developing a useful approach for sorting out this kind of question? I'd like to hear what approaches you taken when sorting out the history of a given group of freight cars....

Rob Kirkham

From: "John Stokes" <ggstokes@...>
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 3:29 PM
To: <stmfc@...>
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Freight car distribution

Except for all those times the polls are wrong, for varying reasons. As for the ORER, as previously noted, those can be way off in terms of actual cars in service, so another variable.

So what you are saying Tim and Dave are saying is that their stats show us precisely how many box cars from each of the railroad in the US at the time being modeled should be present in your personal fleet of models in order to run consists that, over the year, match the national averages? And if you are only modeling one small segment of the larger railroad, say the GN in 1951, the percentages still count, you just reduce your box car fleet in numbers by the percentages so that you stay constant in the differences? So if there would be 100 CN cars on the GN system at that time, and you only have 90 cars total, you reduce the number proportionally? But what if your line is not part of the main line, but an important branch working the logging and mining routes in the Cascade foothills? I may be completely missing all this, but I am trying to understand how this would work on the average person's home layout, or is that not of any consequence?

John Stokes
Bellevue, WA

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