Re: Freight Car Statistics



I think that is a misconception based on a regional bias. I have compiled the data for 1953. While tank cars only compose 0.6% of the cars owned by railroads, they also compose 55.4% of the privately owned rail cars. Overall tank cars accounted for 7.4% of all rail cars in 1953. There were 5 times as many tank cars as covered hoppers; nearly twice as many tank cars as flat cars; more than 3 times as many tanks as stock cars; more than 20 times as many tank cars as ventilated reefers; and nearly 25% more tank cars than reefers.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: A. Premo <armprem2@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 11:09 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight Car Statistics

David,Going even further using this data one can come up with the % of each car

type in relation to the total car fleet of a given period (year).After perusing

the information tank cars represent a minuscule percentage of the total car

fleet.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----

From: Dave Evans

To: STMFC@...

Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:45 AM

Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight Car Statistics

--- In STMFC@..., "Aley, Jeff A" <Jeff.A.Aley@...> wrote:


> Very interesting! Does anybody have easy access to the same data (in Railway

Age) for, say '52 or '53? The '47 data is a bit too close to The War for my use.

If someone can send me a scan, I'll be happy to do the typing.


> It is interesting to note that, for the '47 data, 59% of the box cars were

built between 1917 and 1931. To me, that implies that most of that 59% are



> Regards,


> -Jeff



Several years ago I did an analysis of the '43 ORER (granted a little early

for your use) for all X cars (I combined XM, XA, and others - newbie mistake).

In '43 the ORER indicated wood or steal sheathed for nearly all roads. I came up

with 56% wood sheathed, 44% steel for the North American fleet. Note that CP and

CN were nearly 12% of that fleet, and they were a little over 90% wood sheathed.

If you remove PRR, NYC, and B&O from the NA count (the three biggest eastern

roads, which had transitioned heavily to steel sheathed cars) and CP and CN

(because people believe those cars did not wonder south that often), the

remaining roads were 63% wood sheathed and 37% steel - almost 2:1 wood sheathed.

Of the top 20 X car fleets in NA, only PRR, NYC, and B&O show a majority steel

sheathed fleet (and each by a large margin - combined the three roads were over

85% steel sheathed). SP and IC were about a 50-50 split. Most of the other top

20 road's wood cars outnumbered their steel cars by 2 to 1, so it wasn't just

the smaller, perhaps more resource constrained roads that lacked steel X cars.

It is also important to note that North American sub-40' cars (mostly 36'

cars) outnumbered 50 footers by over 2:1, and taking even CP and CN out of the

mix, US 36' cars still outnumbered 50' cars (70k vs. 45k). Southern had more 36'

cars (~13,650) than all but the largest 21 railroad's X-car fleets (C&O was

number 22, with ~12,700 X cars of all lengths and types). You can never have

enough Southern 36' XM cars if you model through WWII. For reasons that escape

me, that remains a resin only option.

Dave Evans


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