Date   

Re: What is Prototype Modeling?

Jim Mischke
 

If we rivet counters hadn't complained loud and long for years about detail and accuracy, the manufacturers would still be stuck at a Varney level, if not cardboard sides and baker couplers.

Also, the research progress and source material findings are cumulative. We now have a vast resource base to draw on. Plenty of room for more, I would add.





--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, dennyanspach <danspach@...> wrote:
<snip>
It is my observation that the nominal 6% of the hobby that the RPM-ers inhabit influence the wider hobby way our of proportion to their numbers, and they are the single biggest reason why even mass market low-end models these days are seen to strive for prototypical accuracy to an extent not seen at all in the past.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento









Costs of Modernizing Refrigerator Cars in 1934

gary laakso
 

The cost numbers from the sage of the consortium are supported by the one
Great Northern/WFREX filing I was able to locate.
The Great Northern sought Interstate Commerce Commission approval in April
of 1934 under the National Industrial Recovery Act to finance with a loan
from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works the "repairing"
of 487 refrigerator cars by the substitution of steel side-frame trucks for
arch-bar trucks at an estimated cost of $52,160 ($57.06 per truck); and the
"rebuilding" of 652 refrigerator cars by the application of steel
underframes and other heavy repairs, waterproofing the floors and the
application of side-sheathing angles etc at an estimated total cost of
$708,735 or $1,087.01 per car.
The 652 cars had been constructed in 1921 and 1922.
For someone who practiced before the ICC and its successor agency, the
Surface Transportation Board, it is amazing that the ICC approved the GN
filing in a week! The filing was on April 30 and the order was issued on
May 7, 1934 in Finance Docket No.10458 in 199 ICC 607 (1934).

gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
vasaovasa@earthlink.net

[Original Message]
From: Bill Welch <fgexbill@tampabay.rr.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 3/26/2012 12:58:07 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Costs of Modernizing Refrigerator Cars

Almost immediately after the formation of the railroad owned Fruit
Growers Express, Company on May 1, 1920, the new company�s
Alexandria, Virginia car shops began repairing the war weary
refrigerator cars purchased from the Armour owned Fruit Growers
Express, Inc. and the 963 refrigerator cars purchased from the C&EI.
During this process the shops also made major improvements. For any
of the hundreds of truss rod cars still equipped with wood draft
sills, these cars were rebuilt with steel draft sills. Most of this
�legacy� fleet, if not all of it, was not equipped with the
improvements suggested by the USDA/USRA like floor racks and
insulated bulkheads, so these improvements were also made. As the
fleet was expanded with more secondhand cars from the PRR, L&N, and
B&O, these cars also received these improvements. Similarly with the
creation Western Fruit Express and Burlington Refrigerator Express,
their truss rod cars were shopped and upgraded.

Then about 1935 the FGE/WFE/BRE System began a systematic shopping of
its combined fleet to upgrade to AB brakes, replace arch bar trucks,
and rebuild car superstructures with metal roofs. Much the fleet,
including the new cars built by FGE and WFE from FGE designs of 1922
and 1926 had been built with �Double Board� roofs that proved over
time to be leaky, as were the metal roofs of the ex-PRR R7 reefers.
BRE apparently chose not to replace the roofs on their truss rod cars
and some WFE truss rod cars also did not receive metal roofs. All of
this work was done in the car shops of the three companies without
regard to the ownership of the cars. This process took several years.
Other improvements were also made.

Recently I have been going through some WFE Authorizations for
Expenditures (AFE) from 1938 until 1941 that provide an idea of what
it cost to make some of these upgrades. Since this work was being
done in the FGE/WFE/BRE System�s shops, I have little doubt the costs
would have been approximately the same for cars owned by FGE and BRE.
Below are the eight items I have found so far and the range of costs
over the four years.
Hutchins Flexible Metal Roof: $155.00 / $182.21 / $201.93

Attached Type Hatch Plugs: $35.78 / $35.88

Apply Steel Angles Along Bottom of Side Sheathing: $10.62 / $10.82

Water Proofing Car Floors: $34.80 / $37.12�

Non-harmonic Springs: $27.50 / $30.80

Westinghouse Type �AB� Brakes: $187.58 / $201.16

Stage Icing Devices Installed in Bunkers: $23.31 / $26.08

Metal Ice Grates Installed in Bunkers: $17.00

Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727.470.9930
fgexbill@tampabay.rr.com







------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



Re: size of rectangles on plano apex slotted scratchbuilders' material

Benjamin Scanlon
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "John Hagen" <sprinthag@...> wrote:

Ben,

Based on the approx. 1.8 inch overall width as stated in Plano's description
of these items, the opening sizes would scale out to 0.060 X 0.015 inches.

thanks john, that's very helpful. the slots are a bit small i think, it sounds like it would take four courses of slots to get to the width needed for an F unit grille, about .240" ... real farr grilles have three courses.

i don't want them for an F unit on this occasion, but an australian loco, but i might use them on this in the future:

http://www.ttnut.com/coastal-engineering-f9-t1449.html

(you'll possibly need to be a member to see the pics ... but i assure you it is a TT scale F unit ... they do exist.)

regards, ben


Costs of Modernizing Refrigerator Cars

Bill Welch
 

Almost immediately after the formation of the railroad owned Fruit
Growers Express, Company on May 1, 1920, the new companys
Alexandria, Virginia car shops began repairing the war weary
refrigerator cars purchased from the Armour owned Fruit Growers
Express, Inc. and the 963 refrigerator cars purchased from the C&EI.
During this process the shops also made major improvements. For any
of the hundreds of truss rod cars still equipped with wood draft
sills, these cars were rebuilt with steel draft sills. Most of this
legacy fleet, if not all of it, was not equipped with the
improvements suggested by the USDA/USRA like floor racks and
insulated bulkheads, so these improvements were also made. As the
fleet was expanded with more secondhand cars from the PRR, L&N, and
B&O, these cars also received these improvements. Similarly with the
creation Western Fruit Express and Burlington Refrigerator Express,
their truss rod cars were shopped and upgraded.

Then about 1935 the FGE/WFE/BRE System began a systematic shopping of
its combined fleet to upgrade to AB brakes, replace arch bar trucks,
and rebuild car superstructures with metal roofs. Much the fleet,
including the new cars built by FGE and WFE from FGE designs of 1922
and 1926 had been built with Double Board roofs that proved over
time to be leaky, as were the metal roofs of the ex-PRR R7 reefers.
BRE apparently chose not to replace the roofs on their truss rod cars
and some WFE truss rod cars also did not receive metal roofs. All of
this work was done in the car shops of the three companies without
regard to the ownership of the cars. This process took several years.
Other improvements were also made.

Recently I have been going through some WFE Authorizations for
Expenditures (AFE) from 1938 until 1941 that provide an idea of what
it cost to make some of these upgrades. Since this work was being
done in the FGE/WFE/BRE Systems shops, I have little doubt the costs
would have been approximately the same for cars owned by FGE and BRE.
Below are the eight items I have found so far and the range of costs
over the four years.
Hutchins Flexible Metal Roof: $155.00 / $182.21 / $201.93

Attached Type Hatch Plugs: $35.78 / $35.88

Apply Steel Angles Along Bottom of Side Sheathing: $10.62 / $10.82

Water Proofing Car Floors: $34.80 / $37.12

Non-harmonic Springs: $27.50 / $30.80

Westinghouse Type AB Brakes: $187.58 / $201.16

Stage Icing Devices Installed in Bunkers: $23.31 / $26.08

Metal Ice Grates Installed in Bunkers: $17.00

Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727.470.9930
fgexbill@tampabay.rr.com


Re: size of rectangles on plano apex slotted scratchbuilders' material

John Hagen <sprinthag@...>
 

Ben,



Based on the approx. 1.8 inch overall width as stated in Plano's description
of these items, the opening sizes would scale out to 0.060 X 0.015 inches.
The dividing bars are 0.008 and 0.005 inches. These will vary a bit from
actual as I am using their photo of the product, enhanced to 600 dpi and
rescaled to 1.799" wide. I then zoomed in a bunch to be able to measure the
dimensions using the Photoshop measuring tool. I make decals and I have
found that using this method of finding dimensions is quite effective,
depending on the sharpness of the photo used and the size of the pixels
involved. By using 600 dpi I believe these measurements are around + or -
0.001.



At least they should be close enough to determine the plausibility of using
them for your purpose.



So where did you find TT F units?



John Hagen



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Benjamin Scanlon
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 6:54 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] size of rectangles on plano apex slotted scratchbuilders'
material





there's a few sizes of apex pattern etching that plano use (based on a bunch
of samples i have from him) and i'm wondering if anyone has used their Apex
Slotted Pattern Scratch builders Material and can tell me what the length of
the inidividual rectangles is?

http://www.planomodelproducts.com/201.html

http://www.planomodelproducts.com/201_half.jpg

(i've tried plano but no reply, he's a pretty busy guy from what i
understand.)

i'm trying to come up with something that i can use for farr grilles in TT
scale! hence the weird query.

cheers, ben


Re: Sandblasting booth... Jack?

Brian <cornbeltroute@...>
 

Jack,

I purchased the same size and type of Sterilite plastic storage box you mentioned in your RMC article, "Building a sandblasting booth" (February 2012 issue). Ran into a problem cutting arm holes, though.

The plastic seems flexible but, I discovered, splinters easily. It wasn't long before I had trashed the box. I'll get another. What I'll try next is a 1/4-inch hardboard round pattern attached to the box with double-sided milling tape. Perhaps a gentle, continual tracing around the pattern with a No. 11 blade will do the job.

But first, thought I would ask you how you cut your box.

Thanks much.

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


Re: R-40-4 PFE in 1949-50

Tim O'Connor
 

In 1951, during reconditioning, yes the platforms were removed. Some may
have been removed earlier, and some later.

Tim O'Connor

A similar question was posted back in 2010, but I found no replies, so I'm going to ask again in hopes that some reefer gurus can help. I want to model an R-40-4 as it would appear in 1949-50 and I have been unable to find any specific info on whether the car would have had its ice hatch platforms removed by this time. I've studied the PFE book but don't see anything conclusive for this time period. I know that these cars, with their steel frame did not get rebuilt the way other wood cars did, but don't have any pictures of these cars in the post-war period. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Ken Roth


Re: State of the RPM hobby

robertm <robertmoeller47@...>
 

I'm not a NIT PICKING" RPM nut yet! Some PRR passenger/headend cars and
rolling stock make it to the CV but CN far outnumbers them. Also I
started modeling after I retired so despite my age I'm new at the hobby.

Bob Moeller
CV, CN, GT, GTW and StJ&LC at Swanton VT 1947-1957
10 miles south of the Canadian/US border
9 miles north of CV headquarters in St Albans VT

In part glgpat@... <mailto:glgpat%40etchntech.com> writes:
"to be "NIT PICKING" RPM nuts"
Can someone 'splain that one to me as I might be one and don't even
know it.


size of rectangles on plano apex slotted scratchbuilders' material

Benjamin Scanlon
 

there's a few sizes of apex pattern etching that plano use (based on a bunch of samples i have from him) and i'm wondering if anyone has used their Apex Slotted Pattern Scratch builders Material and can tell me what the length of the inidividual rectangles is?

http://www.planomodelproducts.com/201.html

http://www.planomodelproducts.com/201_half.jpg

(i've tried plano but no reply, he's a pretty busy guy from what i understand.)

i'm trying to come up with something that i can use for farr grilles in TT scale! hence the weird query.

cheers, ben


Re: DIFCO Dump car

Don Strack
 

Brian, the side dump cars that Kennecott used on the waste trains were similar. I have a photo of KCC 258, a 50-ton car built in November 1949 by Magor. I also have a photo of KCC 278, a 90-ton car built in October 1950 by Western. Both look like DIFCO cars, and both were equipped with double-clasp brake shoes.

Don Strack

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Brian <GCRDS@...> wrote:


After spending (wasting?) time searching on the internet, and in the group archives (not a waste), I cannot seem to find any information on when Difco (Differential Steel Car Company) were built. From what I did see in the archives, they would be around in the early 1950's, but wanted to be sure. Model wise, I'm looking at the Walthers cars...not a lot of options in N Scale ya know!


Re: What is Prototype Modeling?

Randy Hammill
 

Good points Jack -

I don't think we 'freelance' or compromise because we use electric motors, etc. And yes, I think your points are valid regarding compromise. There are times when we compromise such as reducing the length of tracks, perhaps number of tracks, modeling the other side of a building, etc.

I guess my point was that to a large degree, 'freelancing' is modeling something that doesn't model a specific prototype. So I suppose when I model a building for which no photographs exist, but I know a building was there is still prototype modeling with the intent of making as close a model as I can with the info at hand.

On the other hand, as many (most?) of us do, I may move an industry from the other side of town simply because I have no other way of including it on the layout. The east side of town should have all of the industries and sidings coming off of the mainline. Instead, because my mainline has to enter the helix, they are on a separate siding and not in a prototypical arrangement.

What about a prototype modeler who models locomotives and rolling stock to a high degree of accuracy, but models towns by name only, without regard to prototypical layout and using commercially available structures? I still believe that if they feel they are a prototype modeler, they are, becvause as I said, the intent is what matters here.

So I agree that there is a difference between freelancing and compromise, at least to us. I think 'artistic license' still leans toward the freelance spectrum. To an outsider there is probably less of a difference.

Randy Hammill
http://newnbritainstation.com
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Jack Burgess" <jack@...> wrote:

Randy stated:
"Each prototype modeler will have their own ideas of how much compromise
(freelancing) is acceptable to them, and in what areas (scenery, track
layout, rolling stock, rolling stock mix, operations, etc.)."

I don't equate "compromise" with "freelancing". I think we compromise when
we don't have the space needed to accurate model a prototype, whether a
building or length of a siding and need to reduce the size of it to allow it
to fit the space we have available. We also compromise when we don't have
all of the information needed to accurately model a particular prototype.
This is especially true of structures...we might have photos of 3 sides of a
building and need to make an educated guess about the other side (which is
not a concern if it can't be seen). On the other hand, to me, freelancing is
simply building something that is not based on a particular prototype. For
example, if someone were to ask me to build a gas station, I'd first ask for
photos of the prototype they want. But, I'm guessing that a freelancer would
simply get started based on their vision of what a gas station should look
like without relying on prototype information.

Have I compromised on my own layout? Of course! Without the space of huge
empty warehouse for my layout, the length of yards have been reduced,
sidings are shorter, towns closer together, and a few (not many though)
buildings have been reduced in size from the prototype. While the scenery in
some areas is modeled directly from photos from land contours to the
placement and types of trees and bushes, other areas are "representational"
and reflects the scenery typical to the particular area being modeled.

What I don't agree with is the position that we all freelance to a degree
since our locomotives have electric motors, our couplers have springs, our
trucks are held in place with screws, etc. Those are inherent compromises
due to the size of our models and the desire to have them operate. They do
not represent freelancing...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: State of the RPM hobby

Greg Martin
 

Fred Freitas writes:


Greg,

You have not only described me, you've given away my age too ! I have to
agree with what you stated as I too, enjoy the research and the modeling
efforts needed to build as close to proto as my skill level allows.

Fred Freitas
Panhandle Divn 1953

Fred and all,

I wrote it with tongue in cheek, but most of it is true and I think most
of us can relate. I would say that most of us took our work a bit more
seriously starting in the seventies, albeit most of us began by reading works of
others which proves that the writers of that era had been testing their
work even earlier.

We all have mentors and for me to just state a few they would include Mont
Switzer, Bob Zenk, Richard Hendrickson, Jim Six, Tony Thompson, Wayne
Sittner as well as others. These are the guys that taught me all about hacking
up freight cars and diesels. There are others that have inspired me equally
when it came to structures and scenery like Lou Sassi, Paul Dolkos, Paul
Scoles and Walt Appel as well. The scenery guys have never forced the
"Prototype" layout thing down my throat, but they have dazzled me with
realism... and reminded me that what makes a layout feel as realistic as the
prototype is getting the signatures correct.

Fred you're absolutely correct and to quote you, "enjoy the research and
the modeling efforts needed to build as close to proto as my skill level
allows", and I think that all of the above mentors have only ever ask you to
challenge your own skills and raise your personal bar one more time, that is
all I think that Schuyler's SHAKE N TAKE Yahoo Group and the same with
Bruce's PRR Project Yahoo Group ever has wanted of it crews. You can't win if
you don't play.

We all to often forget this is a hobby of illusion, and we use the
illusion to our advantage and something magical happens in the end.

No contest can fully reward it, no judge can validate it. We are our own
judges and we win our own contest, and bragging rites go out the window with
the egos.

Greg Martin

Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean


Re: R-40-4 PFE in 1949-50

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Ken Roth wrote:
A similar question was posted back in 2010, but I found no replies, so I'm going to ask again in hopes that some reefer gurus can help. I want to model an R-40-4 as it would appear in 1949-50 and I have been unable to find any specific info on whether the car would have had its ice hatch platforms removed by this time. I've studied the PFE book but don't see anything conclusive for this time period. I know that these cars, with their steel frame did not get rebuilt the way other wood cars did, but don't have any pictures of these cars in the post-war period. Any help would be appreciated.
Ken, I don't know the answer with certainty, and only the individual car cards for this class could really answer it (and few if any of them survive for this class). But my IMPRESSION is that not too many ice hatch platforms had been removed by 1950. If you are making a modeling choice, I would say keep them for 1949-50.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: State of the RPM hobby

Andy Harman
 

At 02:12 PM 3/25/2012 -0400, you wrote:

I dunno... I'm not buying it. I'm pretty generous about such things, but
I ain't going that far. There has to be some intention and understanding
of the prototype that goes beyond the road name or the brand name on the
box.
The abundance of pretty good prototypical RTR models makes it very likely
that even a rabid freelancer has a prototypical model somewhere on their
layout. But without intent, and without knowledge, it doesn't mean
anything. That person may have 5 prototypical freight cars out of 200 they
own, and they probably wouldn't be able to tell you which ones they are.

Andy


R-40-4 PFE in 1949-50

Ken Roth
 

A similar question was posted back in 2010, but I found no replies, so I'm going to ask again in hopes that some reefer gurus can help. I want to model an R-40-4 as it would appear in 1949-50 and I have been unable to find any specific info on whether the car would have had its ice hatch platforms removed by this time. I've studied the PFE book but don't see anything conclusive for this time period. I know that these cars, with their steel frame did not get rebuilt the way other wood cars did, but don't have any pictures of these cars in the post-war period. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ken Roth


Re: State of the RPM hobby

Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Greg,
 
You have not only described me, you've given away my age too !
I have to agree with what you stated as I too, enjoy the research
and the modeling efforts needed to build as close to proto as my
skill level allows.
 
Fred Freitas
Panhandle Divn 1953


________________________________
From: PennsyNut <pennsynut@gmail.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Cc: tgregmrtn@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2012 7:53 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: State of the RPM hobby


 
On 24,03 2012 23:22 PM, tgregmrtn@aol.com wrote:

In part glgpat@etchntech.com <mailto:glgpat%40etchntech.com> writes:
"to be "NIT PICKING" RPM nuts"
Can someone 'splain that one to me as I might be one and don't even
know it.

You might be a Nit Picking Railroad Prototype Modeler if:

* If you recognize that Bower's PRR freight car color is wrong and make
honest attempts to correct it and Lee English gives you the cold
should after
your helpful emails.

*If you recognize that the Walthers X29 boxcar and the Red Caboose X29
are
different lengths.

*If you have already recognized that and underframe on a resin kit is
wrong and others remind you that the SHAKE N TAKE kit needs to have
the correct
underframe.

*If you realize that the Life Like 50-foot boxcar can be used for a PRR
X38 but the roof on the durn thing needs to be raised 2½ scale inches,
the
rivet patterns no problem.

*IF you know every durn fool AAR truck produced made from the twenties to
the late fifties even from the crappiest photo...

*If you have a huge collection of Mainline Modeler and Prototype modeler
and won't rip the articles and dump the adds.

*If you remember when Paul Lubeliner was carrying around rubber molds of
his F units.

*If you remember when Jim Six was an editor for Prototype Modeler and
Richard Hendrickson was a regular contributor.

*If you remember West Rail kits.

* If you have more equipment on your layout that will pass the foot or
less rule than there is equipment that would qualify in the three foot
rule
category.

*If you enjoy reading someone's research and interests in a particular
railroad or related company like SFRD, PFE, FGEX/WFEX/NX/BREX, MDT, etc.

If you think you resemble any of the above categories or characteristics
you just might be a serious modeler than enjoys the research as much a
the
modeling and view it as part of the hobby.

Greg Martin

Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean
Greg and Y'all
There is one other.

*If you are a PRR modelerthat changes all the drivers on his steam
engine to the correct quarter!

Morgan Bilbo Ferroequinologist SPF PRRTHS #1204

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: What is Prototype Modeling?

dennyanspach <danspach@...>
 

By definition, all modelers live in a vicarious world of imagination. Although Andy Harman expresses my major thoughts and beliefs on Prototype modeling far better than I could do so by myself, I also extend my personal RPM franchise to include a good measure of modeling the illusive imaginary prototype, the truth of which may be known only to.....me. This is not a conscious choice, but is simply just one expression of the internal personal freedom that any hobby bestows, an honest freedom that no one else has a right to criticize.

Progenitors of the tide that raises all boats. It is my observation that the nominal 6% of the hobby that the RPM-ers inhabit influence the wider hobby way our of proportion to their numbers, and they are the single biggest reason why even mass market low-end models these days are seen to strive for prototypical accuracy to an extent not seen at all in the past.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento


Re: GSC flat

cwilson@...
 

Mark Vaughan has a decal set for Wabash flatcars in his line. Perhaps he could help you with artwork.

http://www.wabashcustomdecals.com/

Craig Wilson

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Sprayberry <csxt5555@...> wrote:

Does anyone happen to have a GSC 53 6 flat in Wabash?  I am finishing mine up in 1/8th scale and need to make the decals.  All the pics I have are too small to make out the info.  I need to make these scale.
 
Thanks
Kevin


Re: What is Prototype Modeling?

Jim Betz
 

Hi all,

One of my favorite things to do is to ask a layout owner "what
kind of layout do you call yours?" and then use some hints to get
them to answer the question of "prototype", or "proto-freelance"
or "freelance". I then follow that up with the interesting part
which is when I ask them to explain why they chose to -label-
their layout with whatever term they selected. I learn more about
that person and their view of model railroading thru this simple
approach than any other single 'view' of their modeling ... *G*
- Jim


An RPM layout

Mikebrock
 

I can't help but echo the comments by Andy Harman..."I define prototype
modeling as a desire to model after the prototype", Ray Breyer..."One thing
to keep in mind is that being a "prototype modeler" does not mean being a
GOOD modeler", Jack Burgess... "I think we compromise when
we don't have the space needed to accurate model a prototype, whether a
building or length of a siding and need to reduce the size of it to allow it
to fit the space we have available. We also compromise when we don't have
all of the information needed to accurately model a particular prototype" and
others. It seems quite simple to me. If you choose to
model the real thing...a real RR and/or its surroundings...you are a
prototype modeler. No one says how good you have to be...just what your goal
is...modeling a real RR object or bunches of them. Of course, one gets more credit if one mnodels some important place like Sherman Hill rather than an obscure RR somewhere in northern New England [ wherever that is ] <G>.

Now, if you will permit [ actually since I'm the only one in the game that's armed, I don't really care if you permit or not <G> ], I'm going to use my own layout and the real UP it
attemts to model to demonstrate some views. First, I would note that no one
says...at least I don't...that you have to model the whole thing. Yes, that
gets a bit tricky. If I build a model of a UP HK-70-1 hopper car, model
every rivet on the sides but not do the ends, does that qualify? Of course.
Is it a great model? Maybe not. If you build a model of a roundhouse but
choose to view it from the structure's rear...leaving it open [ no roof ] so
the fully modeled interior shows...does it qualify? Certainly. Is it a great
model? If the fidelity of the details is high, probably so...given the
modeler's criteria...the objective to model only part of the structure. By
the same token, modeling real scenes often requires compression [ as Jack Burgess notes ]. My Dale Jct scene is compressed to about 1/4th actual size [ regretfully, the term "Big
Wyoming" means big scenes ]. However, the smaller parts of the scene [ in
particular, a rocky hillock adjacent to the turnouts ] and man made structures are built to the real size [ well...close since the ^&%#$ hillock is long gone and I didn't measure it. Fortunately I'm reasonably certain that no one else did either ]. Every structure in my model of the Laramie engine facility is built to
scale except the roundhouse which, while accurate in most dimensions has
been reduced from 28 stalls to 12. All the structures, however, are not
placed where they actually existed...since I prefer to not step on my
scratchbuilt water tank etc.

Compression can be found in many places. While an individual rolling stock
is a model of a real car, I compress trains to about 30% for frt
trains...perhaps 80% for passenger trains. But the frt cars are models of
real frt cars as are passenger cars and locomotives. Some...Armand Premo for example... model only those cars that actually ran on the prototype they model. I figure that by following the modified Gilbert Nelson frt car population theory [ modified to increase the number of large, important connecting RRs like SP, Milw and C&NW in my UP case ] I can produce a reasonable frt car match to the historical data.

Joel Holmes notes: "To be totally prototype, you need to pick a day and
model for that day."

Well...I tell others I do May 14, 1953. This actually was forced on me
because the photos we used for the photo backdrops were taken on May 14 [
man, this guy must really be a nut ]. Not really, It had been a wet spring
on Sherman Hill and the high country was quite green. Actually any day
within a 3 month period would probably work.

"Lets say traffic on the line included a lot of coal movements of 80 to 100
cars. How many model railroads can do that? Can you get even 50 cars that
are equal to the mix
that the real railroad ran. I doubt that also."

I once ran a test and found that one of my Big Boys could haul 55 frt cars
up my 1.5% max grade. However, I generally confine frt train lengths to 35
cars and then only for two that have access to sufficient staging for that.
Otherwise, I'm running from 20-25 car frt trains.

"However, a model train of
25 coal cars using similar to or models of the actual cars will look very
good."

If train lengths are long enough to exceed scene sizes, the compression of
prototype length trains works pretty well.

"Medium and large stations facilities cannot be modeled exactly as
the prototype."

For sure, I chose to model Laramie as opposed to, say,
Cheyenne, due to the smaller, doable Laramie yard and station [ and special
thanks to Armand Premo for building the station ]. Oddly, when you venture
inside you find that there is no rear side...and the roof only extends
halfway...sorta like those old buildings out west that had only a
front...the rest being a tent. No, Armand didn't forget to do the other
half...compression rules again.

Speaking of operating a prototype modeled RR...Noooo problem. Looking
through various UPHS mags I note that in Ernie Peyton's article about firing
UP steam back in '50 that it was not uncommon for a freight run from Laramie
to Cheyenne to take 4 hrs. Hmmm. That's about 60 miles...mile post 566 to
510. So...an average speed of about 15 mph. Why so slow? Because
freights...particularly drags...had to take sidings frequently to let
passenger trains by. And, UP used mainline frts to do set outs and pickups
on the Hill at Hermosa, Buford, Bruceford [ where IS that place? ], and Granite. Switching with a Big Boy? Yep. And in later yrs with turbines. Efficiency? Mark Armfahr has written an
excellent article on train movements on the Wyoming Div in '49 in which he
describes the effect of a hot box and subsequent axle failure on a coal drag
heading east from Rawlins to Laramie. This resulted in much delay because,
although the offending cars were left on a center siding of the double tracked mainline, the stopped train could not make it up grade from where it had stopped. During the 24 hrs of
his article, UP ran 22 passenger and 29 frt trains over the Wyoming Div. The number of frts might be a bit lower than usual due to a recession. As
it turns out, my op session covers the period from about 8 AM until noon,
During that time, there were about 7 passenger trains scheduled. I do 5. At
4 PM in 1949 there were 6 frt trains running between Rawlins and Laramie.
During my 4 hr period I have 8 frt trains "scheduled". It is interesting to
note that frt train reconstruction in Laramie took about 1.5 hrs. Some high
priority trains..."fast forwarders"...often containing foreign road
cars...rolled through Laramie bypassing the yard. It is also worth noting
that UP did not always expedite perishable trains. If such trains were
sufficiently ahead of scheduled connections at Kansas City or Council
Bluffs, they might have other cars added at Laramie. Laramie had a huge ice
house and icing capacity west of the yard. Eastbound perishable trains would
roll directly onto ice tracks prior to entering the laramie yard. A
perishable train might require 2 hrs of icing operation. Apparently UP would
use unoccupied ice house tracks to hold frt trains waiting for a track to
open in the yard...letting passenger traffic pass by. I am pleased to note that I do the same thing...and, yes, frequently there ain't an open track in Laramie.

So, I would say that ops does fit well with a layout designed to model a real RR. I'm just curious as to why some of my operators shout "short" when they actually mean "hot box".

Mike Brock

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