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Re: Steam era

Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

If those stuck in '47 are beyond hope I wonder where that puts me! <G>.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax DCC owner, Chief system
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Re: The steam era, 1960

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Tim, I think you'll find that Fair took place in 1962-63. And the BN
merger took place in 1970...or were you thinking of Amtrak's advent?
Yep, you're right. I was thinking of the New York World's Fair.. And yes
Amtrak on May 1, 1971.


Re: 1960s and all that

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

One good reason to use a circa-1960 cutoff is that the world of freight
cars changed GREATLY around that time: gigantic tank cars, 60-ft. box cars,
85-ft. pig flats, Center Flow covered hoppers, etc
Hmmph. You might as sell say let's stop with 50 foot cars, plug doors, or
10'6" inside height cars, or frameless tank cars. I think Tom's suggestion of
a Rubber Ruler is good enough for me. If a discussion drifts into the 1960's,
as long as there is a connection (however tenuous) to the 1950's, then so be
it. As for the poor souls stuck in 1947, well, they're beyond hope! ;o}


Re: The steam era, 1960

Dave & Libby Nelson <muskoka@...>
 

-----Original Message-----
We have started using the term "Downtown Century", to represent
the 100 years or so from the Civil War to the early '60's when the
downtown of a city or even just a village was the center of life.
And the bottom dropped out with the shift to individual
transportion - i.e., the auto, and the decline of the downtown to
the abandoned "inner city".
And the
interstate highway system (and public support of highways in general
before) and the government's support of suburban development that
would eventually do in the railroads from their traditional role
of carrying everything to one of just efficient movement of bulk
freight items. And cars in turn shifted to reflect this
specialized role.

Nice analysis John. Many years ago I researched the horse drawn street cars
of Oakland and Alameda, CA. The major learning was such transportation
companies were usually fronts for real estate developers -- buy distant land
cheap, build transportation, sell accessible land high. IOW, land values
are inversely correlated with transportation expenses, which explains alot
about the impact on cities with the widespread introduction of public roads
into the burbs. Build a better, cheaper mousetrap....

I had not previously considered how this effect played out on freight car
design -- I like your thoughts on moving from the generic bulk carrier to
the specialized, dedicated vehicle. On the other end of the timeline, from
Whites _American Freight Car_, there is the effect on design present from 1)
declining old growth hardwoods, 2) refining steam locomotive techology and
3) the availability of cheap steel. All of which then sets logical
boundaries for the "generic, steam era, steel freight car".

As for usage, industry practice was *very* different 50 years ago too:
relatively very few national companies and those few were mostly oriented to
vertical integration, which is to say that rather than buy locally, there
was a lot of stuff shipped between the companies own plants. This of course
led to rate issues for intermediate production (wheat to flour to breakfast
cerials) and I suspect more closed routings than would otherwise have been
the case.

Dave Nelson


Re: The steam era, 1960

thompson@...
 

Tim O'C writes:
Some Classic Trains was published in 1964, so that is another milestone
date for me, very close to the end of genuine "classy varnish" on western
railroads. (The Seattle World's Fair of 1964-1965 was the last high point
for NP and GN before the rapid slide towards 1971.)...
Tim, I think you'll find that Fair took place in 1962-63. And the BN
merger took place in 1970...or were you thinking of Amtrak's advent?

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


1960s and all that

thompson@...
 

One good reason to use a circa-1960 cutoff is that the world of freight
cars changed GREATLY around that time: gigantic tank cars, 60-ft. box cars,
85-ft. pig flats, Center Flow covered hoppers, etc., all of which created
an appearance radically different from what preceded it. Even roller
bearings, for that matter; I have a friend who says, "I model the solid
bearing era."

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Re: Wire handrails

thompson@...
 

Mike Brock asked:
This raises an interesting point. Tony, what substance [ glue ] do you use
to attach them [ wire handrails ]? Anyone know how P2K is attaching the ones
on the gons?
I usually use my favorite inter-material adhesive, R/C-56, a white glue
from the model airplane field which dries clear and flexible. Great stuff.
Ideal, in particular, for etched metal running boards or F-unit grilles.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


What, When, Why & Context

Gail & Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

John's excellent post brings up several points. First, despite my flip sig
yesterday about cutting things off at the McGinnis interface (which would
leave Garth on the outside looking in), I think it's very appropriate to use
a rubber ruler when setting a cut-off date for the Steam Era. After all,
much of the rolling stock we're interested in, if not the motive power,
operated long after 1960.

Second, John's point about understanding the historical context for our
modeling is an important one. We can all build accurate models (the "what"),
and equip and weather them to represent a specific time ("when"), but for
many, that's where it ends. There's still the "why" - and for this you need
to understand the constraints and practices (both social and technological)
of the times - the context.

An illustration (and please forgive me for using a non-freight example, but
most of you know where my interests and expertise are these days). What: the
second and seventh rivets (bolts/screws, actually) from the bottom in the
rows adjacent to all full-height windows on heavyweight Pullmans stick out
further than all the other rivets in those rows. When: from when the cars
were built up to the present. Why: to hold wind/cinder/soot deflectors when
the windows were opened. Context: before air conditioning, porters were
instructed to place these deflectors on the forward edge of every window in
occupied space - seasonally, of course. More "what" and "when": the first
widespread application of air conditioning in the very early thirties was to
diners. Context: the public wasn't used to air conditioning (in 1935 Pullman
issued a brochure pleading with passengers to leave the windows closed on
air conditioned cars), so coolness wasn't yet a huge consideration - but
cleanliness was. Offering soot- and cinder-free dining was a great marketing
advantage.

Passenger mode <OFF>

There must be many equivalent examples in the freight car world, and the
point is that appreciating context can lead to insights that will let us
build even more accurate models.

Tom Madden

tgmadden@worldnet.att.net


Re: The steam era, 1960

Shawn Beckert
 

Guys,

Didn't Illinois Central run big steam, mikados or something,
into 1961? I seem to recall seeing a photo of a very large
IC engine in service, the caption stating it was early 1961.

Shawn Beckert


Re: Wire handrails

Richard Hendrickson
 

Tony Thompson writes in the Steamloco forum:

. I too dislike intensely
the application of styrene handrails, and consistently replace them with
wire. I don't think styrene is a good material for this application.

This raises an interesting point. Tony, what substance [ glue ] do you use
to attach them [ wire handrails ]? Anyone know how P2K is attaching the ones
on the gons?
CA works fine, in my experience.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Wire handrails

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tony Thompson writes in the Steamloco forum:

. I too dislike intensely
the application of styrene handrails, and consistently replace them with
wire. I don't think styrene is a good material for this application.

This raises an interesting point. Tony, what substance [ glue ] do you use
to attach them [ wire handrails ]? Anyone know how P2K is attaching the ones
on the gons?

Mike


Re: The steam era, 1960

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

John and friends,

From posts in the old FCL, and magazine articles written by some members
of this new group, I would guess that the most common era of interest is
probably the immediate post-WWII years. There are probably many
individual reasons for picking this era, but one certainly has to be the
great variety of interesting equipment and the large number of railroad
companies during those years. Perhaps the other factor is that most
modelers focus on is the time when they first became interested in
trains (sparked, no doubt, by pleasant memories and the thrill of
discovery for the first time).

My own era of modeling has been fixed at June 1957. This was chosen to
fit available locomotive and caboose models for my favorite prototype,
the Sacramento Northern (and their parent, the Western Pacific). This
gives me a chance to mix some neat newer prototypes with older equipment
that was purged shortly after that time. This does not mean I don't take
a keen interest in older rolling stock from other lines (like
wood-sheathed boxcars, for example), especially since much of it was
still seen in interchange service up to about that date. Given my
druthers, I would push the date back a few years, but that would be
getting into the time of blurry, early-childhood memories that I have a
harder time relating to. Besides, 1957 is one of the best times for
good-quality vehicle models in HO right now, and automobiles are so
important for setting a scene.

If this group cuts off at 1960 or a bit earlier, it doesn't much matter
to me.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

John W Nehrich wrote:


I think that if Mike Brock does all the work of keeping the list going,
etc., he should be left alone to pick the cutoff date and to go beyond it
at times if he thinks it relevant (sometimes a discussion of a new
technology makes you understand more about the whys and wherefores of the
older - at least that what's I've found).

(Not to get off topic, but since I'm already sending this, and
there is all this blank space below.)

At the RPI club, we struggled for years over the definition of
"steam-era". We had a working concept, but it was hard to explain to
non-modelers what the significance was, and also why we weren't that
concerned with the 1840's. It was a book by James Kunstler ("Geography Of
Nowhere") which opened our eyes to the society-wide changes that were
going on, that had impact on railroads. After all, what would the choice
of the motive power at the front end have to do with the freight cars
trailing along?

We have started using the term "Downtown Century", to represent
the 100 years or so from the Civil War to the early '60's when the
downtown of a city or even just a village was the center of life. And the
reason was that this was where the railroad interface took place (mainly
the depot, but also the freight depot). It was the rise of mass
transportation using rails (railroads AND street cars) that led to the
modern idea of the classic idea of the city. And while it goes back to
the 1860's, it took a few more decades for the institutions to catch up
(office buildings, hotels, resturants, giant theaters, department stores).

And the bottom dropped out with the shift to individual
transportion - i.e., the auto, and the decline of the downtown to the
abandoned "inner city". (We keep thinking of the 1960's pop song
"Downtown"
which extols the excitement of the area, a place to go just to be where
the action is - today most people think of the excitement of being
downtown would be not getting mugged.)

It started with the demise of the
trolley system
(Kunstler points out this was a deliberate act by GM, one of the oil
companies and a tire manufacturer, who actually were convicted of this,
and given a slap on the wrist years after it was too late.) And the
interstate highway system (and public support of highways in general
before) and the government's support of suburban development that would
eventually do in the railroads from their traditional role of carrying
everything to one of just efficient movement of bulk items. And freight
cars in turn shifted to reflect this specialized role.

So we have the peak of railroading by various measurements at
about WWI (and people who favor that era), and the "last hurrah" in the
'50's of traditional railroading,
whether you set the cut off date at 1960 or a few years later or earlier.

At least that's my thoughts on the subject.

- John Nehrich


To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@egroups.com


Re: The steam era, 1960

John W Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

I think that if Mike Brock does all the work of keeping the list going,
etc., he should be left alone to pick the cutoff date and to go beyond it
at times if he thinks it relevant (sometimes a discussion of a new
technology makes you understand more about the whys and wherefores of the
older - at least that what's I've found).

(Not to get off topic, but since I'm already sending this, and
there is all this blank space below.)

At the RPI club, we struggled for years over the definition of
"steam-era". We had a working concept, but it was hard to explain to
non-modelers what the significance was, and also why we weren't that
concerned with the 1840's. It was a book by James Kunstler ("Geography Of
Nowhere") which opened our eyes to the society-wide changes that were
going on, that had impact on railroads. After all, what would the choice
of the motive power at the front end have to do with the freight cars
trailing along?

We have started using the term "Downtown Century", to represent
the 100 years or so from the Civil War to the early '60's when the
downtown of a city or even just a village was the center of life. And the
reason was that this was where the railroad interface took place (mainly
the depot, but also the freight depot). It was the rise of mass
transportation using rails (railroads AND street cars) that led to the
modern idea of the classic idea of the city. And while it goes back to
the 1860's, it took a few more decades for the institutions to catch up
(office buildings, hotels, resturants, giant theaters, department stores).

And the bottom dropped out with the shift to individual
transportion - i.e., the auto, and the decline of the downtown to the
abandoned "inner city". (We keep thinking of the 1960's pop song
"Downtown"
which extols the excitement of the area, a place to go just to be where
the action is - today most people think of the excitement of being
downtown would be not getting mugged.)

It started with the demise of the
trolley system
(Kunstler points out this was a deliberate act by GM, one of the oil
companies and a tire manufacturer, who actually were convicted of this,
and given a slap on the wrist years after it was too late.) And the
interstate highway system (and public support of highways in general
before) and the government's support of suburban development that would
eventually do in the railroads from their traditional role of carrying
everything to one of just efficient movement of bulk items. And freight
cars in turn shifted to reflect this specialized role.

So we have the peak of railroading by various measurements at
about WWI (and people who favor that era), and the "last hurrah" in the
'50's of traditional railroading,
whether you set the cut off date at 1960 or a few years later or earlier.

At least that's my thoughts on the subject.

- John Nehrich


Re: So why are we doing this?

Dave & Libby Nelson <muskoka@...>
 

From: Gail & Tom Madden [mailto:tgmadden@worldnet.att.net]
I like the thought of some sort of refuge where we can go off
and discuss things candidly without being badgered by the
Great Unwashed, but we need to be careful - from their
viewpoint there's no discernable difference between
the Algonquin Round Table and a bunch of elite snobs
holding forth in private.
Per egroups terms of service:
Group Content may be private or public. If a group is intended to be
private, it is the sole responsibility of the member who has created the
list (the "Moderator") to use the Service properly to make sure that such
privacy is achieved, including by establishing appropriate policies for the
group and securely managing passwords and other access capabilities.

If there is a desire to go private, egroups allows one to do so. Is there
such a desire and/or is that what you want Mike?

Dave Nelson


Re: The steam era, 1960

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Richard, you're living in the past. ;o)


Oh wait, so am I... but less past than you are. And Al Westerfield is
even more past than either of us. Has anyone passed Al's past as yet?
And is Dick Harley still with us?

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@opendoor.com>

BOOORING! Let's hear it for Andrews trucks, truss rod underframes, outside
metal roofs, and Murphy corrugated ends.


Attention!

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Attention! Achtung! Attencion!

The STMFC is pleased to announce that Byron Rose will be returning to active
participation by joining the STMFC. Although Byron indicates he is going to
do it on a trial basis, we will at least have his in depth and "interesting"
comments and views for awhile. I look forward to his remarks.

Mike Brock
STMFC moderator...What have I done...<G>


Re: So why are we doing this?

Gail & Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

So.... I see fourteen names in the "Members" list so far, all but two of
whom I either know personally or have had extensive e-mail correspondence
with. I'm flattered to be included, but I figure I'm already part of this
particular group with or without a new list.

I like the thought of some sort of refuge where we can go off and discuss
things candidly without being badgered by the Great Unwashed, but we need to
be careful - from their viewpoint there's no discernable difference between
the Algonquin Round Table and a bunch of elite snobs holding forth in
private.

There were 199 members in the Passenger Car List when I took it to eGroups
in late September. There are now 271. On eGroups you'll be noticed and, like
it or not, you'll end up with an uncontrolled body of subscribers. If the
purpose of this list is to escape from the newbies, vesties, train set
whatevers and general nuisances, there must be some sort of control on who
subscribes. I'm not advocating this, just pointing out that when you
publicize paradise, it eventually gets overrun.

One other thing to watch out for - the archives are open to any subscriber
at any time, on out into the future. In these very early posts some of us
may be a bit too candid because it's "just among friends". Mike, you might
want to think about deleting some of these "board of directors" posts from
the archives eventually.

Tom "devil's advocate" Madden
who thinks the only good freight cars are red, black, orange or yellow, and
who favors cutting things off just before the McGinnis NH/B&M color
explosions.


Re: The steam era, 1960

Richard Hendrickson
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:

So what say you, steam fans? Can I offer you research into Hydroframe
60 PS-1's, or 90 ton, 4000 cubic foot covered hoppers, or 86 foot box
cars, as well as end-of-life dispositions of single sheathed cars and wood
ice reefers? All these things happened in the tumultuous early 1960's.

To say nothing of piggyback cars and trailers of the 1950's up to 1966!
BOOORING! Let's hear it for Andrews trucks, truss rod underframes, outside
metal roofs, and Murphy corrugated ends.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Re: The steam era, 1960

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tim O'Connor...who will probably have to retake his class on steam
history... writes:

Didn't UP run steam into 1960? I think 4-8-8-4's would have to qualify
as legitimate steam...
1960? UP STILL runs steam. 844...renumbered to 8444 for awhile....has never
been removed from the roster. It and 3985 still provide SOME degree of class
to today's RRs. OTOH, the last Big Boy ran in '59.

For myself, I prefer the cutoff date of December 1966, when the current
appearance of house cars was ordained, i.e. running boards were no longer
required on box cars and reefers.
Hard to imagine the age of steam to have run to '66 even with UP's single
locomotive. The trouble with that date is it a bit arbitrary...with little
supporting evidence. Add to that, both Supreme Courts will overrule it.

Mike Brock


Re: The steam era, 1960

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Mike and all,

Didn't UP run steam into 1960? I think 4-8-8-4's would have to qualify
as legitimate steam...

For myself, I prefer the cutoff date of December 1966, when the current
appearance of house cars was ordained, i.e. running boards were no longer
required on box cars and reefers. Also, by 1966, reefers in ice service had
declined precipitously.

Some Classic Trains was published in 1964, so that is another milestone
date for me, very close to the end of genuine "classy varnish" on western
railroads. (The Seattle World's Fair of 1964-1965 was the last high point
for NP and GN before the rapid slide towards 1971.)

So what say you, steam fans? Can I offer you research into Hydroframe
60 PS-1's, or 90 ton, 4000 cubic foot covered hoppers, or 86 foot box
cars, as well as end-of-life dispositions of single sheathed cars and wood
ice reefers? All these things happened in the tumultuous early 1960's.

To say nothing of piggyback cars and trailers of the 1950's up to 1966!

----- Original Message -----
From: <MDelvec952@aol.com>
Subject: [STMFC] The steam era, 1960


It is commonly regarded by the more formal historian and professional museum
community that the end of the steam era was 1960. The late 1950s still saw
some Class 1 steam, while the 1960s saw steam only on a few short lines and
in Canada. Rolling stock, too, made a big leap in the 1960s, as Richard
pointed out.

188641 - 188660 of 188688