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Re: RAILMODEL JOURNAL

water.kresse@...
 

Aren't all these magazines dependent on folks wanting to write articles for them? The only difference between these magazines and those for historical societies is that they pay a token amount to their authors. It is the folks that "love the subject or research" that feed the "hopper." Folks want to do what they like best. Bob Hundman is still doing drawings for the C&O HS . . . . very fast turn-around once he gets his background photos and drawings. He personally owns copies of all C&O HS Mech drwgs. So it is fun!! and that is what is important. There is the 95 percent who want more and more, but only 5 percent willing to do it . . . and take the arrows!

If someone would take the time it takes to stump a subject to death on this web site, to redirect their efforts and take the same time to write a page or two of text and supply the photos with captions of their collected images for an article, these magazines might still be in business . . . . and they would still have time to work on their FC models.

Recently, I asked for permission to use certain 1930s GM Media in-plant auto loading into box cars photographs in an upcoming C&O/PM auto-loader box car article. It wasn't until they found out that I was writing this article on a no compensation basis and that the Society was a 501-C3 not for profit organization did they agree to supply these image for no charge and a no charge publication fee. Folks owning great photo collections now believe their collections are a profit center resource . . . that includes government funded libraries and archives, etc. You don't know how much it gauled me to pay $100 to use a C&O Rwy PR Dept photo owned by a person who bought unreturned NYC PR firm photos to use in a C&O HS article. The image made the article . . so bit the bullet.

Most FC photo collection business owners love seeing their photos used in articles, with proper permission and credit given. It should help their business. However, if everyone just digitally copies these and doesn't spend a few bucks to actually buy prints of old photos, they will also either go out of business or charge for publication usage. West and East Coast wedding photos (B&W or color), after the pre-paided for family sets, from large firms with hired photographers, now go for $24.95 for an 8 x 10 and $29.95 for the TIFFs.

Al Kresse

-------------- Original message --------------
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
Kurt Laughlin wrote:
Looking at the fragment below, has anyone considered the idea that
perhaps there just ISN'T much of a market (*) for articles like these,
as evidenced by the failure of RMJ, MM, and MRG and the absence of
anything taking their place?
(*) That is to say, "there ain't a lot of people willing to pay for
it."
Might the failures of those magazines not say the reverse? That
is, had they carried more articles of a serious nature, they might have
broadened their appeal. Your conclusion, Kurt, seems to assume that the
editors of those magazines accurately understood the market. Based on
knowing those individuals (to varying degrees), I'd hesitate to claim
that much.

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Freight car distribution

Dave Nelson
 

I find this hard to believe, but I am a relative novice.
Ok, try this then: I once calculated a correlation of greater than .9
between the number of foreign road boxcars reported in a SRR wheel report
and the percentage of each of those foreign roads contribution of boxcars to
the national fleet. That's a pretty strong relationship.

IIRC the sample was ~800 boxcars in 20-25 trains. Because the wheel report
book travels w/ the conductor, not the station, the elapsed time was a ~5-6
weeks. Had it been a sample from a single location on the same route I
understand it would have taken just a couple of days to see the same number
of boxcars. The trains in the sample were scheduled, extra, second section,
through freight, and local and spanned all hours of the day and all days of
the week. The conductor had almost 20 years of service at the time.

Dave Nelson


Re: RAILMODEL JOURNAL

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Kurt Laughlin wrote:
What's your professional opinion as a publisher Tony: Is a magazine that carries more/only "articles of a serious nature" viable financially? If you received commitments from the cognoscenti to provide content, would you be willing to start such a magazine?
Wish I could comment intelligently on this, but I really know nothing about magazines (except that I sure don't want to deal with monthly or bi-monthly deadlines). I do think that if the content is 100% "freight car mafia" I had better plan on a smallish list of subscribers. Whether there is a business model which could carry that, I don't know. But if you talk to some of the folks responsible for business models in hobby magazines, your eyes will cross and your tongue will curl up. Either they know really, really a lot, or they don't get it at all. I'm not sure which. Recent events may help with that answer, but in fairness, times are changing--as they always are.

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: RAILMODEL JOURNAL

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Well, sure, my assumption was that someone entering a free market with the intention of making money (another assumption) had a reasonable understanding of the market they were entering. The fact that there were three (four if you count Prototype Modeler) people with nearly the same idea - and same result - has to be given some weight. One must also ponder why those people out there WITH the accurate understanding of the market haven't found a way to to capitalize on it and produce such a magazine.

What's your professional opinion as a publisher Tony: Is a magazine that carries more/only "articles of a serious nature" viable financially? If you received commitments from the cognoscenti to provide content, would you be willing to start such a magazine?

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson

Might the failures of those magazines not say the reverse? That
is, had they carried more articles of a serious nature, they might have
broadened their appeal. Your conclusion, Kurt, seems to assume that the
editors of those magazines accurately understood the market. Based on
knowing those individuals (to varying degrees), I'd hesitate to claim
that much.


Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dave Evans wrote:
1) If a freight agent in LA has 2 shippers requesting 40' XM MT's, one load destined for Syracuse, and the other for Harrisburg, and he has a bunch of empty 40 foot XM's - including one PRR, and one NYC, would he just flip a coin? I've got to believe he would send cars towards their home roads, national pool or not, even during WWII.
Sure. But let's say cars are short and he has only an NP and an ACL box car. He'll use 'em and not worry about "homeward loads." People who have worked those jobs have told us repeatedly that they usually saw no particular effort to follow the Car Service rules unless there were plenty of cars and plenty of time. And remember, the agent doesn't deliver cars; the yardmaster pulls empties for the local, based only on the requirements for the empty. That's the main use of the ORER: the yard clerks wore 'em out looking up cars to be sure they would work for shipper needs.

Wouldn't a PRR freight agent in Harrisburg deliver an MT PRR 40' XM to a shipper with a load for
Pittsburgh, and deliver an MT ATSF 40' XM for another shipper's LA bound load?
He probably SHOULD do that, but will be tempted by the long run the PRR car will get if he loads it to LA. And he's probably in a hurry and will grab "those empties on track 7" rather than go through the whole yard carefully matching loads to "homeward directions." And again, it's not the agent who makes this decision.

Or do the agents not know the load's destination, only that a shipper needs a 40' XM?
The agent usually knows, but he's not the car selection guy. If it's a 40-foot XM, it'll be what's in the yard. If it's a 50-foot car with end doors, obviously you hope you have one on hand.

2) I'm completely uncertain about this and looking for guidance, but if a NYC box car out of New England and destined for southern Illinois hit a NYC yard in New Jersey, is it more likely that the NYC yard clerks would have it routed over the NYC's water-level route . . .
Dave, the clerks do NOT route cars. They obey waybills. The waybill specifies the entire route in most cases. An agent made out the waybill, but did so according to shipper direction.

I think considerable latitude is possible. It would be interesting to take wheel report data in 400 car blocks, and look at the statistics of each block, to determine how much variation from the "average" is normal, and reasonable, to model.
Good suggestion. Problem is, we have awfully few wheel reports available, and for most of us, NONE for our area or time period. Wish we had bundles of them!!

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Freight car distribution

devansprr
 

--- In STMFC@..., Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Dave,

You are basing your analysis on the incorrect assumption that most
NYC cars were loaded on NYC rails. Those NYC boxcars you see on the
PRR in WWII could just as easily have been loaded on PRR rails, or NP
rails or AT&SF rails, etc... as NYC rails. Boxcars were basically in
a national fleet for most of the steam era. During WWII, when many
of the car service rules were suspended for other classes, those
classes also operated in a national pool, most notably flats and
reefers. Ultimately, those of us modeling WWII really have it quite
easy.

Boxcars - national pool - model the fleet (with a slight home road
bias, as these cars did get sent home for repairs etc)
Bruce,

I find this hard to believe, but I am a relative novice.

Three separate issues:

1) If a freight agent in LA has 2 shippers requesting 40' XM MT's, one
load destined for Syracuse, and the other for Harrisburg, and he has a
bunch of empty 40 foot XM's - including one PRR, and one NYC, would he
just flip a coin? I've got to believe he would send cars towards their
home roads, national pool or not, even during WWII. That should bias
the movements towards home road cars. Wouldn't a PRR freight agent in
Harrisburg deliver an MT PRR 40' XM to a shipper with a load for
Pittsburgh, and deliver an MT ATSF 40' XM for another shipper's LA
bound load? Or do the agents not know the load's destination, only
that a shipper needs a 40' XM?

2) I'm completely uncertain about this and looking for guidance, but
if a NYC box car out of New England and destined for southern Illinois
hit a NYC yard in New Jersey, is it more likely that the NYC yard
clerks would have it routed over the NYC's water-level route, rather
than to the PRR, which could get it there over a slightly shorter
distance? If it was a PRR car on the same route, would the NYC clerks
route it down to Greenville for the PRR to deal with if they were
overloaded with traffic, rather than try to claim the mileage revenue?

3) There is still the issue of statistical variations. I was once
responsible for buying a phone system for the medium size engineering
firm I worked for (the curse of being a network literate engineer in
the early 90's). Once installed, what amazed me was the in-bound phone
call patterns. Most calls were direct in, so our receptionist only
received 30-40 calls per hour, and the average duration was under 10
seconds. Yet there were several times, EVERY day, when she would have
to handle three calls at once, and occasionally four (which affected
programming the receptionists console), and then be idle for the next
5 minutes. These excursions from the "average" rate were quite
significant, frequent, and initially surprising.

A little research found that Bell Labs/AT&T spent a ton of money
developing the operations research for modeling these sorts of
problems (it directly impacts the size of telephone systems). Turns
out the deviations from average are often significant for many
processes, especially if they involve processes that are not purely
random. This is the sort of phenomena that Mike Brock has observed in
his reports - LARGE deviations from the average may be the NORM, not
the exception.

Hence, unless someone operates their layout every day with enough
traffic to generate statistically significant traffic volumes, I don't
think our wheel reports need to be that close to annual averages of
the nationwide fleet. Obviously some movements could defy belief
(string of Rutland box cars in southern California, or ATSF boxcars
ALWAYS outnumbering NYC boxcars in Harrisburg), but I'm not sure we
need to be that close to the nationwide fleet averages to still seem
believable.

For a 400 box car fleet, statistically over 60 reporting marks would
represent a national average and would include one each of WM, D&H,
and WP. 90% of the fleet would be from 35 reporting marks, and 50%
from just 10 railroads, including CP and CN. On a PRR layout centered
around Altoona I think it is reasonable to see two D&H cars go by out
of every 400 boxcars, and maybe even two EB loaded WP 50 footers in
one train (although not very often). I think it will be ok if I only
have a few CP and CN cars, even though, statistically, they
represented 12% of the North American fleet (that would be 50 out of
400 boxcars). Only having one or two of the required six 36 foot
Southern boxcars would probably be OK too. (I still haven't seen a
picture of one of these cars on PRR rails, but they were 1.7% of the
US boxcar fleet during WWII)

I think considerable latitude is possible. It would be interesting to
take wheel report data in 400 car blocks, and look at the statistics
of each block, to determine how much variation from the "average" is
normal, and reasonable, to model.

Dave Evans
PS - I haven't reviewed all of Tim Gilbert's posting in the message
archives, but I have not come across large amounts of data in the
posts I have reviewed. I have found data summaries. I'm still
relatively new to this group - am I missing something in my archive
search?


Re: RAILMODEL JOURNAL

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Kurt Laughlin wrote:
Looking at the fragment below, has anyone considered the idea that perhaps there just ISN'T much of a market (*) for articles like these, as evidenced by the failure of RMJ, MM, and MRG and the absence of anything taking their place?
(*) That is to say, "there ain't a lot of people willing to pay for it."
Might the failures of those magazines not say the reverse? That is, had they carried more articles of a serious nature, they might have broadened their appeal. Your conclusion, Kurt, seems to assume that the editors of those magazines accurately understood the market. Based on knowing those individuals (to varying degrees), I'd hesitate to claim that much.

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Simulating Carriage Bolt Heads in HO

Walter M. Clark
 

Wow, in just five days I received several varied suggestions to my
question (below) from Jack Burgess, Chuck Hladik, Michael at Free
State Systems, Manfred Lorenz and Eric Hansmann. In addition Gordon
Andrews answered off list, and I added his suggestions below my
original question. I'm going to try most of them, and while I've seen
the Scale Hardware site Manfred suggested I haven't been there in
about a year. He's added several more items. If anyone is interested
in trying some REALLY SMALL bolts, nuts, washers, etc., give him a
look. His stuff is much less expensive than any other source I've
found. No connection, just a happy customer.

Thanks, again

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Pullman, Washington, USA

--- In STMFC@..., "wmcclark1980" <walterclark@...> wrote:

Group,

In my quest for information to speed my complete nervous breakdown <g>
I'm interested in how one would simulate the carriage bolt heads in,
among other things, wooden running boards? I've looked at the
included resin and plastic running boards in several resin kits from
Al Westerfield and Martin Lofton, and the Red Caboose 1937 AAR box
cars, and can't figure out a way to do the bolt heads if I replace the
resin and plastic running boards with real wood. Right now I have
something in excess of 100 resin and plastic kits that need wooden
running boards, and have wracked my brain for ideas. Nothing surfaced
so I'm posing the question to this group.

Thanks,

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Pullman, Washington, USA
Gordon Andrews answered off list, suggesting heating and stretching
plastic sprue, or using fiber optic cable or monofilament fishing
line, either heating the end to mushroom it to the appropriate
diameter or with plastic using solvent to melt it to size and shape.


Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
Just a nit, but I think it was technically a little more than "the shipper chose the route".
Sure. But just because participating lines had agreements, did not mean the shipper could not ABSOLUTELY choose the routing, regardless of the desires of the railroad(s). Of course a local agent could "encourage" a shipper to use particular routings--but the shipper had the last word.

Certainly a less appreciated aspect of tariffs is that cars did NOT have to, and often did
not, follow the shortest possible route.
Quite true, and that could be the shipper's choice, as when PFE agents advised shippers to choose routes avoiding the PRR, as their damage claims were so high, even if it happened to be a longer route.

And Tony knows as well as anyone that many cargoes were shipped to 'waypoint' destinations by circuitous routes so that a broker could sell the cargo and redirect the car while it was enroute.
Of course, but diversions, remember, were ENTIRELY at the shipper's discretion. The railroad had nothing whatever to say about it.
I'll repeat my point: the shipper chose the route.

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor
 

In theory... perhaps... The only way to settle these arguments
would be to be able to analyze per diem records. Let's say that
railroad X owned 10% of US box cars, and also usually had 10% of
US box cars on its own lines. Then if X received a steady amount
of per diem rent for 90% of its own box cars, we could conclude
that its own box cars were offline 90% of the time and therefore
that 90% of X's online box cars were from other railroads.

Unfortunately, like wheel reports, enough data may not exist. In
the 1950's some railroads published reams of data in the annual
reports to stockholders -- I have GN and IC examples. GN wrote
at some length about how its own cars were disproportionately
found OFFLINE -- in effect, making GN a supplier of rental box
cars to the rest of the industry. And per diem didn't cover the
cost of new cars in the 1950's!

To me, this example of GN at least shows that if GN owned 3% of
the box cars in the country (just for argument sake) then on the
AVERAGE, the number of GN box cars on other railroads should be
more than 3%. I think NP was in the same boat, perhaps even more
so... This does not say which railroads had how many GN box cars
and I would expect to find a lot of variation consistent with a
more or less random distribution.

Tim O'Connor


Re: RAILMODEL JOURNAL

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Looking at the fragment below, has anyone considered the idea that perhaps there just ISN'T much of a market (*) for articles like these, as evidenced by the failure of RMJ, MM, and MRG and the absence of anything taking their place?

(*) That is to say, "there ain't a lot of people willing to pay for it."

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Hendrickson

. . . Typically, my freight
car articles in RMJ consisted of substantial text plus anywhere from
10 to 30 prototype photos. Bob Schleicher was willing to devote the
space they required, even doing them in installments if necessary,
and in later years was pretty good about running the photos large
enough to be useful. . .


Re: Freight car distribution

Dave Nelson
 

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

"He's probably closer than any of us ever will be."

I think I strongly disagree with that statement but need to find what
he actually said.

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

Good Lord.

Ok, lets go over the same old ground ONCE AGAIN. There will be a bit more
of what I did as I can recall what I did. On the whole, Tim put in more
effort and posted more frequently.

About 10 or 11 years ago, on the old FCL, I started posting comments about
how data published by the AAR **suggested** that if there was an even
distribution of house cars across the nation that non-home road cars would
appear at any given location in numbers approximating the percentages each
road's fleet was in the national pool. Unfortunately, at that time I had no
detailed data to back up the claim and the idea was spurned.

Shortly after that I purchased 3 dozen wheel reports from the SRR (Asheville
NC to Spencer NC) and began transcribing some of them into a database so I
could do a detailed analysis. From that effort came the first hypothesis,
which was, as I recall, Non-Home Road US boxcars were distributed fairly
uniformly across the nation and that if one wanted to build a roster of cars
that reflected that, buy according to the percentages each roads boxcars
were relative to the boxcar fleet. I also posted those averages and backed
up the claim w/ examples. There was a lot of debate and IIRC most people
found the idea interesting but remained skeptical.

About 2 years later, Tim Gilbert joined the list and shortly after that
contacted me and said he too was working the same topic, using a wheel
report from the SRR (IIRC, Potomac Yard to some point RR west). We compared
notes and agreed more data supported what had already concluded. Both Tim
and I continued to accumulate wheel reports and do analysis on the data we
found.

At some early point in time Tim and I agreed there was a need for certain
qualifiers... So what had started out as a general statement got reduced a
bit by the qualifiers "Post WWII", "Class 1", and "US Boxcar fleet". We did
that because we had no data in hand to indicate what happened before WWII,
what might be found on class II, III, Short line, and Terminal roads, and
for reasons unclear, Canadian boxcars were not appearing in expected
numbers.

At some later time Tim took an interest in freight car mileage and expressed
a number of hypothesis from that data. This was something I never could get
my head around so I can't explain it here.

At some later time Tim concluded that flatcars behaved the same as boxcars
-- a fairly even distribution across the nation. This came from wheel
report data and ICC car mileage data.

At some later time Tim concluded general economic trends would influence the
distribution of cars by virtue of contracting or expanding the number of
cars sent offline. I had drawn the same conclusion earlier but being focused
on just 1950 I had not taken the time to transcribe and quantify it; Tim
had. (n.b., a lesson there: there is always too much data, never enough
time).

At some later time I think that Tim concluded that gondolas might behave the
same as boxcars and flatcars -- a fairly even distribution across the
nation. I'm just not sure anymore.

At some later time I obtained data from the Canadian Bureau of railroad
statistics and concluded from that data that Canadian marked boxcars
appeared in greatly reduced numbers than their fleet size suggested, roughly
10%, because Post WWII Canadian freight car shipments were 90% within
Canada. Somebody else (name forgotten) chipped in that there were certain
laws the explained why this was the case. This brought out all sorts of
counter arguments from fans of the CV. That was the last work I did on the
subject. Tim continued plugging away and, if you look thru the archives,
you will see that Tim posted much more frequently on the topic than I did
(he was retired, I wasn't.. He cared a lot, I was a bit indifferent).

Tim, Mike Brock, and I all obtained wheel reports from the UP. So entered
Mike into the debates.

About this time I suggested that the distribution of home road boxcar and
flatcars would vary on the home road according to whether a given location
tended towards mostly car shipments (high numbers of home road cars) or
mostly car receipts (low number of home road cars). I also suggested that
the distribution of foreign-road boxcars and flatcars

All thru this period I continued to do analysis on the overall freight car
fleet using a digital ORER, as well as commodity reporting based on very
detailed ICC data; Tim continued to explore the ICC blue book data. All of
this material often got included in posts on freight car distribution.

And then Tim died.

So FWIW, here's where I believe the hypothesis (several) stands today:

1) In the Post WWII years, Class I foreign-road, US marked boxcars and
flatcars were distributed fairly uniformly throughout the nation and each
type of car would be seen in numbers approximating each roads contribution
to the overall US fleet of that car type. IOW, if the NYC owned X% of the
US fleet of boxcars, then approximately X% of all foreign-road boxcars seen
on other railroads would be from the NYC.

2) Canadian Class I marked boxcars and flatcars would appear on US rails at
roughly 10% of the numbers approximating each Canadian roads contribution to
the overall US fleet of that car type. Because of regulation requiring the
prompt return of Canadian cars to Canada it was reasonable to expect a
higher concentration of Canadian marked cars on lines crossing the US
boarder than would be case if such cars wandered freely within the US.

3) The ratio of home to foreign road cars one would find on any given road
would change with overall US economic conditions, with the number of foreign
road cars rising in good economic times and falling in recessions. Actual
data of online and offline, US marked house cars and open top cars can be
found in the ICC Blue books for any given year.

4) The smoothness of the distribution of foreign road boxcar and flatcars
**may** be related to the number of and distance to the nearest interchange
points. IOW, the distribution might not be as even at corners of the US
(e.g., consider Bangor ME; Miami FL; San Diego CA; and Bellingham WA)
relative to, say, Chicago. How much the distribution changes as the number
of interchange points declines and distance to interchange points rises is
not known.

5) The number of home road boxcars and flatcars seen on the home road will
vary according to whether the location observed relative to the ratio of
outbound and inbound shipments. For instance, if Ditchwater has a 9:1 ratio
of shipments to car receipts one might expect to see home road cars in
protective service at Ditchwater as the railroad could not count on inbound
foreign road cars to appear frequently enough. OTOH, if Gotham City has a
1:9 ratio of shipments to car receipts one might expect to see very few home
road cars in protective service at Gotham City as there would be plenty of
foreign road MTY's that could be pressed into service.

6) The data does not support any hypothesis on the distribution of hoppers.
I'm not sure what Tim thought about gons or stock cars.

7) The hypothesis do not suggest anything about what one might see in any
given train but instead indicate what one might see in multiple trains over
a period of time. How many trains... How much time... The data does not
provide a definitive answer but does appear to hold true above 1000 cars.

8) The data indicates there is a **slightly higher occurrence** of adjacent
road foreign cars near interchange points with that foreign road but given
that most roads percentage of the nation fleet are very a small percentage,
in most cases the increase in actual numbers is nominal.

9) For purposes of building up a roster of model cars, the buyer would do
well to buy 20-25% home road and 75-80% foreign road boxcars and flatcars,
with the foreign road cars in rough proportion to what each foreign road
contributed to the US fleet. Ideally the buyer would acquire a large number
of additional cars for roads that contributed fewer cars to the US fleet and
using them as a pool, to cycle individual road names in and out to represent
the last 5-10% of his foreign road cars.

Dave Nelson


Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor
 

I was just flipping through some PRR "color guides" hoping to
find pictures of NYC box cars in PRR yards, and instead I find
a photo that shows a half dozen Northern Pacific cars in a PRR
yard. I think that whatever people think about distribution of
freight cars, Mike's Theory of NP Completeness has been proven
beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Tim O'Connor

Non-WWII modelers may not have it quite so easy, but as Tony has
said, in the absence of other information, it seems clear from Tim
Gilbert's data that modeling based on the national fleet for boxcars
is the most accurate method to achieve a realistic fleet - and that
Mike Brock average of 1 NP boxcar per train ;^)

Bruce F. Smith


Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor
 

Tony

Just a nit, but I think it was technically a little more than
"the shipper chose the route". All participating lines in a
given routing would have to have some prior agreement regarding
the division of revenues for THAT particular tariff, and there
were tens of thousands of tariffs. Certainly a less appreciated
aspect of tariffs is that cars did NOT have to, and often did
not, follow the shortest possible route. They might travel many
hundreds of miles out of their way, e.g. Peoria to St Louis via
Kansas City. And Tony knows as well as anyone that many cargoes
were shipped to 'waypoint' destinations by circuitous routes so
that a broker could sell the cargo and redirect the car while
it was enroute.

Tim O'Connor

Isn't it likely that nearly all NYC box cars loaded in New England,
with destinations in the upper west - west of the Mississippi, would
be routed over the NYC's water level route if they touched NYC rails
before PRR rails? Or would most shippers specify the entire route of
their shipment?
Nope. The shipper chose the route, possibly with guidance from
his LOCAL freight agent. The NYC didn't just grab the home-road cars
for themselves.

Tony Thompson


Re: Freight car distribution

Bruce Smith
 

On Aug 12, 2008, at 4:01 PM, devansprr wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
ting repairs,
so the actual number in trains is slightly less.

For the rest of your boxcar fleet, the NYC cars should be roughly 6%
of your total fleet. Thus if you have 100 non-PRR boxcars, six
should be NYC. Of those cars, a substantial portion should be the
USRA steel boxcar (Westerfield, and styrene?(someday).


Regards
Bruce
Bruce,

But I'm still not convinced on NYC boxcars. I certainly plan on more
than 1, but looking at pictures I rarely see NYC box cars in through
freights on the PRR Middle and Pittsburgh divisions. But I think I
recall seeing several at the Altoona freight house.

I think it is legitimate to bias populations based on the local
situation. Isn't it likely that nearly all NYC box cars loaded in New
England, with destinations in the upper west - west of the
Mississippi, would be routed over the NYC's water level route if they
touched NYC rails before PRR rails? Or would most shippers specify the
entire route of their shipment?
Dave,

You are basing your analysis on the incorrect assumption that most NYC cars were loaded on NYC rails. Those NYC boxcars you see on the PRR in WWII could just as easily have been loaded on PRR rails, or NP rails or AT&SF rails, etc... as NYC rails. Boxcars were basically in a national fleet for most of the steam era. During WWII, when many of the car service rules were suspended for other classes, those classes also operated in a national pool, most notably flats and reefers. Ultimately, those of us modeling WWII really have it quite easy.

Boxcars - national pool - model the fleet (with a slight home road bias, as these cars did get sent home for repairs etc)

Flats - national pool - model the fleet (which we cannot do as we do not have the correct SP and UP flats)

Reefers - car service rules were suspended - model the fleet... on the PRR, that means that PFE and SFRD cars may outnumber FGE cars, a situation that might not occur normally.

Tank Cars - model the fleet, split east and west (ie the central US and eastern US, where there would normally have been mostly local and regional distribution of tank cars are a single vast fleet, and the western US is a second fleet/pool). I'm halfway through a fascinating book called "The Petroleum Administration at War" (Thanks to Frank Peacock!), the kind of book Tim Gilbert would have loved(!), that details many of the oil transportation issues of the war.

Gons, Stock cars and Hoppers - model regionally but with the hint of a national flavor (less so for hoppers). Individual cars might be seen far from home rails, but not in numbers proportional to the fleet. For the PRR modeler, that might mean for example an ATSF mill gon, or a UP GS gon once in awhile, or that hopper from Georgia in Harrisburg in Ted and Larry's book. ATSF, UP and SP stock cars were common on the PRR.

Non-WWII modelers may not have it quite so easy, but as Tony has said, in the absence of other information, it seems clear from Tim Gilbert's data that modeling based on the national fleet for boxcars is the most accurate method to achieve a realistic fleet - and that Mike Brock average of 1 NP boxcar per train ;^)

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/index.pl/bruce_f._smith2

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dave Evans wrote:
I think it is legitimate to bias populations based on the local situation.
Up to a point, sure. But that average is still waiting there to bite you.

Isn't it likely that nearly all NYC box cars loaded in New England, with destinations in the upper west - west of the Mississippi, would be routed over the NYC's water level route if they touched NYC rails before PRR rails? Or would most shippers specify the entire route of their shipment?
Nope. The shipper chose the route, possibly with guidance from his LOCAL freight agent. The NYC didn't just grab the home-road cars for themselves.

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Freight car distribution

devansprr
 

--- In STMFC@..., Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Dave,

If you've read my article in TKM on the PRR fleet ;^) you know that
the PRR averaged around 50% home road, but that includes about 75%
home road hoppers, 50% home road gons and 25% (estimated) home road
boxcars. Those numbers also reflect cars stored or awaiting repairs,
so the actual number in trains is slightly less.

For the rest of your boxcar fleet, the NYC cars should be roughly 6%
of your total fleet. Thus if you have 100 non-PRR boxcars, six
should be NYC. Of those cars, a substantial portion should be the
USRA steel boxcar (Westerfield, and styrene?(someday).


Regards
Bruce
Bruce,

Pretty sure I have read ALL your TKM articles, and greatly appreciate
your efforts.

But I'm still not convinced on NYC boxcars. I certainly plan on more
than 1, but looking at pictures I rarely see NYC box cars in through
freights on the PRR Middle and Pittsburgh divisions. But I think I
recall seeing several at the Altoona freight house.

I think it is legitimate to bias populations based on the local
situation. Isn't it likely that nearly all NYC box cars loaded in New
England, with destinations in the upper west - west of the
Mississippi, would be routed over the NYC's water level route if they
touched NYC rails before PRR rails? Or would most shippers specify the
entire route of their shipment?

And east bound MT NYC boxcars from the west (admittedly VERY rare
during WWII) would probably be interchanged onto the NYC well west of
Pittsburgh.

To me, that would make west bound NYC box cars through Huntingdon, PA
less frequent than EB CB&Q loads, which is what the photographs seem
to indicate, even though the NYC fleet was bigger than the CB&Q.

The Altoona NYC sightings also make sense. As one of the world's
largest railroad car and locomotive shops (the largest during WWII
era?), there must have been a steady stream of parts and materials
flowing into Altoona from all over the North-East, and many of those
suppliers would have been served by the central, hence some NYC box
cars end up at the Altoona freight house.

Clearly Mike's UP reports show SIGNIFICANT deviations from the
averages. Lacking wheel reports, I'm more inclined to work off of
photographs from the locations being modeled rather than national
averages. National averages can help fill in the gaps where no other
data is available, but the science behind operations research would
suggest that significant deviations from the average are the NORM, not
the exception. Freight car movements were not a random process, and
therefore should not be expected to exhibit standard deviations
typical of Gaussian distributions.

I realize I'm not at the modeling level of this group's membership - I
monitor for the wealth of information provided, but I have limited
time, and frankly limited modeling skills, that are necessary to build
a bunch of resin NYC box cars, so if NYC ends up being 1-2% of my box
car fleet instead of 6%, I'm not losing any sleep over it, and if
anyone complains about a shortage of NYC box cars during a future op
session, I can confidently reply "not today", and know that it is a
"prototypical", and statistically reasonable response.

Respectfully,
Dave Evans


Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
My key point is that "reasonably typical" "on average" is not a really useful concept. Like of my many drives between Boston and New York it would be extraordinary for one to be the average time, and don't forget that in the car stuff we're talking about distributions with all kinds of skewness and normal distributions aren't demonstrably common.
What's your point? That there is variability and skewness does not make the average uninteresting; in fact, it emphasizes the average as the central point of the data. No one, least of all Tim, ever said that the average was the entire story. But if all I think about is the variability, and ignore the average, I really have no idea what I'm talking about.

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Micro Scale Decals?

michael bishop <goldrod_1@...>
 

Total BS rumor,  I just talked to Micro Scale today, the have a new catalog in color coming out soon and our doing well and fine.
 
Michael Bishop

--- On Tue, 8/12/08, wabash2813 <@VictorVector> wrote:

From: wabash2813 <@VictorVector>
Subject: [STMFC] Micro Scale Decals?
To: STMFC@...
Date: Tuesday, August 12, 2008, 1:11 PM






The scuttlebut around the internet is that Micro Scale is pulling the
plug. Reportedly the gentleman in charge of that line was let go
August 8.

Victor Baird
Fort Wayne, Indiana


















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


Re: Freight car distribution

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

I never had the pleasure of meeting Tim, but it's patently obvious
that his work was very thorough. What is reasonably typical, on the
average? He's probably closer than any of us ever will be.

======

I'll have more to say on this later, but first maybe we need to review
what Tim actually said. Yesterday morning, after urging from Mike
Brock, I did a search in our archives on "freight car distribution"
and got 266 messages to look at. During the course of the day I
browsed the 150 or so from before I joined this list. I'm still
confused as to what Tim really concluded about distribution by
ownership. Is there anyone who has those details or can point us to
the messages that have the conclusions,.

In regard to the above snippet from Steve.

My key point is that "reasonably typical" "on average" is not a really
useful concept. Like of my many drives between Boston and New York it
would be extraordinary for one to be the average time, and don't forget
that in the car stuff we're talking about distributions with all kinds
of skewness and normal distributions aren't demonstrably common.

"He's probably closer than any of us ever will be."

I think I strongly disagree with that statement but need to find what
he actually said.