Date   

Re: Freight car distribution

Schuyler Larrabee
 

Nope. The vast majority of this previous discussion happened on this list. I don't think Tim was
ever on The Freightcars List.

BTW, I was wondering the other day about the archive for The Freightcars List. Does it still exist?
And where might one find it?

SGL

I think they are referring to a previous USENET-based mailing list whose
archives is out in the ether somewhere. I occaisionally run across
individual threads when doing a google search, but I haven't stumbled onto a
reliable way to reference it as a whole.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Cyril and Lynn Durrenberger

You all keep saying to look at the past messages for some of this data. I
found a number of them, but I did not locate any that had the work that is
being sited. Could some one provide the message numbers to assist this
process.


Frt Car Distribution, diversions, routing et al

lstt100
 

After 35 years of railroading and sitting in clerks, yardmasters, car
distributors, trainmasters chairs I'll throw in my two cents.

Yardmasters did not supply cars to industries. Unless it was a large
industry with specific switching requirements most yardmasters did
not have time nor want to deal with the industry/customer. Empties
on hand at a given terminal were assigned to car orders placed by
customers within the terminal complex. Keep in mind that this might
also entail supplying cars to locals operating out of the terminal
over 100 to 150 miles of a division. Normally this activity was done
by industry service clerks or local car distribution folks. Yes we
did deviate from planning but attempted based on the destination
specified by the industry, to find an appropriate Rule 1 or Rule 2
empty. Lacking this we found, or looked for, an appropriate home
road car. Also local conductors had a habit of providing empties to
shippers at their disgression and not via the direction of the local
orders provided by the clerks. Yardmasters did appreciate the clerks
that went out of there way to make their switching easier by finding
cars in appropriate blocks to supply customers on car orders. Most
clerks new the short home routes for empties without looking at an
ORER. Usually this was specified in "tide" or "flow" instructions to
specific terminals to eliminate any confusion over "where" to send a
foreign empty. My early experience with the ORER was looking for
load limits and capacity on specific cars to fill car orders.

Shippers did specify routings but were not required to do so.
Shipper specified routings were more commonplace during the 40's and
50's and fell off during the 60's and 70's and shippers began to let
the railroads determine the best routing. In most cases the carrier
that originated the load tried to get the longest possible
routing "on-line" to get the largest division of revenue. However,
some customers liked to specify their routing to avoid either major
terminals or to pay back a marketing person.

Diversions were specified by the broker. However, a car could be
diverted once without cost to the broker providing the car was going
in a straight line movement between two end points. Example would be
diversion lumber moving from Pacific Northwest via MSTL to Peoria and
Peoria being the broker specified destination. It the car reached
Albert Lea, MN and was diverted to Indianpolis, IN for the final
customer the diversion was free. However, if the diversion was from
Albert Lea, MN to Sioux Falls, SD then, depending on era, was either
treated as a diversion with a specific charge, or as an entirely new
shipment because of the diversion being back in a westward movement.
Brokers made every attempt to sell their product enroute and in a
linear fashion.

Tim Gilbert and I talked a number of times over the years. His
conclusions were based on careful analysis of data and his own
personal background. We are lucky to have had his insight into car
distribution and breakdown of ownership and use.

Dan Holbrook


Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor
 

Dave

The Southern Pacific would number specially equipped or assigned
box cars into various 600000 series. Cars moved in and out of these
series as needs changed. I have to think the whole logic of this
renumbering was that it made it far easier for yard personnel to
identify and segregate these cars so they didn't get mixed up with
the general purpose XM's.

As cars became more and more specialized, I'm sure the handling of
these cars greatly complicated car handling in terminal yards. No
wonder the railroads have so strongly embraced intermodal boxes!

Tim O'Connor

That said, specialty cars exist... And are problematic: should they be
included or excluded from the sample of road names? Consider how the data
from Sherman Hill might be wholly indifferent to the appearance of such
cars, given overall traffic volumes, as compared to, say, the Western
Pacific which saw both considerably fewer bocars and was a terminating road
at an auto assembly plant. Consider how the PM boxcar fleet was mostly
specialty cars.

Dave Nelson


Re: Freight car distribution

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

I think they are referring to a previous USENET-based mailing list whose archives is out in the ether somewhere. I occaisionally run across individual threads when doing a google search, but I haven't stumbled onto a reliable way to reference it as a whole.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Cyril and Lynn Durrenberger

You all keep saying to look at the past messages for some of this data. I found a number of them, but I did not locate any that had the work that is being sited. Could some one provide the message numbers to assist this process.


Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor
 

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 ...
Dave

This sounds highly unrealistic to me. A freight yard is not a
deck of cards. A string of MT box cars is held on a track. The
yard clerk has a list of them, but all the agent knows is that
there are 27 XM's on a track. The first 5 are picked off for
local X, then next 7 go to local Y, etc. WHY ON EARTH would any
employee care which car went where? Per diem was fixed at that
time, the same for every 40' box car, new or old, wood or steel,
plain or roller bearing. Unless a customer had special loading
requirements (e.g. DF devices) or needed a special door size or
whatever, surely the customer didn't care.

Can you IMAGINE your scenario? -- There's a PRR box car 12th in
the line. The shipper is going to receive 3 cars at 3 doors, and
the cargo for the second door is going to Fort Wayne on the PRR
and the cargos for the other doors are going to Syracuse. The
train crew doesn't give a damn, so someone has to arrange the
cars in the local freight job so that when they spot 3 cars on
the customer siding, the first and third cars are NYC and the
middle car is PRR.

Does that sound INSANE to you??? It should!

Tim was right. Thousands of employee anecdotes back him up. About
15 years ago there was a terrific article about the UP management
trying to get UP employee to -insert- cars into trains to preserve
their destination-block-order. This ordering was ESSENTIAL to keep
costs down so UP could get the business. It was a TOTAL FAILURE.
The train service employees didn't care. The trains would arrive
in Portland OR in a total mish-mosh order, requiring a lengthy
sorting out. UP lost the business (which was substantial).

Cars didn't travel randomly by DESIGN. They travelled randomly
because it was the EASIEST way to deal with cars. Every single
movement of a car costs real money -- crew time, fuel, and loco
time. Railroads who wasted money sorting cars based on reporting
marks (and for no other reason) would go out of business in a
big hurry.

Tim O'Connor


Re: Freight car distribution

Cyril Durrenberger
 

I had the same problem

Cyril Durrenberger

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...> wrote:
--- 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.


Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
Tony, all I meant was that the shipper chose the AVAILABLE route. Not all possible routes were available, and many of those that were available, were circuitous. That was my point -- a railroad did not have to take part in a tariff if they didn't want to.
That's quite true. In fact, the railroad was empowered to REJECT a route they saw as too circuitous, though if the shipper threatened to file a complaint with the ICC, they often would back down. The ICC was believed by railroaders to always favor shippers.

The NP and other railroads collaborated to create weird routes for loads of lumber that would attract this traffic to their lines. The destinations of such tariffs were in the middle of nowhere -- so the shipper wanted plenty of time to re-consign the car before it arrived there. If it did arrive, they would have to pay
I understand the story, but it seems weird. Perishable diversions on PFE were almost entirely via real routings and major cities (Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, etc.). One part of a perishable diversion (I don't know about lumber) was to hold a specified number of days at a designated point, though of course with perishables you didn't want to stretch too far <g>.

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


Not just RAILMODEL JOURNAL

Greg Martin
 

If I could comment on this from experience, I will only say this. I once had a meeting with a publisher close to me at the time and was in the company of another ex-editor and this publisher made a comment about the future of his magazine that struck me like a truck. HE said that he had discuss the magazine with friends of the magazine and that they had come to the conclusion that content is not what sells a magazine, that it is presentation that sold magazines.

I know that Tony knows exactly who I am talking about. That magazine is now gone. The two of us outside the magazine argued the point based on the early success of the magazine. But alas it was pointless the die had been cast and I am convince it was the wrong direct to take.? I believe that content is KING and presentation is important as well, but I would buy and have a nice collection of the early days of this magazine when the magazine was mostly B&W and the content prepared was very well supported by incredible historians and modelers... NO NEED TO NAME NAMES.

Is there room for a new magazine in our market place? I would say?YES, but I am not sure it needs to be on paper. There has been many fine paperback options introduced into the marketplace albeit it not necessarily on modeling, more devoted to historical aspects of our hobby.?Interestingly enough I was approached by an individual that said he and an other?was interested in doing a new modeling magazine... vaporware? Well...?

The?issue with all modeling articles, and we reviewed this when?developing TKM, the shelf-life of any subject is about two years and then it can be re-invented by another modeler with as much success as the original, providing the techniques are different and there is new data or a new subject?as a platform, i.e. a new model or a different era. The other issue for editor's is author burn-out happens about 5 years or there about.?

Tony's right deadlines for Editors are a bone crusher...?

Greg Martin??

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 5:02 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: RAILMODEL JOURNAL






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


Prototype Drawings in Mags

drgwrail
 

I am quite ceratain that within the next 5 years there will be no
accurate scale drawings of cars and locomotives in any madel rairload
magazine.

From my contacts in the mags I understand that 1) They cost too much
in terms of what it costs to have drawings done 2) they take up too
much space...particlularly if they have to be a fold out 3) Reders
survey show they are of little interest.

I have been doing drawings for mags as well as product design
engineering for almost 50 years now (and turned out my share of poor
drawings years ago) Switched to AutoCAD 20 years ago and gave up pen
and ink. In working for almost all of the major model RR mafgrs CAD
is a must.

If youa re just doing mag or book drawings pen and ink is almsot as
fast...as has been pointed out, the savings are in the commonality of
trucks, brake fittings, etc. plus the ease of checking accuracy and
making corrections.

So far as I know Harold Russell and I are the only ones doing thsi
sort of thing...and I think Harold has dropped out.

Might also comment that it is pretty apparent that a lot of the
people on this forum are confused between true engineering CAD systems
and the graphics type programs used in the graphic arts. There are a
lot of CAD programs out there for less that $100 that are OK for
simple floor plans, sketches, and circuit schematics but the cheapest
version AutoCAD is about $1400. Solid Works, which is more or less
the industry SD standard cost over $5000 plus an anuual fee of around
$1000.

Another observation is what a lot of guys say can be done is true if
you have access to state of the art software, plotters, rapid
protyping as done in large high tech industry but this stuff is
beyond what an individual or the average model rr mfgr can
afford...or justify.

End of sermonzing!

Chuck Yungkurth
Boulder CO


Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor
 

I'll repeat my point: the shipper chose the route.
Tony Thompson
Tony, all I meant was that the shipper chose the AVAILABLE
route. Not all possible routes were available, and many of
those that were available, were circuitous. That was my
point -- a railroad did not have to take part in a tariff
if they didn't want to. The example I gave was a real one:
the Rock Island signed on to a C&NW tariff from Peoria to
St Louis. Even though the Rock Island's route structure
meant the car had to travel west to Kansas City and then
east to St Louis -- about 4 times the distance.

In the brokered cargo cases, yes, the shipper chose the
route specified in the tariff -- but ONLY because the
railroads involved chose to create that tariff. The NP
and other railroads collaborated to create weird routes
for loads of lumber that would attract this traffic to
their lines. The destinations of such tariffs were in
the middle of nowhere -- so the shipper wanted plenty of
time to re-consign the car before it arrived there. If it
did arrive, they would have to pay

Tim O'Connor


Re: Freight car distribution

Cyril Durrenberger
 

You all keep saying to look at the past messages for some of this data. I found a number of them, but I did not locate any that had the work that is being sited. Could some one provide the message numbers to assist this process.

Thanks,

Cyril Durrenberger

benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...> wrote:
Ton Thompson wrote:
"We really need to get it into print somewhere, since it's natural
that not everyone has access to, or wants to access, the archives of
this particular list. Maybe RP CYC? Ed or Pat, are your scanning
this?"

Tony, Tim and I had discussed before he passed away. Tim had drafted
a paper with his findings, but it was extremely detailed and by his
own admission something we probably could not have pushed in the
hobby press, even in a publication such as RP Cyc. Our biggest
hangup was how to express the information in terms that most
hobbyists could understand without losing the heart of his analysis.
It's my desire to follow through on this, but it's competing with
many other projects, not to mention the day job and the reserves.

Unfortunately, this thread has shown this work to be sorely needed.
I share Dave Nelson's frustation - we seem to keep coming back to
this subject, and people continue to fail to look in the archives and
continue to ignore Tim's work. It's true it's not the be-all and end-
all on this subject, but it has far more analytical rigor than the
unsupported opinions that have been presented over the past few
days. Tony's challenge that the burden of proof rests with those
making the argument is dead on - if you think the "Boomer Pete/Chubb
Neighbors Weigh Heavier" is a more valid model, then back it up with
some data. If you can't, then you're just wasting all of our time.

Ben Hom


Re: Freight car distribution

Dave Nelson
 

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

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.

-----End Original Message-----

Wasn't there a magazine ad about a brand new PS-1 boxcar that travelled for
over 5 years before returning to home rails? Anybody recall that? Seems
cars scattered like marbles out of a dropped, busted bag and once in motion
they tended to continue to bounce around.

Anyway, WRT to my earlier summation of the various hypothesis... I forgot
something: when the word boxcar is read one should think XM cars and for
flatcars, FM cars. These will be more evenly distributed than special cars
(e.g., XAP) which were usually tied to service in particular locations.

That said, specialty cars exist... And are problematic: should they be
included or excluded from the sample of road names? Consider how the data
from Sherman Hill might be wholly indifferent to the appearance of such
cars, given overall traffic volumes, as compared to, say, the Western
Pacific which saw both considerably fewer bocars and was a terminating road
at an auto assembly plant. Consider how the PM boxcar fleet was mostly
specialty cars.

My point in bring this up is to show some of the complexity and to remind
people the while hypothesis is strong, it is still a generally speaking
hypothesis, and as such should not be seen as an iron clad rule but just
something suitable as a guideline in the absence of alternative factual
information.

Dave Nelson


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.