Date   

Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
I'm OK with the average as the core datum, but recognizing that the average in the car distribution case may be at one side of a skewed distribution orm otherwise not a true average. Any average is better than zero or infinity as the starting point.
An average always means the same thing, Malcolm, though in a skewed distribution it will not lie at the same location as the most frequent data, which lay persons usually assume the average to be (and which it is in a symmetrical distribution). But I have no idea what a "true average" is.

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


Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies. Was: Re: Re

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Tony said
> That doesn't eliminate the importance of the average as the core datum. Moreover, my instinct is that what "looks right" is probably the average, not the extremes of the data. Without more specific data, and we have precious little, I believe that trying to look typical is an excellent beginning
=========================

I'm OK with the average as the core datum, but recognizing that the average in the car distribution case may be at one side of a skewed distribution orm otherwise not a true average. Any average is better than zero or infinity as the starting point.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Re: ADMIN: Digest

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Well Mike, knowing that I'm one of the former jailees that you've mentioned, maybe a grace period of one digest would be in order. This list has unreasonable volume to get individual messages.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies. Was: Re: Re:Fwd

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Mike Brock said
> “First, note that my data is about 1/35 of the train consists for only about
a month and a half. What I was trying to say is that during this period of
time, the number of appearances by SP box cars is about 2.6 times what the
theory predicts.”
------------------------

No reason to think this is an anomaly. More likely it represents the proximity of the railroads – see my earlier post about cars form other railroads in proportion to their distance from my railroad. I'm sure the proportionality theory is wrong. More on that tomorrow.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478

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


Re: Freight car distribution - Four part waybills an randomization

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

There have been a few comments on this topic in regard to waybills and how do we get randomness so that there is the possibility, as Tim O mentioned for example, of having four SFRD reefers on the same switch run to Frederticksburg Cold Storage. At our club there are two techniques that use in making up four part waybills that help with this.

1. Our layout has enough complexity that it can take from twoto seven days to go through the foutr parts of the waybill. I try to combine trips in a manner that gives different cycle times.

2. I will make 1/4 to 1/3 excess waybills for a car category. When a car gets back to the fiddle yard on cycle four, the waybill is pulled and a diferent waybill is put in the car pocket. Here's an example using meat reefers.

We have about 30 meat cars with about ten different meat companies. The waybill on part 1 has the shipper (meat packer) highlighted and the car pocket clearly identifies the packer. For each packer, I've taken actual origin points from the OpSIG industry database. When a meat car returns to the fiddle yard on part four, we draw another waybill for that packer.

For produce, we have a set of waybills for PFE and SFRD reefers. Each has two round trips from actual origins on UP, SP or SFRD as appropriate. I will always combine a round trip for an move to a local industry, which can take two to four days, with an overhead move to get the cycle length (pseudo)randomness .

These techniques give us a nice variety of moves and what you will see at any given operating session is quite iunpredictable.




I'm copying this to the OpSIG, something we might want to discuss.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Re: Car distribution vs era

Walter M. Clark
 

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

Dan and all,

I started on the Penn in the Philly area in '65, working in the
block stations that serviced local and major yards in addition to the
main lines. Most of the people I worked with all started on the road
back in the late 30s and 40s. Working with local and road crews
either making up trains or making pick ups and set offs and putting up
with irascible yardmasters, who thought that they were "GOD" and
always right, was just in a days work, but it was also an education.

Yardmasters always had ten trains to get out their garden before
they would take one in, not caring that you had one of main tracks
blocked up with trains waiting, some on short time.

The problem here is that for the most part we are trying to
replicate freight car movements from 50+ years ago with little
information to go on.

As a Pennsy modeler of the late 1953 period, I am lucky as we have
several guides to work with. We have system freight schedule books
which give the routings, yards where pickups and set outs are made and
the way the road freights were blocked. In addition to the freight
schedules in the Employee Timetables, there is the book called the
C.T.1000 which lists every branch, yard, main line and what industries
are located on them. This book also came in regional issues as well.
These were updated and issued about every 5 years. And in some
cases, we have found local freight schedule books showing routing and
schedules. Of course, you have to realize that the schedule timing is
tentative and was used as a guide to the train departures and
arrivals. Knowing what industries are in any given location, you can
then research the type of products that they made, shipped and received.

Since I model what was the Middle Division, I can run just about any
type of freight car that was in service in my time frame, even some of
those roads which Richard Hendrickson calls those "yall roads." This
is because the "Middle" was more of a conduit that tied the western
end of the system to the eastern end. When watching the videos, it is
like looking at the catalog of cars from Sunshine, Westerfield, F&C
and just about every other car manufacturer. Even with the through
freight operations, there was still enough local industries at various
towns on the route to keep a vigorous local freight operation going.

Again, the number of loads and empties on road trains varied in that
period along with the various commodities that either were shipped in
or shipped out of each of these small towns. For example, Lewistown
had five branches that emanated from the yard there, with industries
on all of them. Trains operations were pretty much the same as any on
another big road, whether it was the PRR, the NYC, Santa Fe or the UP.
Each had their own idiosyncrasies, but the operations were about the
same.

To replicate any type of balance or type of equipment on a daily or
even weekly basis is very difficult, even with the information that we
have. You are never going to get it right, as every day was different
and varied week to week, year to year, depending on the country's
business cycles. Yes, maybe the best way to guess at what would be
close would be to have snapshots of what the yards looked like over a
given time period. The Kline/Culotta book put out by the NMRA is
about as close to this as you can get, but again, you are still
guessing as it is only one maybe 6 month period in 1947.

I would think that at this point this discussion has run it's course
as it is about the tenth time this subject has come up. It is a
fascinating discourse, but for now I think that everyone should take a
deep breath, print out the information from the list archives, work
out what works for them, and go back to building freight cars. Good
Luck guys!

Regards to all,

Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292
tmolsen@...

Group,
I may be over-simplifying things, but it seems to me that you first
have to decide what industries and other receivers/shippers you will
have on your layout, then research what you need to know regarding
who/from where/in what type car your receiving cars will be, along
with who/to where/in what type car your shipments will be. Then add
the bridge traffic and start buying and building car kits. The
information from the discussion and analysis gives us the background
we need for the distribution of box cars between owning roads, and the
receiving/shipping and bridge traffic information, along with the
discussion and analysis tells you what
flat/gondola/hopper/tank/reefer/specialty cars you need.

I'm working from a comb-bound book entitled "Ton's 1938 Register" I
got several years ago. Tom is Thomas A. Gloger, and he spent an
enormous amount of effort researching and cataloging companies that
were in operation in 1938, what their products were, along with the
railroad(s) serving the company operation(s). I'm using this to
determine my answers to the "need to know" from the above paragraph.

He lists a web site in his book, but it's no longer there.

The book just makes it easier, the process will still work without it.

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


Re: Freight car distribution - hopper rule

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Example: To protect their car supply, certain railroads subscribed to an interchange rule that mandated their empty cars could not be loaded on the return trip without their express consent. This was C&O, Virginian, N&W, and L&N, to a lesser extent C&EI, WM.
----------------------------

This refers to what were known (IIRC) as C411 cars. That was an AAR directive, not an interchange rule that railroads could subscribed to. It specified that hoppers of certain roads could not be loaded but must be returned empty to the owner - BTW an old rule in 1960. I know that it included N&W and C&O and I believe L&N. I believe a few other roads were added later. It di not include C&EI or B&O, although I think it might be that B&O was addeed later when it became controlled by C&O.

The criterion for inclusion in C411 was that the railroad owned an adequate number [by an arcane AAR formula] of cars to protect its own loadings. Few railroads qualified.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Re: ICC Blue Books

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Cyril Durrenberger wrote:
Do you know where one can locate these? Do you know when ICC started printing these?
I don't know when they started, but the oldest one I have is 1898.

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


Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Walter Clark wrote:
And Tony's comment about SP flat cars means those of us who model the SP pre-World War II are up the creek because there aren't any models of pre-World War II SP flat cars (in HO scale that I know of, at least).
So far, you're right. But straight-side-sill flats are not exactly the toughest scratchbuilding job there is.

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


Re: ICC Blue Books

Cyril Durrenberger
 

One can find ICC data in the annual
Blue Books

Do you know where one can locate these? Do you know when ICC started printing these?

Thanks,

Cyril Durrenberger


Re: Frt Car Distribution, diversions, routing et al

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Greg, I have immense respect for Dan Holbrook -- but 2008-35 = 1973.
In other words Dan's experiences reflect the modern era and not so
much that of the steam era.
==========

I don't agree with this. I began nin operations in 1960. Given that for the next ten years we were trying to change what had been in effect for dozens of years, I can say that practices I observed were late steam era. Dan's omments fit that picture quite well , for some railroads.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


diversions.

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

I'd like to try to clarify the diversion thing a bit based on what I believe to have been the rules. The excerpt from Don Holbrook below is a nice summary of what happened. BTW, all that I've read so far from Don is consistent with my experience.

There were limits to circuity in diverting cars. The cars had to be diverted/reconsigned in a manner such that their path from origin to destination was a legal route, as shown in the routing guide. There was a single routing guide that was itself a tariff and one of several supplementary tariffs referenced by most commodity and class rate tariffs. {note: other tariffs refereneced by most rate tariffs were the Open and Prepay Station List, ORER, demurrage tariff and Uniform Freight calssifications } The rouitng guide had all of the valid routes. That included most combinations of railroads and junctions that did not cause excess circuity. Circuity was expressed as a percentage of short line miles [There was another supplementary tariff that had short line miles between all points.]. I don't remeber the actual factor, but let's use 120 for example.

Here is an example. From Roseburg, OR (lumber loading area) to Provincetowm MA, the short line mileage is 3653, routed SP-Ogden-UP-Omaha-CNW-Chicago-NYC-Framingham-NH. USing the 120 percent rule, we can go 4384 miles. Here's a route we could use to delay one of those lumber rollers. SP-Portland-UP-Denver-MP-MEMphis-SOU-Washington-PRR-New York-NH. That route is 4375 miles. At any point between Roseburg and Little Rock the car could be diveted to a direct route via Chicago or St. Louis and NYC to Framingham.

=========================
> Don said
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.


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Re: Freight car distribution

Walter M. Clark
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Gene Green, perhaps tongue in cheek, wrote:
All this discussion of freight car distribution has what purpose? A
purpose does not seem self-evident to me.
Is there a model railroad, as opposed to model building, purpose?
Gene, I believe people are interested (perpetually) in knowing
the balance they need in freight car fleets--which I guess could be
called model building--but are also interested in accurate handling of
empty cars as well as of inbound loads from "off the layout."

Wouldn't the area one models and the industries on that model
railroad
play a greater role (than statistics) in determining which cars one
might model?
Of course. If you have a pickle plant on your layout, then
yes,
you should have pickle cars, regardless of their proportion of the
national car fleet. But most layouts model a certain amount of bridge
traffic, which of course isn't local, and moreover inbound loads need
to be in credible cars (car reporting marks). Tim Gilbert showed that
free-running cars, primarily box cars but also flat cars to a fair
extent, ARE in proportion to the national fleet. I would guess this is
true also for gondolas handling merchandise loads, but much less so for
bulk cargo--in the latter case, they are much more like hoppers and are
more nearly distributed by region.
But Gene's point is still vital to keep in mind, and one has
to know how one's prototype worked. SP lumber traffic was extremely
heavily on SP flat cars, because SP maintained a big fleet of those
cars for that traffic. Train photos show very few foreign flat cars
with lumber loads on the SP lines. That's an example of something a
modeler just needs to know.

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
And Tony's comment about SP flat cars means those of us who model the
SP pre-World War II are up the creek because there aren't any models
of pre-World War II SP flat cars (in HO scale that I know of, at least).

Time stopped in November 1941, which is my problem regarding SP flat
cars <g>
Walter M. Clark
Pullman, Washington, USA


Re: Handbook of American Railroads

Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>
 

Thanks Larry. Its a few years late in publication from my model era (1946), but I think it would probably be useful to get one at some point.

Rob Kirkham

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Kline" <lndkline@verizon.net>
To: "STMFC list" <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 11:55 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Handbook of American Railroads


Rob Kirkham wrote:
A question: what is the Handbook of American Railroads - that's a new
one to me. Is it analogous to the ORER? Published how frequently?

The Handbook of American Railroads, by Robert G. Lewis, 1951, (First
Edition), Simmons-Boardman, New York. There is a short summary
including a map, mileage, revenue, expenditures, traffic and equipment
info. for 127 class one railroads. From the Intro: "This book has been
written to provide a single source of facts and information on each of
the 127 Class I railroads. These railroads comprise 181,311 piles of
road, or about 81 per cent of the total U.S. rail mileage. A
description of each railroad, highlighting information that is
prominent or of unusual interest, is accompanied with maps and
photographs."

http://www.abebooks.com currently lists 5 copies of the 1951 edition
and 2 copies of the 1956 edition.

Simmons-Boardman publishes Railway Age and the Cyclopedias.
http://www.simmonsboardman.com
http://transalert.com/bookstore/Rail/
Simmons-Boardman currently publishes the Encyclopedia of North
American Railroads

Larry Kline
Pittsburgh, PA



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Re: Box car counts by RR - NMRA Charles collection

Tim O'Connor
 

Larry

I suspect Tim would have recommended computing the standard
deviation of this data set, in order to see how closely these
observed differences from the mean values match the expected
standard deviation. One does not "expect" all values in a
sample data set from a large population to match the mean
values, but one does expect that the mean of the deviations
is predictable. If it is, then you can make a case that your
data set is a good representation of a hypothetical sample.
If not, then the data set may be skewed, or your expected
sample may be incorrect (i.e. Tim's theory of distribution
may be incorrect).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation

Tim O'Connor

I just posted a table in the files section file that compares expected
and actual counts of boxcars by railroad in the NMRA Charles
collection. The file name is _Compare box car counts US RRs - Charles
collection.pdf_.

The first two columns in the table list, in descending order, the
number of box cars owned on 12-31-1950 by 71 US railroads. These
numbers are from _The Handbook of American Railroads_.

There are 194 photos of boxcars in the Charles collection. Most of
them were taken in 1946 and 1947 in the greater Harrisburg PA area on
the PRR. The most common photo location is the PRR eastbound receiving
yard in Harrisburg. The third column in the table lists the expected
boxcar counts by railroad for a total of 194 boxcars, based on the
second column. The fourth column lists the actual number of boxcar
photos in the Charles collection.

Given the small size of the sample, I think that these numbers support
Tim Gilbert's hypothesis that the number of boxcars owned by railroad
can be used to predict the expected number of boxcars observed. Other
list members are welcome to draw their own conclusions about this data.

Larry Kline
Pittsburgh, PA


Re: Box car counts by RR - NMRA Charles collection

Dave Nelson
 

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Larry Kline

I just posted a table in the files section file that compares expected and
actual counts of boxcars by railroad in the NMRA Charles collection. The
file name is _Compare box car counts US RRs - Charles collection.pdf_.


Larry, there are a couple of errors in that listing and I think you should
correct them. First, as the images were taken on the PRR you should not
count any PRR cars in the sample. Home Road cars are not what the basic
Distribution Hypothesis is about. Second, I get a lower total even after
that so I think you might have missed something when you tabulated the
numbers.

Dave Nelson


Re: Handbook of American Railroads

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Larry Kline wrote:
These railroads comprise 181,311 piles of road . . .
Man! That's a lot of piles!

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


Encyclopedia of North American Railroads - correction

Larry Kline
 

Correction:
Simmons-Boardman currently sells the Encyclopedia of North American Railroads, published by Indiana Univ. Press
http://www.transalert.com/cgi-bin/details.cgi?inv=BKENARR&cat=19
Its available at Amazon at a lower price.

Larry Kline
Pittsburgh, PA


Handbook of American Railroads

Larry Kline
 

Rob Kirkham wrote:
A question: what is the Handbook of American Railroads - that's a new one to me. Is it analogous to the ORER? Published how frequently?

The Handbook of American Railroads, by Robert G. Lewis, 1951, (First Edition), Simmons-Boardman, New York. There is a short summary including a map, mileage, revenue, expenditures, traffic and equipment info. for 127 class one railroads. From the Intro: "This book has been written to provide a single source of facts and information on each of the 127 Class I railroads. These railroads comprise 181,311 piles of road, or about 81 per cent of the total U.S. rail mileage. A description of each railroad, highlighting information that is prominent or of unusual interest, is accompanied with maps and photographs."

http://www.abebooks.com currently lists 5 copies of the 1951 edition and 2 copies of the 1956 edition.

Simmons-Boardman publishes Railway Age and the Cyclopedias.
http://www.simmonsboardman.com
http://transalert.com/bookstore/Rail/
Simmons-Boardman currently publishes the Encyclopedia of North American Railroads

Larry Kline
Pittsburgh, PA


Re: Box car counts by RR - NMRA Charles collection

Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>
 

Thanks Larry! Apart from the PRR, my impression - just scanning through the numbers - is that by incorporating the Canadian numbers (which are obviously underrepresented by fleet size, reflecting the border issues) the deviation between expected and actual in the Charles collection is reduced a little. I suppose one could test for that in Excel, although my first year stats course is more than a 1/4 century ago, so I won't be the one to do it...

A question: what is the Handbook of American Railroads - that's a new one to me. Is it analogous to the ORER? Published how frequently?

Rob Kirkham

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Kline" <lndkline@verizon.net>
To: "STMFC list" <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 9:51 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Box car counts by RR - NMRA Charles collection


Rob Kirkham wrote:
Its an interesting document both for how it correlates and how it does
not. I don't suppose you have another version that incorporates the
(controversial?) Canadian railway equipment? I wonder how that would
impact the figures.

There are 4 CP boxcars and 2 CN boxcars in the Charles collection. The
_Handbook of American Railroads_ doesn't include Canadian Railroads. I
added the CN and CP boxcar totals from the April 1951 ORER and revised
the table. Its in the files section with the file name _Compare box
car counts N Amer RRs - Charles collection.pdf_.

Larry Kline
Pittsburgh PA








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