Date   

Re: Packers Car Line

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

They are not in the 7/61 ORER, so built - or at least owned by PCX - after then.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Rupert & Maureen

According to the 1968 ORER, there was also PCX 4400 - 4600 of similar size. Can anyone advise when these were built and by whom?


cars as scenery

Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

List,

        One neat thing I have found for this idea is building turn of the century equipment.
These old cars seem to have lived on in old shop areas, roundhouse stalls, cinder
movement, storage "boxes", and the ever popular; "we might need that some day"
storage track. These can be painted in an old MofW scheme; left in revenue paint;
weathered to a faded wash; semi-deconstructed; placed on a little used siding; or
placed in a railroad customer's siding in the weeds. I have a couple Ambroid kits
that I built in the 50's as a beginner, and they fill this use to a tee.

Fred Freitas


Invitation to Display at Hartford

Bob Hamm
 

As a new member of your group let me introduce myself. My name is Bob
Hamm. I am a very active HOn3 & HO modeler of some 48 years. My
interests revolve around a prototype modeling of the Rio Grande and the
Rio Grande Southern in the late 1930s including operations at the
Montrose dual gauge yard.

But I am digressing from the perhaps more important aspect of my
posting. I am also the relatively new NMRA National Contest Chairman
having taken the post in January of 2007. Since that time I have tried
to add events and activities that would be attractive and enjoyable to
folks that don't care for the traditional judged contest. In Anaheim we
added the People's Choice Awards, a direct entry, minimal paperwork,
popular vote affair and the Model Showcase, again a minimal paperwork,
display-only event designed to facilitate sharing models and modeling
ideas. Both were well received but not well attended, I think because of
a lack of publicity and a generally low attendance at the convention.

We are continuing the expansion at Hartford. In fact we are changing the
name to a "Celebration of Models, Photos and Crafts" to reflect that
broader scope. Most notably I am expanding the Model Showcase activity
at Hartford to invite entrants to come and sit (There will be plenty of
tables and chairs.) with their models to chat, explain, give and seek
advice on problems, and generally show them off. Any kind of model(s)
(focused of course on railroad models), complete or in process, from
largely commercial to completely scratch built are welcome. Likewise any
numbers of models from one to a hundred are welcome. Again in my mind
this approach is one of the best ways to share the hobby.

Now since I touched on numbers of models, let me talk about entry forms
and paperwork. Being responsible for the security of all entered items
in the room I do need to keep track of what's there and what's not.
However, I only need to know the builder's name and the models name (car
type, road & number, just something to identify the model). I am more
than willing to accept a preprinted or written list of models if someone
wishes to bring in a large number. There is no reason for any long,
involved form for this event, nor is there any reason for an entrant to
make out 25 entry forms to bring 25 models. One with a list of models
should do it.

To help accentuate the activity we are planning to focus in on Tuesday
with an "Afternoon of Meet the Modeler, Photographer and Crafter" to
help convention attendees plan their activities. The Showcase also
includes railroad photographs and craft items, which are also important
activities. We will also be holding the judged model and photo contests
as well as the People's Choice pop vote contest, but all will be run as
parallel events will in no way diminish the status of the Model
Showcase. In addition to Tuesday of course folks are more than welcome
to be with their models all week except maybe on Wednesday when the
judging takes place, but only to keep the noise down.

Let me tell you a little about myself and how this all evolved. For many
years I have been active in the NER as an avid model builder, clinician
and contest entrant & judge. I went through the AP program and hold MMR
#322. But I also discovered that the true joy of model railroading is
not the trains themselves but how we as modelers share our interests and
the friends we make by doing so. I became NER contest chair some seven
or eight years and discovered that while I enjoyed the activity there
were those that did not and in fact were quite opposed. (There were a
series of letters published in Model Railroading magazine and a few came
out in the NER Coupler.) I am totally apolitical, and my response was
typical of my philosophy. Okay, the contest is not everyone's cup of
tea. How can we accommodate these good folks to provide alternative
modeling activities to foster modeling discourse? A late night session
sampling single malt with some friends from the Central New York
Division provided the answer in the form of the Model Showcase, which
had been a successful part of their division meets for years. I
immediately initiated it at NER conventions where it has become a well
received part of our program.

Fast forward to my appointment to head the national contest after Ray
Bilodeau passed away in late 2006. Adding the Model Showcase along with
the People's Choice Awards was a no brainer for me. Why not? We're a big
organization; we can embrace a number of different model events that
appeal to different folks. Now as time went on and particularly this
year as I started to plan for the Hartford event I began to realize the
extent of the riff that had developed between the NMRA and a number of
other groups regarding the contest. My response was simply, I'm sorry
that that has happened but I simply want to move ahead with a very
inclusive program that will accommodate a wide range of modeling
philosophies. The NMRA BOD, also very concerned with those difficulties,
not only approved but has shown tremendous support for the enhanced
program. My point here is that the current program as I have outlined it
has been whole heartedly supported by the NMRA BOD but not driven by it.
It grew from within the walls of the contest room by myself and others
who feel it is simply the right thing to do.

To sum things up, the reason for this posting is to extend a very
sincere and cordial invitation to everyone in the group to join in the
Celebration of Models at Hartford and beyond. I would also like to
solicit your suggestions as to how we can make this and future events
more enjoyable.

Bob Hamm


Eastern Canadian Coal

Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

Speaking of U.S. products going into Canada in discussing the IC twin hopper decals raises a question for me. As I expect most of us are aware, Bristish Columbia produces a lot of coal. At present most of this seems to be exported to markets in the Orient. The other great producer of coal in Canada is Nova Scotia, particularly around Springhill and at the outer end of Cape Breton Island. I can well remember first arriving in Springhill as a youngster with my parents on the way to the Kentville area to visit cousins. It was a late afternoon in 1954 and the town seemed deserted. The Springhill Disaster, a major cave-in within the mines there, had occurred only hours before and everyone was at the minehead awaiting the fate of family members, relatives or neighbors who worked in them. But on that trip and many subsequent visits over the years I can never recall seeing the number of hoppers one would expect to move all the coal produced in Nova Scotia. I have seen an occasional photo of a CNR or CPR twin hopper but cannot recall seeing a triple hopper from either road. And what about the little Sydney & Louisberg? I don't recall ever seeing a photo of a hopper from that road other than on Cape Breton Island. So how was all of this Nova Scotia mined coal moved, particularly from Springhill, which had no deepwater port nearby. Wasn't any of this coal transported to Quebec or Ontario for use or were those provinces nearly wholly dependent on U.S coal???

Thanks for any imput, Don Valentine


Re: On-line article: IC "Mainline of Mid-America" 2-bay offset hoppers

Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


Sunshine makes an IC 2-bay offset hopper kit. In the past I
have been able to get extra decal sets Martin printed for his
kits. It doesn't hurt to ask if he has any extras...


And if he does not have extras perhaps he might authorize you to have Rail Graphics, the firm that prints his decals, print some additional sets up for you for a small royalty or something.

Don Valentine


Re: likeability bias

Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Gatwood, Elden J SAD " <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote: IN PART:


I have also been noticing the same thing when visiting layouts, and < I have many tell me the challenge is to "do that AND build a layout > in one lifetime". I am not sure the two are mutually exclusive, but
agree that it is a big challenge.

AHHH, but that "challenge" has been mitigated for so many by the number of items now offered already built; the ready-to-run trend so often complained of by fastidious modelers in the past. Personally I find that many of today's ready-to-run, factory assenbled cars have better detailing than the level of detailing many of us were building to prior to the current trend. This fact has moved some to achieve a still higher level of detailing but mostly I have noticed it has provided the time for more and more modelers to begin constructing their own pike. To me it is the greatest win-win situation we have seen in years! Those of us who have been without a place to operate at home for any length of time know well the frustration it creates.
The more who have time to construct a home pike of any size I expect the more the hobby will really grow. Have you noticed the decline in comments about how the hobby is shrinking since so many well done, ready-to-run models have come into the marketplace???

Just my two bits worth, Don Valentine


Re: Rolling stock as scenery

jerryglow2
 

To say nothing about how many wound up as storage or whatever on farms and other locations.....

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, michael bishop <goldrod_1@...> wrote:

Back in the late 50's and early 60's ( up to the early 70's) the Santa Fe would fill most of the sidings between  Barstow and Needles, CA with ice reefers with the hatches and doors open to dry out in late spring and summer. I used to repeat this scene on my layout with about 25 SFRD ice reefers. When I would notice the reefers out on the desert, these cars came out their box's for a few months of drying then go back to the shelf (on paper they had been sent else where for use). Then a MOW train of bunk cars, tool cars and supplies would show up on some of the sidings for awhile. Santa Fe also kept several 10 car strings of reefers at Summit on the Cajon Pass to be added to downhill west bounds as braking cars with the retainer valves set.
 
Michael Bishop


Re: Rolling stock as scenery

michael bishop <goldrod_1@...>
 

Back in the late 50's and early 60's ( up to the early 70's) the Santa Fe would fill most of the sidings between  Barstow and Needles, CA with ice reefers with the hatches and doors open to dry out in late spring and summer. I used to repeat this scene on my layout with about 25 SFRD ice reefers. When I would notice the reefers out on the desert, these cars came out their box's for a few months of drying then go back to the shelf (on paper they had been sent else where for use). Then a MOW train of bunk cars, tool cars and supplies would show up on some of the sidings for awhile. Santa Fe also kept several 10 car strings of reefers at Summit on the Cajon Pass to be added to downhill west bounds as braking cars with the retainer valves set.
 
Michael Bishop

--- On Sat, 6/6/09, Armand Premo <armprem2@surfglobal.net> wrote:


From: Armand Premo <armprem2@surfglobal.net>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Rolling stock as scenery
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, June 6, 2009, 6:29 PM








This may not be as far fetched as it may seem.In Alburgh on the Rutland, foreign hoppers would be stored awaiting unloading in a rather large coal facility.The coal would then be transferred to company wooden hopper bottomed Gons for storage or on line delivery to other on-line coaling facilities.It was not unusual to see long strings of these cars waiting to be loaded.Several ballast gons were also on hand to be loaded with ashes from the ash pit which then would be used elsewhere on the line.Thus these seemingly unglamorous cars could be considered scenery,but were an active part of the daily operations at this terminal.I suspect that this practice was not unique to the Rutland.Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek
To: STMFC@yahoogroups. com
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 8:36 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Rolling stock as scenery

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@.. .> wrote:

Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.

Tom Madden
The problem with that is most layouts already have a track to scenery ratio that's way out of kilter. However, Tom raises a good point; storage tracks could really be part of the scenery, track along the backdrop, or even behind background buildings, that aren't physically connected to the rest of the layout. Might even represent part of another railroad's yard... we don't know, because we'll never move the cars.

If the layout is large enough, this problem tends to diminish. When I run Defiance Yard on John Swanson's DW&LS, I classify cars for an eight hour trick (four actual hours) and build several outbound trains. But, I have some classifications that only go out on one train every twenty four hours, so some of those cars have been sitting in the yard for three sessions when they finally leave.

Bill Darnaby's Maumee Route is much the same; each session only runs twelve hours, so the locals only switch the towns every other session.

On both layouts there are cars that have been sitting quietly in the background for a while.

Dennis

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Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?

estcbq@...
 

the Railmodel Journal of April 1990 has Mr Hendrickson's part 11 of his article titled Freight Car Trucks a Modeler's Guide. Part I appeared in the February 1990 issue of RMJ. Very useful information very well presented--jim young

-----Original Message-----
From: Merlyn Lauber <mlauber4@mchsi.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 7:48 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?








Brian,

You might check your local hobby shop as we have the Coal Car book in stock.

Merlyn Lauber
Caboose Stop Hobbies

----- Original Message -----
From: cobrapsl@aol.com
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?

Brian,

Not sure where you are looking, Abe's used books had six or so new copies for sale yesterday, when I did the seach.

Paul Lyons

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Chapman <cornbeltroute@mchsi.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 11:41 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?

The chapter on trucks in Bob Karig's book on Coal Cars, published by the University of Chicago Press, is an indispensable guide to the development of truck technology. <
Richard,

A search of three major used book databases failed to discover a copy of this book for sale. However, I did discover new copies of two Karig books for sale via the U. of Chicago publications Web site. There, I found that the chapter on freight car trucks in the "Coal Cars" book runs to
48 pages.

My goal is to draw a number of transition-era trucks in 3D. May I ask you if Karig's book provides drawings, straight-on photos or other information about trucks I would find useful to achieve my goal?

Thanks much,

Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa

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

Martin Robert Karig III
Coal Cars
The First Three Hundred Years
400 pages, 608 halftones 8-1/2 x 11
Cloth $75.00

Martin Robert Karig III
Hard Coal and Coal Cars
Hauling Anthracite on the New York, Ontario & Western Railway
220 pages, 200 halftones 8-1/2 x 11 © 2006
Cloth $55.00

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

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








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


Packers Car Line

Rupert & Maureen <gamlenz@...>
 

I understand that the Burlington was the camouflaged owner of the Packers Car Line, formed to provide Armour & Company with more modern reefers - PCX 4000-4399 built in 1956 by Pacific Car & Foundry.

According to the 1968 ORER, there was also PCX 4400 - 4600 of similar size. Can anyone advise when these were built and by whom?

Thanks

Rupert Gamlen
Auckland NZ


Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?

Merlyn Lauber
 

Brian,

You might check your local hobby shop as we have the Coal Car book in stock.

Merlyn Lauber
Caboose Stop Hobbies

----- Original Message -----
From: cobrapsl@aol.com
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?





Brian,

Not sure where you are looking, Abe's used books had six or so new copies for sale yesterday, when I did the seach.

Paul Lyons

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Chapman <cornbeltroute@mchsi.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 11:41 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?

> The chapter on trucks in Bob Karig's book on Coal Cars, published by the University of Chicago Press, is an indispensable guide to the development of truck technology. <

Richard,

A search of three major used book databases failed to discover a copy of this book for sale. However, I did discover new copies of two Karig books for sale via the U. of Chicago publications Web site. There, I found that the chapter on freight car trucks in the "Coal Cars" book runs to 48 pages.

My goal is to draw a number of transition-era trucks in 3D. May I ask you if Karig's book provides drawings, straight-on photos or other information about trucks I would find useful to achieve my goal?

Thanks much,

Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa

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

Martin Robert Karig III
Coal Cars
The First Three Hundred Years
400 pages, 608 halftones 8-1/2 x 11
Cloth $75.00

Martin Robert Karig III
Hard Coal and Coal Cars
Hauling Anthracite on the New York, Ontario & Western Railway
220 pages, 200 halftones 8-1/2 x 11 © 2006
Cloth $55.00


Re: Rolling stock as scenery

Armand Premo
 

This may not be as far fetched as it may seem.In Alburgh on the Rutland, foreign hoppers would be stored awaiting unloading in a rather large coal facility.The coal would then be transferred to company wooden hopper bottomed Gons for storage or on line delivery to other on-line coaling facilities.It was not unusual to see long strings of these cars waiting to be loaded.Several ballast gons were also on hand to be loaded with ashes from the ash pit which then would be used elsewhere on the line.Thus these seemingly unglamorous cars could be considered scenery,but were an active part of the daily operations at this terminal.I suspect that this practice was not unique to the Rutland.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 8:36 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Rolling stock as scenery





--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@...> wrote:

> Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".
>
> Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.
>
> Tom Madden
>

The problem with that is most layouts already have a track to scenery ratio that's way out of kilter. However, Tom raises a good point; storage tracks could really be part of the scenery, track along the backdrop, or even behind background buildings, that aren't physically connected to the rest of the layout. Might even represent part of another railroad's yard... we don't know, because we'll never move the cars.

If the layout is large enough, this problem tends to diminish. When I run Defiance Yard on John Swanson's DW&LS, I classify cars for an eight hour trick (four actual hours) and build several outbound trains. But, I have some classifications that only go out on one train every twenty four hours, so some of those cars have been sitting in the yard for three sessions when they finally leave.

Bill Darnaby's Maumee Route is much the same; each session only runs twelve hours, so the locals only switch the towns every other session.

On both layouts there are cars that have been sitting quietly in the background for a while.

Dennis






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



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Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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Re: Rolling stock as scenery

Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@...> wrote:

Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.

Tom Madden
The problem with that is most layouts already have a track to scenery ratio that's way out of kilter. However, Tom raises a good point; storage tracks could really be part of the scenery, track along the backdrop, or even behind background buildings, that aren't physically connected to the rest of the layout. Might even represent part of another railroad's yard... we don't know, because we'll never move the cars.

If the layout is large enough, this problem tends to diminish. When I run Defiance Yard on John Swanson's DW&LS, I classify cars for an eight hour trick (four actual hours) and build several outbound trains. But, I have some classifications that only go out on one train every twenty four hours, so some of those cars have been sitting in the yard for three sessions when they finally leave.

Bill Darnaby's Maumee Route is much the same; each session only runs twelve hours, so the locals only switch the towns every other session.

On both layouts there are cars that have been sitting quietly in the background for a while.

Dennis


Re: Rolling stock as scenery

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tom Madden says:

"I don't have a layout but occasionally operate on the layouts of friends. It's always bothered me that, at the end of a session, every piece of rolling stock on the layout has been dealt with."

I guess you haven't operated here yet.<G>. Heck, we end up with entire trains that never move during a session. Most of the time they can't [ something's in the way ]. Sometimes we don't even know where they are. I try to operate realistically.<G>.

Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness.
Well...such cars...sometimes significant numbers...regretfully do become factors in my sessions. Bruce Smith might say, "What are these gons doing on the far siding at Buford? They're in the way." My reply:

Bill Schneider replies: "Buford? Who cares..."

They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

You're kidding...right?

Mike Brock


Re: Highliners kits

Andy Carlson
 

I used to sell a lot of the highliners. Now I haven't any distributor that carries them, so I am left out cold. Sorry.
-Andy




________________________________
From: Dave Pfeiffer <dave.pfeiffer@verizon.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2009 4:29:21 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Highliners kits





Andy,

Do you have any Highliners F unit kits? I'm looking for some "A" units.
Thanks.

Dave Pfeiffer


Highliners kits

Dave Pfeiffer
 

Andy,

Do you have any Highliners F unit kits? I'm looking for some "A" units. Thanks.

Dave Pfeiffer


Re: Freight car trucks - bibliograph?

Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jun 6, 2009, at 11:41 AM, Brian Chapman wrote:

My goal is to draw a number of transition-era trucks in 3D. May I
ask you if Karig's book provides drawings, straight-on photos or
other information about trucks I would find useful to achieve my goal?




You would certainly find Karig's book helpful. Also, there are
numerous drawings and photos of trucks in the truck section of each
of the Car Builders' Cyclopedias of that era. If you are interested
in trucks that remained in use during the transition era (in contrast
to having been designed or first introduced in that period), the
CBCycs from the 'teens through the 1940s would be worth consulting.
These are available in large libraries and at some railroad museums
(e.g., the California State RR Musem library in Sacramento, which
also has a number of RR drawings of freight car trucks from the Santa
Fe and Southern Pacific mechanical department files).

Richard Hendrickson


Re: Rolling stock as scenery

Tim O'Connor
 

I totally agree Tom. The North Shore club has an ideal spot
for a RIP facility, with 3 stub tracks on the aisle near the
main yard and engine facility. I've advocated modeling this
as a car repair facility and actually leaving two tracks open
for genuine "bad order" freight cars (which we always seem to
have) and then populating the other track with cars up on
jacks, welding equipment, etc -- cars as scenery.

No one seems to like the idea.

Tim O'Connor

Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.

Tom Madden


Re: Rolling stock as scenery

jim_mischke <jmischke@...>
 

I have designed for long sidings and fewer turnouts, some B&O stored boxcars at the end of several sidings is part of the plan. Also some on the rip track being cleaned and repaired.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@...> wrote:


<Snip>



Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.

Tom Madden


Rolling stock as scenery

Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:

Railroads often stored bad order cars in yards in this era. Many
roads had about a 5% bad order rate but some (e.g. PRR) had much
higher rates because of a surplus of cars, so there was no hurry
to repair everything... And of course, a photographer would more
likely shoot the storage tracks rather than the classification
tracks, as storage tracks tend to be more accessible.
Finally, after dozens of posts, a couple of folks mention stored cars. When Jim lamented the Better Homes & Gardens look of his layout, I thought he meant the lack of weeds. That is, when he looks at his layout, every piece of rolling stock he sees has a history and purpose, and he is very much aware of all of it. No "weeds" - the "present but not voting" cars in the background.

Real railroad scenes aren't like that. When we look at a Delano photo a few cars catch our attention at first, then more and more will if we take the time to study. But there's no instant recognition of all the cars in a shot. I'm not sure there's any way around this considering that we populate our layouts with rolling stock we've personally chosen, but maybe there is in the way we operate. I don't have a layout but occasionally operate on the layouts of friends. It's always bothered me that, at the end of a session, every piece of rolling stock on the layout has been dealt with. Even cars that are spotted where they were when the evening started had to be moved at some point. No allowance for stored cars on the visible portion of the layout.

In a late-night bull session many years ago, the late Terry Metcalfe got to musing about PFE's reefer fleet in the mid- to late-1950s. Many wood reefers were still on the roster, but few ever showed up in contemporary photos. Terry decided they were all stored on sidings in California's Central Valley, waiting for the call that never came. Whether it's seasonal traffic, elderly but still serviceable cars, or hard economic times, railroads always have cars to store somewhere. Somewhere out of the way, where they don't have to be moved in the normal course of operations. Logic (and per diem) say these would be home road cars.

Maybe that's how to overcome the Better Homes & Gardens effect - put a line of idle gons or box cars on the far track, or at the end of a few sidings. They wouldn't be a factor in an operating session so presumably wouldn't impose themselves on your conscienceness. They'd just be there, as scenery, "present but not voting".

Just some thoughts of a wandering mind.

Tom Madden

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