Re: Unpainted wood.

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

In an interesting post, Denny Anspach wrote:
Rot will not occur in the ideal environs of wood of 30-35% moisture
content. It will not occur, or be arrested in the wettest of environs,
or if the wood moisture content is <20% . It will not occur in
environs >105º nor <40º. It will not occur, or be severely inhibited
in low oxygen conditions.
The last of these conditions is crucially important. Low oxygen
or anaerobic conditions will allow wood to survive indefinitely, as the
rotting process requires available oxygen. This is not, of course, the
condition underneath freight car floors or running boards, but it is
important if we consider wood in other environments.

. . . 1000-1200 year old intact Viking ships have been found
completely intact buried deep in the wettest of mud at Gokstad in
Norway and Roskilde in Denmark.
Again, what is important here is that these are
organically-rich muds, in which the surplus organic matter consumes all
the oxygen (which is not then replenished), permitting the wood to
last. But the time scale noted is not as impressive as the small twig
which I have before me as I write: it was found in a mud core from a
small tarn above Echo Lake in the Sierra, resting atop the orange ash
layer from the Mount Mazama (now Crater Lake) explosion of 6600 BC. It
is a bit shrunken but in no way rotted.
It ain't all about creosote.

Anthony Thompson
Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

Re: Prototype Rails/Cocoa Beach 2009 update

Greg Martin

Mike Wrote:

BTW...current temp is 79°, sunny [ for those in the Northwest, that means if
you look up, you can see the sun ], wind out of the SE at 10 mph [ cool
breeze ].


Your temps appear to about 76 on Monday, we here in the PNW from Ashland north should see temps no higher in the daytime than 32 and lower in the Columbia River Gorge... Those freight cars heading out to Hinke might have a small snow pack on the roofs. Were getting our first Nor-wester this weekend with perhaps a little snow on the valley floor...

Richard are your headed up to Mt. Ashland for some skiing?

Greg Martin

Jim Lancaster

Rod Miller

Hi Jim,

Please reply off-group, I don't have your
email addy.



Unpainted wood.

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

It has been hard for me to know yet just how to respond to Mike
Brock's relating his experience of having a perfectly good creosoted
post rotted away when put into the ground at his house (:-)). I too
have had the same experience.

Rot will not occur in the ideal environs of wood of 30-35% moisture
content. It will not occur, or be arrested in the wettest of environs,
or if the wood moisture content is <20% . It will not occur in
environs >105º nor <40º. It will not occur, or be severely inhibited
in low oxygen conditions.

How wood generally will likely last or react in any given adverse
environment has more variables than Carter has pills, and a full
treatment requires a book. Suffice it to say that the 4500 years-old
wood Solar boat was found completely intact in the super dry environs
of the Great Pyramid of Cheops , while 1000-1200 year old intact
Viking ships have been found completely intact buried deep in the
wettest of mud at Gokstad in Norway and Roskilde in Denmark.

In the most general way, wood is painted primarily for aesthetic
reasons, and secondarily only slightly less for protection from the
elements- primarily the sun. Water seeps into wood primarily (not
exclusively) from the end grain, and if the end grain is protected,
unpainted wood can exist in pretty unfriendly environments for many,
many years. But then, even if the end grain is not protected, some
woods can survive well unpainted anyway- if they are of species
variably resistant to dry rot fungi- redwood, teak, old growth
American Mahogany, Port Orford cedar, old-growth Douglas fir, and a
wide variety of old growth cedars .

The undersides of freight cars were not painted for the same reasons
that we do not optionally paint the undersides of houses without
basements, the undersides of piers and docks (if we even paint the
topsides at all!), paint wood shingles, and often do not paint house
or barn siding (I personally have done both- house roofs and siding on
the former, and a large barn in the latter)! It is not necessary,
except for esthetics, providing that the proper wood has been chosen
and installed for the particular environment.

As to the rotted creosoted post. Quite often "creosoted" posts were
not immersed or pressure treated so that the fluid could leach deep
into the end grain where it could do some good. In either way,
however, with time, all fungicides (creosote included) eventually
leach away, allowing the inherent rotting process to do its dirty
work. For about 25 years, when I have buried posts in the yard, I
seal end grains with epoxy- which very effectively significantly prolongs the life of the post .

I have a feeling that most freight car decking was old growth Douglas
fir, and flat car decking either of the same, or white oak- both woods
that wear well, and are also relatively pretty dry rot resistant
unless poorly installed.


Denny S. Anspach MD

Re: Prototype Rails/Cocoa Beach 2009 update


Hey, you guys might laugh, but last weekend I spent an evening riding behind
and enjoying a DR&W K26 mudhen in fresh snow. It's steam was great, and the
first car in the train was a EBT hopper car. All 10 minutes from my house in
Weather is what you make of it.
Rich Burg
**************Make your life easier with all your friends, email, and
favorite sites in one place. Try it now.

C&O wood racks in S scale

Jim King

Al Kresse sent me a Tom Dixon photo of a C&O wood rack shot in WV in
January, 1976. Reportedly, it represents a group of 30 wood racks bought
from the Southern in late 62, shopped at Raceland, and put in service in
early 63. This is the same car that I'm producing in S scale (and HO for
Wright Trak).

If anyone is interested in the C&O version, please contact me off-list. I
will produce decals for this car is there is sufficient interest. The price
is the same as the Southern cars and you can view proto pix of the SR cars
in 2 lettering styles on my web site.

Jim King

Smoky Mountain Model Works, Inc.

1925 ORER Box, Auto and Vent cars entered in Excel file

laramielarry <ostresh@...>

Hi Folks

I just finished transcribing selected dimensions and quantities from
the January 1925 ORER box, auto and ventilator records into an Excel
spreadsheet. The first two tables below list the numbers and
percentages of U.S. railroad-owned cars in interchange service as
published in seven different ORERs from 1925 to 1950, categorized by
sheathing type (DS = double sheathed; SS = single sheathed; Other =
panel, plywood, aluminum; Unknown = sheathing type presently not


ORER Jan-25___Feb-32___Jan-38___Apr-42___Jan-45___Apr-49___Jul-50
DS 53.5%___53.6%___40.7%___26.8%___23.1%___11.4%___9.2%
SS 12.7%___24.5%___30.2%___28.9%___28.4%___23.9%___23.0%
Steel 4.7%___12.4%___27.0%___42.8%___47.4%___63.8%___67.0%
Other 0.5%___0.7%___0.9%___0.9%___0.8%___0.8%___0.7%
Unknown 28.6%___8.9%___1.2%___0.6%___0.4%___0.1%___0.1%
Total 100.0%___100.0%___100.0%___100.0%___100.0%___100.0%___100.0%

From the standpoint of sheathing type, the bad news is that it is
presently unknown for nearly 30% of the fleet in 1925; the good new
is that it is known for over 70%. In 1932, sheathing type is known
for over 90% of the cars and in subsequent years our knowledge is
nearly complete.

The total number of box, auto and ventilator cars declined by about
58,000 in the seven years from the January 1925 ORER to the February
1932 ORER. Then it dropped sharply by nearly a quarter million cars
in the six years from the February 1932 ORER to the January 1938
ORER. In a previous post (#76819) I mentioned this drop and called
it "A Great Decline"; in view of the 1925 data, perhaps it should be
called "The Great Decline."

While the number of cars declined from 1925 to 1932, the capacity of
the fleet increased, both in cubic feet and pounds; it fell from 1932
to 1938, then slowly rose until 1950:

Aggregate capacity, CuFt, 1925 to 1942
Jan-25 2,875,206,865
Feb-32 2,930,215,532
Jan-38 2,339,150,056
Apr-42 2,425,455,631

Aggregate capacity, pounds, 1925 to 1950
Jan-25 84,142,585,000
Feb-32 85,805,653,000
Jan-38 66,828,787,000
Apr-42 67,202,085,000
Jan-45 68,228,311,000
Apr-49 69,240,144,000
Jul-50 67,582,035,500

The increase in capacity with a decrease in number of cars from 1925
to 1932 was made possible by a change in the composition of the
fleet: The 1932 cars were on average longer, taller and wider than
those in 1925. The next table shows the number of cars under 40' IL,
those 40' IL or longer, and the percentage of "shorties" for each of
the ORERs:

ORER <40'IL___ >=40'IL___ %<40'IL
Jan-25 626,272___455,633___57.9% (total = 1,082,785)
Feb-32 394,238___629,413___38.5% (total = 1,024,787)
Jan-38 152,841___609,519___20.0% (total = 762,825)
Apr-42 85,184___658,843___11.4% (total = 744,463)
Jan-45 72,317___673,316___9.7% (total = 747,160)
Apr-49 31,733___701,373___4.3% (total = 736,166)
Jul-50 23,228___688,710___3.3% (total = 714,855)

Most of the cars with Unknown sheathing in 1925 and 1932
are "shorties":

ORER <40'IL___ >=40'IL___ %<40'IL
Jan-25 258,481___50,741___83.6% (total Unknowns = 310,151)
Feb-32 71,612___19,359___78.7% (total Unknowns = 91,111)

It is likely that most of these "shorties" are double sheathed, and
so most of the Unknowns in the entire fleet in these years are
probably double sheathed.

Best wishes
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming

Re: Plastic model paint


Chuck's suggestion is great for a weathered effect of a PAINTED car,
but if you want to mimic an UNPAINTED car, try this:

Spray with a couple of light coats of medium to light gray
primer...almost anything will do. I use Rustoleum (no, I'm not
crazy ...I'm a professional modeller...I custom build, weather and
custom paint for a living). Be sure to hold the can back far enough
(8-10 inches) and use a light finger to insure the paint is just
barely wet as it lands and you won't muck up the plastic.

Now, lightly score along the wood grain with a razor saw. Drag it
along, opening some grain. I cut up a razor saw and stuck some in an
X-acto handle to use as a wood-graining tool. Use a wire brush a bit,
if you want. Gouge up a couple of boards. Have fun. Try to avoid
damaging the cars' appliances (hinges, boltheads, etc...) too
much. "Dust" off with a few swipes of a brass brush or very light
sand paper/cloth to remove extreme fuzzys.

Now thin out some tans and light yellows and drag 'em down a few
boards. Let it dry.

Now paint large appliances/metal areas dark brown or dark rust.
Drybrush a dark rust color along rivet lines, bolts, hinges, etc.

Apply a black wash....mix in some detergent or alcohol to get it to
flow nice and settle in cracks/crevices. Let dry THOROUGHLY to judge
effectiveness before you apply more.

Now, I know this is counter-intuitive, but trust me: With a VERY dry,
VERY short-hair brush, dry brush VERY dry bright silver on all the
rusty stuff. Did I say VERY DRY? REALLY RUB IT IN. It should take you
a while to see results. Go in circular motions on top of the large
rusty metal areas. The result will be a deep, rusty, metallic
glow...very nice. You can always dry brush more or stuff over it ( I
usually give 'er a swipe with a bright rust, like MEC Harvest gold or
D&RGW yellow to suggest newer rust).I ALWAYS dry brush silver to
highlight my models and make dark areas show up. Some folks use
white, but silver highlights corners/rivets/grillwork with far less
paint required than white. Give 'er a try. I save white drybrushing
for fuzzy stuff, like weathered wood and roofs

Lastly, dry brush white over the wood areas to bring out grain and
edges and ..."VIOLA!" unpainted wreck!

You can make even a plain sheet of plastic look like 100-year-old
wood with the above steps.

Good LUCK...lemme know how it comes out!


Prototype Rails/Cocoa Beach 2009 update

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Those making or planning to make reservations at the Hilton Hotel for Prototype Rails may notice that they are not guaranteed the bed accomodation they may ask for. Instead, the reservation system...not now located in the hotel...will only note that the type of room is accepted as a request. Fear not. The hotel will be able to accomodate room requests. If you have a concern, however, call 321-613-9040 for Paulette or Maggie and you will be able to specify exactly what you need...and get it.

You might also be told at some point that the Prototype Rails room block is full. Again...fear not. Go ahead and make your reservation, let me know, and I'll make sure you get the Prototype Rails room rate and I'll increase the room block.

BTW...current temp is 79�, sunny [ for those in the Northwest, that means if you look up, you can see the sun ], wind out of the SE at 10 mph [ cool breeze ].

The current clinic schedule can be found at:

Here's the latest flyer:


COCOA BEACH, FL, JAN 8-11, 2009





Larry Kline Richard Hendrickson Tony Thompson Bill Darnaby Mike Rose

Roger Hinman Mont Switzer Bruce Smith Ted Culotta Tony Koester Jim Eudaly

Andy Sperandeo Bob Webber John Roberts Bill Schaumburg George Eichelberger

Calvin Winter Alex Conta Brian Carlson John Greedy Lou Ullian Clark Propst

John Golden Ted Pamperin Bob Karig Andy Harman Jim Singer Lance Mindheim

Greg Martin Tom Bissett Joe Oates Greg Komar Barret Johnson Jon Addison

Harold McGee Gene Trescot Frank Peacock Tom Wilson Jim Murrie Dan Zugelter

John Wilkes Dave Nelson Scott Mason Bob Miller Brian Nolan Mike Brock

Manufacturers/Dealers: Walthers, Branchline, Intermountain, Broadway Limited, Southern Car & Foundry, Speedwitch Models, Tangent Scale Models, Westerfield, 5th Avenue Shops, Dave Hoffman, F & C, Trolleys N' Dollies, Bob's Photos, John C. La Rue Photos, Jay Williams Photos, Mainline Photos, ACL/SAL HS,

HILTON HOTEL, 1550 N. Atlantic Ave. [ highway A1a ], COCOA BEACH, FL, 1-800-526-2609 or 321-799-0003. $99 Room Rate. Refer to Prototype Rails. Preregistration $35, payable to Prototype Rails, to Marty Megregian, 480 Gails Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953.

There will be op sessions available on Thursday Jan 8 at John Wilkes [ 863-604-4854 ] and Mike Brock's [ 321-453-4140 ] layouts. Those wishing to join in a session should indicate their choices in preregistration and make direct contact with the layout owner. Selection will be on a first come basis. Layouts including Lou Ullian's On3 and Dan Zugelter's C&O will be available for visitation on Sunday. For early arrivals, there will be a dinner at Durango's in Cocoa Beach Thursday evening Jan 8, at 7 PM. We will meet in the Hilton lobby at 6:30. Following the dinner we will return to the hotel for slide shows and clinics.
A special dinner on Saturday, Jan 10, for Prototype Rails attendees only will be available for $ 20/person. Tickets are required and must be purchased no later than Saturday morning. Tickets may be purchased and reserved in advance and included with the cost of registration. Registration plus dinner is $55/person. Spouses not attending presentations do not have to register.

There will be a bulletin board available just for listing items that an attendee might wish to sell. The name and room number of the seller must be included. Potential buyers can list their name and/or contact the seller. Selling in the ballroom will not be permitted except for approved dealers.

FOR INFORMATION: Contact Mike Brock at: brockm@... or 321-453-4140.

Mike Brock

Re: Digest Number 5511

Rob Sarberenyi <espeef5@...>

Andy Sperandeo wrote:

Hello Rob,

Frank Ellington's "Stock Cars of the Santa Fe Railway" has interior photos
of a few Santa Fe
stock cars, although none of the Sk-L represented by the Westerfield model.
All the interiors
appear to me to show unpainted wood, as there is plenty of visible wood
grain and many
knots. Richard Hendrickson's "Santa Fe Ry. Painting & Lettering Guide"
specifies unpainted
wood for stock car floors, but doesn't say anything about insides of the
side slats or wooden
ends. On later stock cars with steel ends (i.e., cars converted from
boxcars), photos in Frank's
book show the ends lined with unpainted wood, as Richard's book specifies
for the lining of
box and auto cars.

Thank you Andy, and Al Westerfield too, for your replies. I'll pass the
information along to my friend.

Happy Holidays and Season's Greeting!

Rob Sarberenyi

web site

Westerfield <westerfield@...>

Please be aware that due to a computer crash orders sent as of last night are not being received. If you sent an order, please call. - Al Westerfield


Andy Sperandeo <asperandeo@...>

Hi Joel, lists the following:

Green Bay and Western Historical Society
Railroad-Specific Historical Societies
158 Hilltop Drive
Green Bay, WI 54301
United States
Covers the Ahnapee & Western, Green Bay & Western, Kewaunee Green Bay & Western, and Fox River Valley Railroads as part of its on going preservation mission.

The GBWHS is now a 501(c)3 organization.
Contact Information
158 Hilltop Drive
Green Bay, WI 54301

No Web site url is given.

Merry Christmas,


Andy Sperandeo
Executive Editor
Model Railroader magazine
262-796-8776, ext. 461
FAX 262-796-1142


joel norman <mec-bml@...>

Gentleman:Is there a GBW Historical Society???found a webb sight but
who ever owns it doesnt answer there e mail....
Thanks,if this is off subject Im sorry but have googled and dont get

Pacific Electric Beet Car

Bob Chaparro <thecitrusbelt@...>

Below is a link to an image from the Orange County (CA) photo
archives. The image shows Pacific Electric car 3373 in sugar beet
service at Los Alamitos around 1915-1920.

Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA

Re: Cudahy meat reefers

Jerry <jrs060@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Douglas Harding" <dharding@...> wrote:
Garth, PHP is railroad talk for "Packing House Products" and could mean anything
coming out of a packing house, which we more
commonly think of as a slaughter house. The "packing" term comes from early meat
processors packing their products in barrels for
shipment. And the "Uncle Sam" moniker came from an early meat packer (1818 I think)
who stamped barrels of meat destined for the
army "US".

PHP could be hanging meat carcasses, cans of lard or hams. It could be bacon or boxed
meat. It possibly even refers to the various
by-products as well.

Doug Harding
Doug, the term PHP comes from the STCC (Standard Transportation Commodity
Codes) or "Stick Code", as we used to call them, daily report sheets. All the STCC on the
waybills were grouped into numerical categories on the daily report, and all you had
to do was tally the loading into the appropriate grouping according to it's number code.
You see you had to keep track of carloadings and report it daily, and almost all the
Packing House Products fell into this one category. Railroaders just got into the habit
of abbreviating everything that came out of a packer as PHP, and this is how it became
so common on list and teletype reports.

Happiness, Jerry Stewart

Woodstock, Illinois

Re: Reciprocal switching

Jerry <jrs060@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "andy.laurent" <andy.laurent@...> wrote:
Since there are so many connecting roads in the Chicago Switching
District, we publish via a Tariff instead of specific agreements with
each line-haul carrier. The IHB does something similar with their
8000 series Tariff. The EJ&E has a
reciprocal switch agreement for lumber via BNSF on their site:
I think reciprocal switching agreements were very common in steam era
days, but from a model railroad operating point of view they would
not appear different than a standard 'interchange-delivery' shipment.
The difference was in the accounting and paper work.
Andy, you are indeed correct that the reciprocal switching agreements were
very common in the steam era, and that most of the arrangements actual
involved accounting and paper work more than anything else.
It's total changed today in Chicago, due to deregulation, and it's misleading
to look at the tariff agreements your quoiting above as applicable during the time
period this group is interested in. In Chicago the ruling tariff that was the law
within the switching district was IFA (Illinois Freight Association) #22, the Chicago
Switching Tariff. And just briefly, the carrier that delivered the car to industries
closed to reciprocal switching within the district got a portion of the line haul rate,
not the uniform switching charges, on any car movement even if they did not
participate in the actual line haul routing.

Happiness, Jerry Stewart

Woodstock, Illinois

Re: Sunshine anniversary kits????

Jim & Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>

The UTLX tank cars are still available. Anniversary kits are not necessarily
limited run but they are usually a little more difficult.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 7:14 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Sunshine anniversary kits????

Are the Sunshine anniversary kits e.g., 15th year anniversary URTX tank
car kits still available, or are these a limited run?


David Newcomb
Vashon Is. WA


Yahoo! Groups Links

Re: Cudahy meat reefers

Jerry <jrs060@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Douglas Harding" <dharding@...> wrote

" We all would have been better served if Atlas had chosen the General American car or
another builder who supplied cars to many meat packer car fleets. "

Doug Harding

Boy Doug, I'll second that one! The cars that the General American wood car division
built and leased to numerous packers would be the best choice for a plastic kit
manufacture wanting to do a meat reefer. I know a bunch of people that would also be
interested in see this one done including myself. Many colorful logos as will as
different packers are appropriate for the car.

Happiness, Jerry Stewart

Woodstock, Illinois

Sunshine anniversary kits????


Are the Sunshine anniversary kits e.g., 15th year anniversary URTX tank
car kits still available, or are these a limited run?


David Newcomb
Vashon Is. WA

Re: Carbody Window Screens

Mike Fortney

AMB Laserkit currently does not offer their superb screen material
separately but perhaps a few email requests to Production Manager Dave
at laserkit@... might loosen them up a tad.

Mike Fortney

--- In STMFC@..., Andy Sperandeo <asperandeo@...> wrote:

After seeing Jerry's nice MP compact-body caboose, I posted a photo
of one of my Santa Fe way cars with the Laserkit screens. It's in the
Files section of the STMFC site on Yahoo, in a folder called "Andy S
freight cars." In this case I colored the mesh with a black marking
pen, but I've also used a brown marker for more of a copper color. For
another approach to window screens, see my article on detailing ATSF
way cars in the September '91 MR. I now prefer the Laserkit screens,
but I haven't replaced those old ones.

Merry Christmas,


Andy Sperandeo
Executive Editor
Model Railroader magazine
262-796-8776, ext. 461
FAX 262-796-1142

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