Date   

What, When, Why & Context

Gail & Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

John's excellent post brings up several points. First, despite my flip sig
yesterday about cutting things off at the McGinnis interface (which would
leave Garth on the outside looking in), I think it's very appropriate to use
a rubber ruler when setting a cut-off date for the Steam Era. After all,
much of the rolling stock we're interested in, if not the motive power,
operated long after 1960.

Second, John's point about understanding the historical context for our
modeling is an important one. We can all build accurate models (the "what"),
and equip and weather them to represent a specific time ("when"), but for
many, that's where it ends. There's still the "why" - and for this you need
to understand the constraints and practices (both social and technological)
of the times - the context.

An illustration (and please forgive me for using a non-freight example, but
most of you know where my interests and expertise are these days). What: the
second and seventh rivets (bolts/screws, actually) from the bottom in the
rows adjacent to all full-height windows on heavyweight Pullmans stick out
further than all the other rivets in those rows. When: from when the cars
were built up to the present. Why: to hold wind/cinder/soot deflectors when
the windows were opened. Context: before air conditioning, porters were
instructed to place these deflectors on the forward edge of every window in
occupied space - seasonally, of course. More "what" and "when": the first
widespread application of air conditioning in the very early thirties was to
diners. Context: the public wasn't used to air conditioning (in 1935 Pullman
issued a brochure pleading with passengers to leave the windows closed on
air conditioned cars), so coolness wasn't yet a huge consideration - but
cleanliness was. Offering soot- and cinder-free dining was a great marketing
advantage.

Passenger mode <OFF>

There must be many equivalent examples in the freight car world, and the
point is that appreciating context can lead to insights that will let us
build even more accurate models.

Tom Madden

tgmadden@...


Re: Wire handrails

thompson@...
 

Mike Brock asked:
This raises an interesting point. Tony, what substance [ glue ] do you use
to attach them [ wire handrails ]? Anyone know how P2K is attaching the ones
on the gons?
I usually use my favorite inter-material adhesive, R/C-56, a white glue
from the model airplane field which dries clear and flexible. Great stuff.
Ideal, in particular, for etched metal running boards or F-unit grilles.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


1960s and all that

thompson@...
 

One good reason to use a circa-1960 cutoff is that the world of freight
cars changed GREATLY around that time: gigantic tank cars, 60-ft. box cars,
85-ft. pig flats, Center Flow covered hoppers, etc., all of which created
an appearance radically different from what preceded it. Even roller
bearings, for that matter; I have a friend who says, "I model the solid
bearing era."

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Re: The steam era, 1960

thompson@...
 

Tim O'C writes:
Some Classic Trains was published in 1964, so that is another milestone
date for me, very close to the end of genuine "classy varnish" on western
railroads. (The Seattle World's Fair of 1964-1965 was the last high point
for NP and GN before the rapid slide towards 1971.)...
Tim, I think you'll find that Fair took place in 1962-63. And the BN
merger took place in 1970...or were you thinking of Amtrak's advent?

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Re: The steam era, 1960

Dave & Libby Nelson <muskoka@...>
 

-----Original Message-----
We have started using the term "Downtown Century", to represent
the 100 years or so from the Civil War to the early '60's when the
downtown of a city or even just a village was the center of life.
And the bottom dropped out with the shift to individual
transportion - i.e., the auto, and the decline of the downtown to
the abandoned "inner city".
And the
interstate highway system (and public support of highways in general
before) and the government's support of suburban development that
would eventually do in the railroads from their traditional role
of carrying everything to one of just efficient movement of bulk
freight items. And cars in turn shifted to reflect this
specialized role.

Nice analysis John. Many years ago I researched the horse drawn street cars
of Oakland and Alameda, CA. The major learning was such transportation
companies were usually fronts for real estate developers -- buy distant land
cheap, build transportation, sell accessible land high. IOW, land values
are inversely correlated with transportation expenses, which explains alot
about the impact on cities with the widespread introduction of public roads
into the burbs. Build a better, cheaper mousetrap....

I had not previously considered how this effect played out on freight car
design -- I like your thoughts on moving from the generic bulk carrier to
the specialized, dedicated vehicle. On the other end of the timeline, from
Whites _American Freight Car_, there is the effect on design present from 1)
declining old growth hardwoods, 2) refining steam locomotive techology and
3) the availability of cheap steel. All of which then sets logical
boundaries for the "generic, steam era, steel freight car".

As for usage, industry practice was *very* different 50 years ago too:
relatively very few national companies and those few were mostly oriented to
vertical integration, which is to say that rather than buy locally, there
was a lot of stuff shipped between the companies own plants. This of course
led to rate issues for intermediate production (wheat to flour to breakfast
cerials) and I suspect more closed routings than would otherwise have been
the case.

Dave Nelson


Re: 1960s and all that

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

One good reason to use a circa-1960 cutoff is that the world of freight
cars changed GREATLY around that time: gigantic tank cars, 60-ft. box cars,
85-ft. pig flats, Center Flow covered hoppers, etc
Hmmph. You might as sell say let's stop with 50 foot cars, plug doors, or
10'6" inside height cars, or frameless tank cars. I think Tom's suggestion of
a Rubber Ruler is good enough for me. If a discussion drifts into the 1960's,
as long as there is a connection (however tenuous) to the 1950's, then so be
it. As for the poor souls stuck in 1947, well, they're beyond hope! ;o}


Re: The steam era, 1960

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Tim, I think you'll find that Fair took place in 1962-63. And the BN
merger took place in 1970...or were you thinking of Amtrak's advent?
Yep, you're right. I was thinking of the New York World's Fair.. And yes
Amtrak on May 1, 1971.


Re: Steam era

Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

If those stuck in '47 are beyond hope I wonder where that puts me! <G>.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax DCC owner, Chief system
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Re: Wire handrails

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Tony,

Is R/C-56 anything like the stuff Microscale sells for making windows?
Crystal Clear or some such name? This is also a white glue, but unlike
classic Elmers, it stays sort of rubbery for a long time (maybe
forever). In addition to filling in small windows, I have used it as a
glue to affix clear styrene window glazing to the inside of cabooses,
and thought it might have a lot of other uses.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff


thompson@... wrote:


I usually use my favorite inter-material adhesive, R/C-56, a white glue
from the model airplane field which dries clear and flexible. Great stuff.
Ideal, in particular, for etched metal running boards or F-unit grilles.


Freight Cars vs Glue

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

I know we're just getting started, but I hope (as Dick Harley implied)
that we can eliminate very general, generic modeling questions and try
to stick to the relevant matter of freight cars. The discussion about GLUE
has been covered in virtually every mailing list since the beginning of time
and I hope that now that's it come up and been discussed, that that is the
last we'll see of it here...

If you like, I can compile a list of adhesives from those that have been
suggested today and over the years, and put a FAQ entry into the files
area.

For that matter, perhaps Tom Madden may want to share his wonderful
treatise on casting resins with us, as a preventative measure!


Re: The steam era, 1960

sswain@...
 

FWIW, both the CPR and CNR's steam operations essentially ended after April
1960. Any steam use after that by the dominant two railways in this
country could be described as being excursion related (there may have been
a handful CPR trips in the summer of 1960).

Dave Nelson writes:

>- I understand opinions vary on when the steam era ended. I think <=1956
is
>generous.
It is commonly regarded by the more formal historian and professional museum
community that the end of the steam era was 1960. The late 1950s still saw
some Class 1 steam, while the 1960s saw steam only on a few short lines and
in Canada. Rolling stock, too, made a big leap in the 1960s, as Richard
pointed out.

....Mike
Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246
sswain@...


Re: The steam era, 1960

Keith Jordan <kjordan@...>
 

The talk about 1960 got me to thinking what had changed in the ten years
from 1950 to 1960, so I looked up some statistics on one of my favorite
subjects, SFRD reefers:

In 1950, there were

2955 wood sheathed steel framed steel underframe cars
10607 all steel swing door cars
563 all steel sliding door cars
445 fifty foot ice bunker cars
1 mechanical car

In 1960, there were

0 wood sheathed steel frame steel underframe cars
2101 all steel swing door cars
10172 all steel sliding door cars
390 fifty foot ice bunker cars
323 mechanical cars

Look at 1970 before we go, however:

1365 all steel swing door cars
3718 all steel sliding door cars
40 fifty foot ice bunker cars
3614 mechanical cars

You could argue there was little change in the 1950s with these cars, but a
big change in the 1960s. At any rate, I found it interesting and it does
tend to support 1960 as a watershed freight car decade.

Keith Jordan

From: sswain@...
Reply-To: STMFC@...
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 14:09:49 -0600
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] The steam era, 1960

FWIW, both the CPR and CNR's steam operations essentially ended after April
1960. Any steam use after that by the dominant two railways in this
country could be described as being excursion related (there may have been
a handful CPR trips in the summer of 1960).

Dave Nelson writes:

- I understand opinions vary on when the steam era ended. I think <=1956
is
generous.
It is commonly regarded by the more formal historian and professional museum
community that the end of the steam era was 1960. The late 1950s still saw
some Class 1 steam, while the 1960s saw steam only on a few short lines and
in Canada. Rolling stock, too, made a big leap in the 1960s, as Richard
pointed out.

....Mike
Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246
sswain@...




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Re: The steam era, 1960

Gail & Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Keith Jordan wrote (regarding SFRD reefers):
You could argue there was little change in the 1950s with these cars, but a
big change in the 1960s. At any rate, I found it interesting and it does
tend to support 1960 as a watershed freight car decade.

Wouldn't the 40-year rule have had a lot to do with that? Many cars built
throughout the '20s, damfew during the '30s. Replacing much of the remaining
post-W.W.I, pre-W.W.II fleet beginning in 1960 would by itself have made the
'60s a watershed decade. Factor in such things as higher horsepower motive
power and more efficient ROW construction materials and techniques that made
possible increased clearances (ergo larger cars), and you've really got a
big change.

Tom "or is my ignorance showing?" M.


Re: Freight Cars vs Glue

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tim O'Connor writes:

I know we're just getting started, but I hope (as Dick Harley implied)
that we can eliminate very general, generic modeling questions and try
to stick to the relevant matter of freight cars.
"The discussion about GLUE has been covered in virtually every mailing list
since the beginning of time
and I hope that now that's it come up and been discussed, that that is the
last we'll see of it here...
As I said in my comments pertaining to the objectives of the STMFC, I don't
expect this forum to be quiet. At the same time, the description that I laid
out includes...."....and various techniques of building models of them.
Emphasis is to be placed on the study of the prototype with a goal of
producing models of them with as great a degree of accuracy as possible."

While I hope that we will see a strong emphasis placed by this group on the
study of the prototype, I also hope that we will see as much emphasis placed
on techniques of modeling these things. While we have, indeed, discussed
various glues, there are new glues becoming available. There is, in fact, a
newly developed glue that apparently will, for the first time, allow details
such as those produced by Detail Associates to be easily attached to
styrene. So, given that, I do not believe we should look with askance at
discussions about subjects that have been discussed before. As someone had
to have said sometime before..."It's how much, isn't it?"

If you like, I can compile a list of adhesives from those that have been
suggested today and over the years, and put a FAQ entry into the files
area.
A very good idea. Thanks.

For that matter, perhaps Tom Madden may want to share his wonderful
treatise on casting resins with us, as a preventative measure!
Another very good idea.

Mike Brock
STMFC Moderator


1960 End Date

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

We have received many thoughts and suggestions as to the time period to be
discussed on the STMFC. While I don't want or like the idea of being
dictatorial, I'm going to stay with the originally set time period of 1960
being the end date. It is, I think, important that the STMFC be what it was
established to be, a forum to discuss freight cars of the Steam Era. There
will, however, no doubt be times when discussion will fall outside this time
zone.

Mike Brock
STMFC Moderator


Re: Casting treatise

Gail & Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Tim O'Connor writes:
For that matter, perhaps Tom Madden may want to share his wonderful
treatise on casting resins with us, as a preventative measure!
Another very good idea.

Mike Brock
STMFC Moderator

That thing is so far out of date I'd just as soon it be permitted to die a
quiet death. It also led indirectly to my departure from the FCL three or
four years ago, when as the resident casting guru I blew my stack after some
clown disclosed what material Al was using. I overreacted, and took a real
e-mail beating for my trouble. Since then my policy has been to answer
casting questions by private e-mail, and to work with manufacturers. As for
needing any preventive measures, the members of this list are extremely
knowledgeable and have a pretty good grasp of current hobby technologies.
I'll respond to specific questions, but with our collective knowledge I just
don't see us thrashing around in the sort of entry-level extended discussion
that tires us all out - on any topic!

Tom


Complaint

byronrose@...
 

Okay guys, I've been on this darn fool list for 30 hours now and all I've
seen discussed is dates, airplane glues, trolley cars, and casting
resins. When do we get to the important parts of freight cars? Like fer
instance:

What is the easiest way to model fingerprints on the inside of grab
irons?

What size were the knot holes in the decks of USRA flat cars still in
service in the 40s?

What size were the pivot pins on 1920s era coupler knuckles?

What was the wall thickness of the piping used in the AB brakes added to
PRR X-29 boxcars in 1948?

What was the relative strength of Youngstown ends vs Dreadnaught ends vs
Despatch Shop ends vs Pullman PS-1 ends, with complete structural
analysis?

Where did the pigments come from that were used in making the green paint
on EJ&E box cars?

How old were the pipe fitters who added the AB brakes to that PRR X-29 in
1948?

What RRs box cars were used to ship Firestone tires in the 30s? Did they
blow out then too?

What was the temperature of the crushed ices used in SFRD reefers in the
20s? 30s? Where the cars shaken or stirred?

How were the light bulb packed in those GE covered hoppers?

What railroads box cars had the fuzziest wood siding?

Ooops, I didn't mean that last question. Where the heck is the delete
key now that I need it? After all, I use it so rarely. Oh well, sorry.

BSR
________________________________________________________________
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Re: Complaint

Gail & Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

The local RPA wrote:

What is the easiest way to model fingerprints on the inside of grab
irons?

Claim your trainmen always wore gloves and forget about it.

What size were the knot holes in the decks of USRA flat cars still in
service in the 40s?

There were not holes in the decks, except those made by knails.

What size were the pivot pins on 1920s era coupler knuckles?

A meaningless question. The pivot pins were not "on" the coupler knuckles -
they were a separate part. If you're going to be a useful contributor to
this group you'll have to be more precise.

What was the wall thickness of the piping used in the AB brakes added to
PRR X-29 boxcars in 1948?

Schedule 40 or Schedule 80?

What was the relative strength of Youngstown ends vs Dreadnaught ends vs
Despatch Shop ends vs Pullman PS-1 ends, with complete structural
analysis?

I'll have to look that up. I believe the testing was done by Mighty Joe
Youngstown.

Where did the pigments come from that were used in making the green paint
on EJ&E box cars?

Joliet. Or Elgin.

How old were the pipe fitters who added the AB brakes to that PRR X-29 in
1948?

Very young. That job was given to those who had only learned the first few
letters of the alphabet.

What RRs box cars were used to ship Firestone tires in the 30s? Did they
blow out then too?

Only if they were inflated. But inflation was very low during the
depression, so it wasn't a problem.

What was the temperature of the crushed ices used in SFRD reefers in the
20s? 30s? Where the cars shaken or stirred?

In the 20s it varied - I believe it was a cube function. In 1933 President
Roosevelt devalued the farenheit. From then on ice was able to adjust its
temperature to the needs of the load.

How were the light bulb packed in those GE covered hoppers?

You mean the ones that lit whenever a hatch was lifted?

What railroads box cars had the fuzziest wood siding?

The Santa Fe had a one-of reefer that was kind of fluffy. Otherwise, I can
put you in touch with a fellow who used to be associated with AMB, who might
be able to help you out.

Good to be on a list with you again, Byron!

Tom

(Mike, this is one of the posts you can remove from the archives!)


Re: Complaint

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tom Madden responds to Byron Rose's first post with:

The local RPA wrote:
Which is all he really needed to say. Unlike most other lists, the STMFC has
an RPA. This is good. Someone...Richard probably knows who...wrote that "you
can't go back". But, in this case, he appears to be wrong.

BTW, as moderator, I decree that express reefers can be discussed on this
list. Yes, they operated frequently on passenger...or mail...trains. But,
they also frequently hauled produce of one form or another...and they are
found in the ORER. More importantly, I am modeling the damned things and
will...as usual...need help. We also have Branchline bringing out some very
useful models soon.

Mike Brock


Re: Express Reefers [was Complaint]

sswain@...
 

Now that the door is open a crack on express reefers, I should draw folks
attention to Sylvan's relatively new CN 10000-10099 express reefer kit in
HO scale. I'm told these wood-sheathed cars were commonly seen in New
England headed to New York loaded with fresh fish from fisheries such as
that based in Prince Rupert BC and the inland fisheries of Manitoba,
Ontario, etc.

These cars were the 1923-25 era 45-foot cars and there are also similar
50-foot cars from 1927-30 (10400 series) in this service which we are
hopeful will come as another Sylvan kit.

. . and if any one needs more detail, you know where I live.

Tom Madden responds to Byron Rose's first post with:

The local RPA wrote:
Which is all he really needed to say. Unlike most other lists, the STMFC has
an RPA. This is good. Someone...Richard probably knows who...wrote that "you
can't go back". But, in this case, he appears to be wrong.

BTW, as moderator, I decree that express reefers can be discussed on this
list. Yes, they operated frequently on passenger...or mail...trains. But,
they also frequently hauled produce of one form or another...and they are
found in the ORER. More importantly, I am modeling the damned things and
will...as usual...need help. We also have Branchline bringing out some very
useful models soon.

Mike Brock




To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246
sswain@...