Re: Naperville 2008...

Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Jack Burgess" <jack@...> wrote:

<snip> Does anyone know if the rate has been set now?

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com
A recently received mailing from Sunshine listed room rate as \$92.00.
Gene Green

Re: Freight car distribution

Stokes John

Except for all those times the polls are wrong, for varying reasons. As for the ORER, as previously noted, those can be way off in terms of actual cars in service, so another variable.

So what you are saying Tim and Dave are saying is that their stats show us precisely how many box cars from each of the railroad in the US at the time being modeled should be present in your personal fleet of models in order to run consists that, over the year, match the national averages? And if you are only modeling one small segment of the larger railroad, say the GN in 1951, the percentages still count, you just reduce your box car fleet in numbers by the percentages so that you stay constant in the differences? So if there would be 100 CN cars on the GN system at that time, and you only have 90 cars total, you reduce the number proportionally? But what if your line is not part of the main line, but an important branch working the logging and mining routes in the Cascade foothills? I may be completely missing all this, but I am trying to understand how this would work on the average person's home layout, or is that not of any consequence?

John Stokes
Bellevue, WA

To: STMFC@...: walterclark@...: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 21:52:50 +0000Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car distribution

Re: Freight car distribution

Cyril Durrenberger

You are missing the whole point.

National polls are based on a well defined disribution of people to call, not on a random selection.

Doing what is being done with the freight cars is really a random selection of a very limited number of samples, not a set of samples selected a prior to provide a good representation of the population being studied.

With a bag of two colors of items each of the same amount, yes it is right that you will always get about the same distribution no matter the sample size.

But we have a bag of a large number of railroads, not just two and they are not equally distributed. There is a basis for the distributon that is very complex as discussed already. So this is not the same problem.

On classic example of the birthdays add the year to the day and month and see what happens.

The more sets of data studied, the more likely we are to obtain a good answer.

Cyril Durrenberger

wmcclark1980 <walterclark@...> wrote:
--- In STMFC@..., "Bruce Smith" <smithbf@...> wrote:

Folks,

I grow weary of this. No one has answered Tony's challenge to provide
evidence that supports a "regional bias in boxcars" position. It seems
that any evidence that does not support this position is dismissed as
"absurd" or "biased" and opinion and hyperbole are used in lieu of data.
Many of the arguments that have been used about statistics are not based
in a sound understanding of the field. For example, deviations from the
mean are EXPECTED and do not invalidate the mean. Certainly,
modeling the
deviations would be.... deviant!

What I find truly remarkable is the wealth of DIFFERENT types of
data that
seem to support the national fleet as a starting place for a model
representation. The Charles data is flawed at best, yet it supports the
model. Wheel reports from different locations support the model...

-It ISN'T about individual trains (How often do we need to say this?)
-Individual trains may have very specific make-ups that vary
significantly
from the national averages.
-That fleet will then fluctuate on the layout of the owner, providing
deviations from the mean... and modeling those deviations that almost
certainly occur in real life.
-It is a STARTING place - I have yet to hear anyone offer a different
starting place based on data other than their own opinion, and frankly,
I'd rather take my chances with the data ;^)
-The model DOES NOT preclude the use of oddballs, but it does INFORM the
modeler that these are oddballs.

Over and out
Bruce

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL
Bruce, and all,

What we have is the problem that always occurs when using statistics.
Most people won't accept that a relatively small sample size can
forecast much larger populations with extreme accuracy. Just listen
to the arguments after a national poll is released, where they polled
only a few thousand people and used that data to project within just a
few percentage points of error what the entire Nation's population thinks.

Tim's and Dave's analysis is for an entire year. Not every train, and
not every train in a single month. Neither Tim nor anyone else who
accept Tim's and Dave's calculations are claiming that. It is the
total of all box cars over an entire year. This can (not must, we all
can do what we darn well please on our own model railroads) help me
decide which box car kits, and in what quantities, I need to
reasonably represent the possible activity in my month of November
1941 on my mythical short line that connects to the Southern Pacific
in northern California.

I had a professor in Graduate School who, in the Statistics class,
always brought a cloth drawstring bag with 100 red and 100 black poker
chips to class. No matter what he was teaching, and no matter how big
or how small the numbers he was working with, a handful of chips from
that bag was ALWAYS extremely close to what the calculations said.
And grabbing 10 separate handfuls (counted and replaced in the bag
between grabs) was ALWAYS RIGHT ON! This can be shown in any group of
30 people. Even though there are a total of 366 possible birth dates,
any somewhat random group of 30 people WILL ALMOST ALWAYS have two
with the same birth date.

Intuitively it doesn't make sense, and that's what the naysayers are
arguing. Yes, there are exceptions, and situations that don't match
the calculations, but those exceptions and outlying situations are
smoothed out over time.

Between Tim's and Dave's analysis, and Larry's Excel spreadsheet,
along with a close-to-my-modeling-period ORER I can determine how many
box cars from what railroads I need to plan for, then adjust that as
necessary based on what kits are available to me.

Is it perfect, and can I generate a single freight train that
perfectly matches a single freight train from Fraley? No, but there
is no way to come up with anything more accurate. Perfect? No, but
better than the rest.

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

Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

Stokes John

Well, I got thoroughly chastised and sneered at by the resident statistical intellectuals because I questioned the state of undress, then along come some other people asking cogent questions about all this, and Mike asks logical and pertinent questions again. It still seems to me that this is all hogwash about the national statistics as they may apply to and be useful for predicting how many SP box cars will be seen on the Inside Gateway on April 23, 1956 (stayed within the magic time frame, Tim). Random doesn't mean predictable, except that you can predict that it will be random. Dictionary definition of random is "lacking aim or method; purposeless; haphazard." In statistics it means "of statistical sample selection in which all possible samples have equal probability of selection." Maybe we are applying random walk here, Tim, or random variables, where the variable's values are determined independently according to a probability distribution? Predictability means capable of being predicted, which means to say in advance what one believes will happen. Yes, you can predict that the percentages of box cars in a given freight train will be random, but you say they will be in a set percentage that does not vary. Round and round we go.

Quantum physicists know about this. A random event cannot be predicted or duplicated, it's a Surprise! Almost everything is predictable, but many outcomes are very difficult to predict because the variables that drive the outcome are either unknown or difficult to measure. That is precisely what we are dealing with here. While we can get the stats on the nationwide freight car fleet, and somehow come to the conclusion that this percentage holds true as the box cars travel around the nation, each following as if by magic its random predictable pattern and percentage, the fact is that there are a whole host of variables that drive the outcome and we either don't know them all or we don't have enough information to do anything with them.

This is like playing a video game, it exercises the mind and the keeps one's juices flowing, but in the end it is virtually meaningless and not necessarily a good way to spend one's time, especially when one realizes that there are so many models to build and run and so little time to do it in.

Bye bye,

John Stokes
Bellevue, Wa

To: STMFC@...: brockm@...: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 17:20:08 -0400Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

We are getting to the point...not unlike discussions about color...where weare not seeing anything new. So...we are getting to the point where thethread will need to be terminated. Obviously some members are convincedregarding the Nelson/Gilbert theory's validity and others are not. Before the thread is terminated...until new data becomesavailable, I would appreciate seeing some clarification on a few points.Tony Thompson writes:"I personally think Tim's data say very clearly that theappearance of free-running cars like box cars DID follow,statistically, not absolutely with mathematical precision (Tim neversaid anything like that, so let's drop it now), the proportions in thenational car fleet."What does that mean? In the 1947 data covering Laramie to Green River, thetheory predicts [ I guess that's a good word ] 28 SP box cars. The actual number was 34...a 20% error. In the 1949 data, the theory predicts 52 SP box cars. The actual number was 136...or an error of 161%. Now...when I have mentioned this before, the answer was...nooo problem. This is statistics. OK...fine. No argument. Suppose that damned UP train with the 36 SP box cars was in Fraley's sample. Now the error would be 230%. What if 5 more such trains showed up? 576%. What if it were 1000%? Or 10000%? When does it become a problem...or are the violating SP numbers just thrown away? If the reply to this is that an error of 161% is OK, why bother with the individual national %? Just take the acceptable SP number of 136 = .01 (Y) (1325 box cars), Y = 10.2% and use it for all RR's? After all, SP's national % of 3.6% is fairly representative of all RR's except for PRR and NYC. Just add 5% more for them. I guarantee that the "error" between the actual national % for CGA, Rutland or FEC won't produce a worse error than using the actual SP national % does with the Fraley 1949 data. And, it will be a lot easier to do...don't have to look up anything. Of course, the same thing can be achieved by just acquiring the same number of cars for every RR except PRR and NYC. Get two of each of those. Then do the same thing 3 more times until you have 4 cars of every RR except PRR and NYC which you will have 8 of. I guarantee that will get you in the envelop of statistical success just as much as taking ther national % for each RR."The point is that it's theunderlying reality. Anyone who doesn't have better data than Tim's willjust have to get used to it."As far As I know, Tim's data was the 1947 Fraley and the Southern RR data on a train in Asheville. I gave Tim a copy of my Fraley [ 1949 ]. Did he use any other data of actual car reports?Mike Brock

Re: Freight car distribution

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Tim O'Connor writes:

"True, but I didn't include MP since I don't think it was much of an interchange
partner in that area -- it went south to KC, and so did the UP via the Kansas
Pacific. Wabash got very little traffic as well but UP may have been kinder to
them since they were a beneficial passenger train partner. I dunno. I think
C&NW always got the lion's share."

I've recently completed an article on the Overland Route's Fast Mail. I was surprised to find that CB&Q handled the mail between Omaha and Chicago while C&NW handled express...at least during the early 50's.

"> No. OTOH, I'm not seeing blocked eastbound cars in trains in Wyoming.

SP blocked cars for Chicago and other eastern points in Roseville. These
may show up as smaller blocks on the UP. Or maybe UP just shuffled them
around in Ogden for grins.

You ever think that Fraley may have just saved stuff he thought was NOT
typical? Like a big block of SP box cars? :-)"

Sorry. Nice try though.

I'm going to analyze my 1956 data and we'll see what that shows. Fortunately
for other members on the group, it will probably take me 5 yrs to do it.
I'm suspect many here are relieved to hear it."

I would say that your term "many" should be replaced by "most" or even "all".

Mike Brock

Re: Freight car distribution

Walter M. Clark

--- In STMFC@..., "Bruce Smith" <smithbf@...> wrote:

Folks,

I grow weary of this. No one has answered Tony's challenge to provide
evidence that supports a "regional bias in boxcars" position. It seems
that any evidence that does not support this position is dismissed as
"absurd" or "biased" and opinion and hyperbole are used in lieu of data.
Many of the arguments that have been used about statistics are not based
in a sound understanding of the field. For example, deviations from the
mean are EXPECTED and do not invalidate the mean. Certainly,
modeling the
deviations would be.... deviant!

What I find truly remarkable is the wealth of DIFFERENT types of
data that
seem to support the national fleet as a starting place for a model
representation. The Charles data is flawed at best, yet it supports the
model. Wheel reports from different locations support the model...

-It ISN'T about individual trains (How often do we need to say this?)
-Individual trains may have very specific make-ups that vary
significantly
from the national averages.
-That fleet will then fluctuate on the layout of the owner, providing
deviations from the mean... and modeling those deviations that almost
certainly occur in real life.
-It is a STARTING place - I have yet to hear anyone offer a different
starting place based on data other than their own opinion, and frankly,
I'd rather take my chances with the data ;^)
-The model DOES NOT preclude the use of oddballs, but it does INFORM the
modeler that these are oddballs.

Over and out
Bruce

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL
Bruce, and all,

What we have is the problem that always occurs when using statistics.
Most people won't accept that a relatively small sample size can
forecast much larger populations with extreme accuracy. Just listen
to the arguments after a national poll is released, where they polled
only a few thousand people and used that data to project within just a
few percentage points of error what the entire Nation's population thinks.

Tim's and Dave's analysis is for an entire year. Not every train, and
not every train in a single month. Neither Tim nor anyone else who
accept Tim's and Dave's calculations are claiming that. It is the
total of all box cars over an entire year. This can (not must, we all
can do what we darn well please on our own model railroads) help me
decide which box car kits, and in what quantities, I need to
reasonably represent the possible activity in my month of November
1941 on my mythical short line that connects to the Southern Pacific
in northern California.

I had a professor in Graduate School who, in the Statistics class,
always brought a cloth drawstring bag with 100 red and 100 black poker
chips to class. No matter what he was teaching, and no matter how big
or how small the numbers he was working with, a handful of chips from
that bag was ALWAYS extremely close to what the calculations said.
And grabbing 10 separate handfuls (counted and replaced in the bag
between grabs) was ALWAYS RIGHT ON! This can be shown in any group of
30 people. Even though there are a total of 366 possible birth dates,
any somewhat random group of 30 people WILL ALMOST ALWAYS have two
with the same birth date.

Intuitively it doesn't make sense, and that's what the naysayers are
arguing. Yes, there are exceptions, and situations that don't match
the calculations, but those exceptions and outlying situations are
smoothed out over time.

Between Tim's and Dave's analysis, and Larry's Excel spreadsheet,
along with a close-to-my-modeling-period ORER I can determine how many
box cars from what railroads I need to plan for, then adjust that as
necessary based on what kits are available to me.

Is it perfect, and can I generate a single freight train that
perfectly matches a single freight train from Fraley? No, but there
is no way to come up with anything more accurate. Perfect? No, but
better than the rest.

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

Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Cyril Durrenberger says:

"One of the main problems with all of this data analysis is that you are trying to take a very small sample size (really insignificant) and extrapolate to the whole fleet. This also assumes that the any sample you analyze is representative of the whole, which is not very likely."

Amen.

"1. Use data that is likely to reflect trains that would be hauling a representative sample. This would have to be through freights, not local freights.

2. Then compare train data set to roster data set for that year in a very easy to follow format (I suggest an excel spread sheet). This would be done for each train data set. Post the results in a data base for the group.

3. The groupings of small railroads would be necessary to simplify the process.

4. Then ask the question - does the train data compared to the roster data support that the cars are distributed according to the size of the national roster information."

You are saying to compare the real data to the national %? Good grief. Use real data? <G>. BTW, here's Tim's comments regarding such:

"In 1947, the ownership of foreign boxcars aggregated into eight ICC
Geographic Regions correlated pretty well with the percentage those
regions owned of the National Boxcar Fleet. In 1949, that correlation
was blown to hell."

I have no analysis on individual RR's other than SP from my 1949 Fraley. I seem to recall, however, being bitterly disappointed that NP box cars were much less represented than I had hoped...refuting my Fifth Rule of Frt Cars. Sort of like being hoisted on my own Fraley.

"If Tim has already done this, then present the data in such a format. What I have seen does not do this. Please do not tell us that is what it shows, show us the data then each person can determine if this applicable to their situation and then they can decide how to use the information."

As far as I know, Tim only grouped RR's by regions except for those closely associated to UP...SP, Milw, CB&Q, and C&NW as is shown in his message of Feb 3, 2006, which I republished here last week.

Mike Brock

Re: Freight car distribution

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Tim O'Connor says:

"In another post you said the PNW cutoff handled 12 trains a day. Using
your 35 trains a day average, that amounts to... over 33%.
Just trying to be consistent."

Tim, you have to read more carefully.

"> Yes, about 15% went on the cutoff through Granger to Pocatello, ID."

About 15% went the other way. 15% + 15% = 30%.

Mike Brock...got to be quick these days

Re: Freight car distribution - photo bias situation

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

Here's another note of discord.

Photos are also biased evidence. You can’t tell which are equipped box cars. To give one example of the bias introduced, consider auto parts cars. These were assigned to parts plants by each railroad in some kind of proportion to revenue received. There was no requirement to consider ownership in loading them. These cars would tend to appear on all railroads serving the auto industry in proportion to ownership. Another such fleet would be DF cars assigned to General foods and other large grocery manufacturers. This was less so in the 40’s than in the 60’s, use of equipped cars having been an increasing trend over several decades.

The auto parts traffic would tend to make lines between parts plants and assembly plants have observed box car marks closer to the national proportion than would other lines.

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 - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

We are getting to the point...not unlike discussions about color...where we
are not seeing anything new. So...we are getting to the point where the
thread will need to be terminated. Obviously some members are convinced
regarding the Nelson/Gilbert theory's validity and others are not. Before the thread is terminated...until new data becomes
available, I would appreciate seeing some clarification on a few points.

Tony Thompson writes:

"I personally think Tim's data say very clearly that the
appearance of free-running cars like box cars DID follow,
statistically, not absolutely with mathematical precision (Tim never
said anything like that, so let's drop it now), the proportions in the
national car fleet."

What does that mean? In the 1947 data covering Laramie to Green River, the
theory predicts [ I guess that's a good word ] 28 SP box cars. The actual number was 34...a 20% error. In the 1949 data, the theory predicts 52 SP box cars. The actual number was 136...or an error of 161%. Now...when I have mentioned this before, the answer was...nooo problem. This is statistics. OK...fine. No argument. Suppose that damned UP train with the 36 SP box cars was in Fraley's sample. Now the error would be 230%. What if 5 more such trains showed up? 576%. What if it were 1000%? Or 10000%? When does it become a problem...or are the violating SP numbers just thrown away? If the reply to this is that an error of 161% is OK, why bother with the individual national %? Just take the acceptable SP number of 136 = .01 (Y) (1325 box cars), Y = 10.2% and use it for all RR's? After all, SP's national % of 3.6% is fairly representative of all RR's except for PRR and NYC. Just add 5% more for them. I guarantee that the "error" between the actual national % for CGA, Rutland or FEC won't produce a worse error than using the actual SP national % does with the Fraley 1949 data. And, it will be a lot easier to do...don't have to look up anything. Of course, the same thing can be achieved by just acquiring the same number of cars for every RR except PRR and NYC. Get two of each of those. Then do the same thing 3 more times until you have 4 cars of every RR except PRR and NYC which you will have 8 of. I guarantee that will get you in the envelop of statistical success just as much as taking ther national % for each RR.

"The point is that it's the
underlying reality. Anyone who doesn't have better data than Tim's will
just have to get used to it."

As far As I know, Tim's data was the 1947 Fraley and the Southern RR data on a train in Asheville. I gave Tim a copy of my Fraley [ 1949 ]. Did he use any other data of actual car reports?

Mike Brock

Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies.

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

My point exactly. If you miss the nail, then you're not hitting it.
Well, that's not what my thumb thought. <g>

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

Re: Freight car distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Dennis Storzek wrote:
This seems to be the hardest thing for modelers to grasp; that there was a significant portion of the rail shippers who DID NOT want fast service. They routed their rollers via the sloooow route, with many stops and poor connections. It gave them more time to sell the load, therefore they could start trying to sell it in the west, and work eastward as the car passed different diversion points. If the car zigzagged all over the country before they finally found a buyer in NYC, or Naples FL, they didn't care . . .
Were these diversions unlimited? PFE provided up to three of them for free, after that the shipper paid for each one. But that's perishables, and the "imperishables" may be different.

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

Re: Freight car distribution

Bruce Smith

On Aug 18, 2008, at 2:27 PM, Malcolm Laughlin wrote:

-It is a STARTING place - I have yet to hear anyone offer a different
starting place based on data other than their own opinion, and frankly,
I'd rather take my chances with the data ;^)

Did you read my post about a distance based algorithm. Selecting the weighting factors is a guess, but if I had to bet, I'd say it will give me something closer to real distributions on railroads like FEC, B&M-MEC-BAR, WP and many ithers, if they were observable.
Malcolm,

I did and I can suggest one weighting factor that works for this approach... zero ;^) Since this approach appears to be based on your own speculation and you have yet to produce any supporting data set or refute the conclusions of the existing data sets, it doesn't seem like a particularly valid model. The word fantasy comes to mind.

-The model DOES NOT preclude the use of oddballs, but it does INFORM the
modeler that these are oddballs.

But it's indication of oddballs can be very wrong.
Huh? I don't understand what you are trying to say. Are you saying that boxcars predicted by the model as oddballs aren't? Any DATA for that? Or is this just speculation based on gut feelings?

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/index.pl/bruce_f._smith2

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
__
/ &#92;
__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________
|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |
| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
|/_____________________________&#92;|_|________________________________|
| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0

Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@...>

In all likelihood, it wasn't the SP's choice; it was the lumber
brokers that chose that curculios routing, because they COULD, and it
gave them more time to sell the road.
I agree with everything you said Dennis, but you're missing a very
important point. Handing traffic over to the Rio Grande would more
often than not EXPEDITE the shipment to its destination. The UP
has long had the reputation of being the slow road compared to its
competitors to the south...

Tim O'

Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies.

Tim O'Connor

My point exactly. If you miss the nail, then you're not hitting it.

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Norman+Laraine Larkin" <lono@...>
There are many fingers out there that have witnessed where else. 8>)
Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: @timboconnor
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 4:21 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies.

Where else would you hit a nail?

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Norman+Laraine Larkin" <lono@...>
> Sounds like you hit the nail on the head, Jim.
> Regards,
> Norm Larkin

Re: Freight car distribution

Tim O'Connor

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Mike Brock" <brockm@...>

"SP was essential to the Overland Route in your era -- it was basically
a joint operation. And to help you out, the connections at Omaha
were 7 -- C&NW/CMStP&O, MILW, CRI&P, CB&Q, CGW, WABASH, and IC."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You missed Mopac. I like the Mopac lettering. And Mopac hoppers found their
way to Laramie [ oh...noooo ].
True, but I didn't include MP since I don't think it was much of an interchange
partner in that area -- it went south to KC, and so did the UP via the Kansas
Pacific. Wabash got very little traffic as well but UP may have been kinder to
them since they were a beneficial passenger train partner. I dunno. I think
C&NW always got the lion's share.

No. OTOH, I'm not seeing blocked eastbound cars in trains in Wyoming.
SP blocked cars for Chicago and other eastern points in Roseville. These
may show up as smaller blocks on the UP. Or maybe UP just shuffled them
around in Ogden for grins.

You ever think that Fraley may have just saved stuff he thought was NOT
typical? Like a big block of SP box cars? :-)

I'm going to analyze my 1956 data and we'll see what that shows. Fortunately
for other members on the group, it will probably take me 5 yrs to do it.
I'm suspect many here are relieved to hear it.

Tim O'

Re: DTI trucks

SUVCWORR@...

Brian,

I added a photo of the PRR 2D-F10/2E-F10 truck under a H30 cv'd hopper to
the folder "trucks" in the photo section. It is waiting approval.

Rich Orr

**************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel
deal here.
(http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)

Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

Cyril Durrenberger

All,

One of the main problems with all of this data analysis is that you are trying to take a very small sample size (really insignificant) and extrapolate to the whole fleet. This also assumes that the any sample you analyze is representative of the whole, which is not very likely.

As has been pointed out such an approach is also limited by the year (the rosters will change with time), season and location.

Also as pointed out in this post, most modelers do not have a large fleet of cars (how long would it take to build 500 detailed resin cars?)

So this is what I think would be a reasonable approach for the analysis: (remark I am a research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin)

1. Use data that is likely to reflect trains that would be hauling a representative sample. This would have to be through freights, not local freights.

2. Then compare train data set to roster data set for that year in a very easy to follow format (I suggest an excel spread sheet). This would be done for each train data set. Post the results in a data base for the group.

3. The groupings of small railroads would be necessary to simplify the process.

4. Then ask the question - does the train data compared to the roster data support that the cars are distributed according to the size of the national roster information.

5. It would be important to do this for box cars, gondolas and flat cars in separate groupings. One could do this for hopper cars and stock cars, but they are likely to be impacted more by location, but this would become evident in such an analysis..

If Tim has already done this, then present the data in such a format. What I have seen does not do this. Please do not tell us that is what it shows, show us the data then each person can determine if this applicable to their situation and then they can decide how to use the information.

6. Also include the time of year and the location for the train data set as there may be seasonal and regional impacts that one may wish to consider.

7. Then the user can apply their knowledge of differences in traffic patterns, etc for their own railroad on a case by case basis. It is not likely that the same approach will work for all model railroads.

8. Forget the statistical analysis - the train data sets are far too small to reasonably apply them. If you want to do a statistical analysis, you would need to apply some sort of boot strap process to resample the data.

Once the data is presented anyone can then take that and apply it as they see fit for their model railroad.

I will tell you how I have gone about it for my model railroad of the Houston East & West Texas circa 1910.

1. Use the data from the railroad commission reports on commodities shipped on the railroad to determine the split of cars by type - box car, refrigerator car, flat car, gondola car, stock car, etc. Other data in the reports tells the train lengths and split between loads and empties.

2. I would obtain the ICC Blue Book data for 1910 to determine the ratio of home road cars to other cars. In my case for the HE&WT these data would likely to be applicable only to box cars, Knowing that based on other information most flat car and gondola loads were generated locally with home road (SP lines) cars. Other more robust data sources discussed below are used for tank cars, stock cars and refrigerator cars.

3. If we can show that in 1910 the non home box cars are distributed by national roster data, use this to determine the number of box cars for each railroad.

4. Realize that in 1910 (it is not necessarily the same for later years), most tank car and refrigerator cars used on the HE&WT were owned by private owners, so that would mean another type of analysis.. Use the railroad commission reports of mileage for private owner cars (since there was significant variation from year to year, average over a span of 3 years - 1909, 1910 and 1911) to determine companies likely to show up on the HE&WT. This number of cars for each company on the model railroad would then be coupled with the industries served on the model railroad, the availability of information on the company's cars (not as much of a problem for the 1950's), availability of suitable decals to letter the cars and the availability of kits (or the willingness to scratch build or kit bash the cars needed) to determine the tank car and refrigerator car fleets for the model railroad.. The data for the private owner cars during this time period was no where near the split
based on number of cars nationally, with some large fleets of cars never showing up at all. A case in point would be the Union Tank Line - very small percentage, but there was a large representation from Merchants and Planters Oil Company and Higgins Oil & Fuel Company, both with rather small fleets of cars. The same sort of thing happened with refrigerator cars. PFE was not well represented as they had recently started operations. Armour owned companies had the largest representation. Santa Fe cars did not have much mileage on the HE&WT. Another problem is that refrigerator cars from the Houston Packing Company had a good deal of mileage, but I can not locate any information on what they lookied like or how they were lettered. The same thing happens with many of the tank cars, many of which were not listed in the ORER.

5. Flat cars and gondolas would be mainly SP lines cars.

6. Stock cars would be a mix of SP lines cars, private owner cars (much of the live stock was shipped on private owner cars in 1910) and other cars. However, there was not much live stock shipped on the HE&WT.

I have done all of the above except for the following exceptions:. I have not had the ICC Blue Book data (I just found out about it) nor have I done the percentage of box cars based on the national fleet. I intend to do that if I can locate the Blue Book data for the HE&WT for 1910 and then I will compare the results of this approach to the other one I used earlier. That being - 50% of the cars being local (SP lines in this case), 25% from lines that connected with the HE&WT and the other 25% from the national fleet based roughly on the percentage of their car fleet. The split of model SP Lines box, flat and gondola cars was based on the percentage of each type of car on the roster at that time and the road names. As mentioned earlier, this presents some problems as many of these cars would have to be scratch built.

Cyril Durrenberger

John Stokes <ggstokes@...> wrote:
Tony,

Finally got some response other than the repetition of the studies. No, not meant to be insulting at all, but I think correct for the notion that this "data" applies absolutely. I don't think Tim is saying that the equal distribution accurately depicts the status on every railroad in the country on every day of every month of every year I do not recall his making the claim that was the case, or that every freight train or groups of freight trains on any given railroad would always have the predicted percentages. What I think flies in the face of reality is the notion that this formula works every time and that it directly and specifically applies to modeling situations on most people's layouts.

I believe what some people are saying is that the idea that there was this perfect mathematical distribution of box cars to every railroad in the land in proportion to ownership is hard to see in light of the almost infinite variables that would affect such distribution, and photographic and personal observation evidence to the contrary. Who made this happen, or how did it happen. Some unseen guiding hand? What did Mark Twain say about statistics?

Actually, this all has little direct effect on most modelers, since none of us, except the virtual guys and really large clubs, even begin to approach the traffic potential to allow any one to follow these theories.

And I have looked at the facts, and they are more than statistics based on small samples, and they say that this mathematical precision did not occur in real life. But I would like to hear why that is not correct. Tell those who disbelieve, in a good concise paragraph again, the meat of the theory and the facts that back it up. I am willing to try to learn.

John Stokes
Believe, Wa

To: STMFC@...: thompson@...: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:40:08 -0700Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

John Stokes wrote:> I agree with Malcolm. The very notion that box cars were distributed > on all railroads across the country in proportion to ownership is > patently absurd on its face.Gosh, John, this sure saves you from doing any data analysis or for that matter, even looking at any data. To call Tim Gilbert's work "lahlah land" is insulting and ignorant. But hey, opinion trumps facts, right?Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@... of books on railroad history

Re: Freight car distribution

Dennis Storzek

--- In STMFC@..., timboconnor@... wrote:

It's all relative Dave. A trickle on the SP would be a flood on the
D&RGW.
By the 1960's SP itself strongly preferred the long way around for
lumber
-- Oregon to St Louis by way of San Antonio and Pine Bluff...
In all likelihood, it wasn't the SP's choice; it was the lumber
brokers that chose that curculios routing, because they COULD, and it
gave them more time to sell the road. Malcolm and John have recently
on them, but so far no one has explicitly stated that while the
ICC's regulations on diversions, they each did it differently.

Perishables are, well, perishable. Each day they stay in the car, they
degrade in quality, and therefore value. Keep them on the road too
long, and they become worthless; no one is going to pay for a carload
of rotten produce. Therefore, produce brokers routed a car by the
fastest route possible to where they thought they could sell it, and
used one diversion to send it to its final destination when they did.

Lumber, and to a great extent potatoes, are not perishable. They
didn't degrade in transit any faster than they did in the warehouse,
so there was no need to hurry. This seems to be the hardest thing for
modelers to grasp; that there was a significant portion of the rail
shippers who DID NOT want fast service. They routed their rollers via
the sloooow route, with many stops and poor connections. It gave them
more time to sell the load, therefore they could start trying to sell
it in the west, and work eastward as the car passed different
diversion points. If the car zigzagged all over the country before
they finally found a buyer in NYC, or Naples FL, they didn't care, so
long as they didn't overplay their hand and have to sell at a discount
because the car reached its destination without a sale and now the
freight bill was due.

Because the brokers wanted the slowest route possible, they were
experts at finding obscure routings that no one in their right mind
would use… unless they wanted to use a boxcar as free warehouse space
for three weeks while they called around to sell its contents. Years
ago Dan Holbrook pointed out to me several C&NW lines that ducked
abandonment for years because they had sufficient traffic, when in
reality that traffic was nothing but "diversion potatoes" or lumber
rollers.

Of course, with the advent of the Staggers Act, all that changed, but
that's years in the future for this list.

Dennis

Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies.

Norman+Laraine Larkin <lono@...>

There are many fingers out there that have witnessed where else. 8>)
Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: @timboconnor
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 4:21 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: A Purpose For Frt Car Distribution Studies.

Where else would you hit a nail?

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Norman+Laraine Larkin" <lono@...>
> Sounds like you hit the nail on the head, Jim.
> Regards,
> Norm Larkin