Date   
Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tim O'Connor writes:

"Mike, you model the UNION PACIFIC MAINLINE, for goodness
sake. Your argument that no Muncie & Western box car would
or should be seen seems to fly in the face of the fact of
many photographs of MWR box cars in California."

No, no, no. You misread what I said. In fact, there are [ 1954, after all ] at least 7 RRs ...ATSF, SP [ Sunset Route ], UP, WP/D&RGW, NP, MILW, and GN...that the little bas...er...gems could have traveled. I merely pointed out that given my compressed model of a segment of one of those routes...including compressed data samples [ 8 trains/day instead of 35 ]and compressed car fleet [ about 100 box cars instead of 1050 in one day ]...that I could not model one unless I reduced drastically the projected presence of others. If I followed the probability of appearance [ based on random selection from the 740,000 population ], and my box car population, I would probably be able to have one wheel of a MWR box car. The real UP...as I said...should see...over a long data sample...one MWR car every ten days. My sample of the real UP box car data is so small that IF I want the appearances of box cars to match the long term ratios, I can't include cars with less than one car. I might be convinced that the appearance of an MWR car might be driven by randomness, but sometimes I cheat. IOW, sometimes I pick the sample with the MWR car. And, blush...I do have one...somewhere.

"I think it's a safe bet that every XM box car type of
every U.S. railroad traversed the Union Pacific mainline
with a frequency AT LEAST proportional to its share of
the fleet and with a greater frequency for MWR because
there were so many Mason Jars needed to preserve all those
California fruits and vegetables."

I agree with the first part but I think a stronger argument for MWR box car appearances might be that it is a known fact that Wyoming residents drank more beer in the 50's than the national average. I'm not certain why this would be...

Mike Brock

Re: PS-0? 1940 Pullman Welded Box Car by AW Enterprises - Thoughts?

rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

I have one of those I bought years ago. I'm not a rivet counter, that's
hard to do on a welded car anyway : ) So I have no opinion on the
accuracy of the model. Looks good to me. I decaled mine CGW using Champ
road name and data sets. I also build an old Yankee Clipper (F&C) kit.
The F&C decals were so bad in it I used Champ on that car too. I have
built other F&C kits. I would only order F&C decals as the very last
resort.
PS-O is a modeler made term frowned upon by certain members of this
group.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

devansprr
 

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

Dave and all;



As much as everyone seems to hate this subject coming up again, I found
Dave's and others' discussions fascinating. The original subject
seems to
have rapidly faded from view, but Dave's numerical and statistical
analysis
would not have come up, otherwise.



Dave, I think much of what you say is generally true, mostly because
of what
you are modeling, and when (I also model the PRR, but farther afield
and in
nature). I can't wait to see what you come up with in individual
trains, as
you get further along in your empire.
Elden,

Thanks for all of the good info on yard populations. I'm sure you have
researched much more extensively than I. Good data.

Let me first qualify my previous post to confirm that my analysis
represents a location where probably 95-99% of the box cars were
through cars (that has its own concerns when contemplating op
sessions, but that is for a different group ;-)

It would not apply to specific branches (or even the PRR Mon
division). Although not boxcars, the case of Berwind hoppers is a
classic example of throwing N-G out the window for some trains -
Berwind hoppers, even in WWII, have been photographed in what looks
like modern day unit train service on the horseshoe curve (for the
non-SPF's, Berwind was a coal company on the PRR South Fork branch,
which was about 25 miles west of Altoona. They mined a high grade of
soft coal used predominantly for steam ship boilers. Much of their
traffic was either Baltimore, Philly, or NYC bound. They had a
sizeable hopper fleet (about 2800 50 ton cars). Although it was a
fraction of the PRR fleet, they could be a dominant population the
closer you model to Windber (Berwind's hometown).) Including such a
train, and having it appear nearly every op session if modeling the
curve is quite plausible.

If my layout included the Pittsburgh sidings where Westinghouse built
large transformers, then clearly having a heavyweight flat show up
each op session would be quite logical, and more than one might be
seen regularly. But for someone modeling the PRR in NJ, they would be
much rarer.

To me the fun, and the challenge, is identifying the unusual events
and cars that are plausible, but still rare, and make sure they do not
appear too often (e.g. I will not be running a heavy duty PRR flat in
every freight train on my layout). So my Ann Arbor SS 40 foot box will
be fiddled rather than pass through the layout hourly, or be assigned
a car card where it is constantly on the layout.

Bruce Smith posted an interesting concept that he plans to use - I
think he wants to cycle his op sessions through an entire week's
schedule, and the sunday schedule will include a hi/wide move, which
gives him a chance to move some odd loads, but only infrequently. I
might adopt the same concept, since at Gallitzin the PRR moved EB
hi/wides through one of the WB tunnels (biggest clearance). Made for
an intersting dispatch challenge, but not one I would expect every 4
hour op session.


2) The PRR seems to have hosted every other road in North America,
or so it
seemed, but only in box cars. Other roads far away did not
contribute large
numbers of hoppers, for instance, to what you saw in Pgh. That
being said, I
absolutely remember hoppers from SP, ATSF, and even IC, in Pgh. Who
knows
what originating load they had that caused them to be there?
Elden,

I thought someone has done some studies of mineral loads and found
them to be much more common that generally thought - Hoppers moved a
lot more than coal, rock, iron ore, and limestone. With all of the
metalurgic activity in the greater Pittsburgh region, such foriegn
hoppers appearing regularly could be quite plausible. Maybe I saw this
in the Ops-Ind group. (Somehow I thought you were involved in the
posts - is this a rhetorical question?) (note to the group - to grasp
the magnitude of industry in Elden's modeling area, it has been
reported that the Pittsburgh area produced more steel annually than
any other country ON EARTH, up through WWII)


Lastly, while I get to model a huge variety of cars, you, like
Bruce, are
burdened with having to build gigantic fleets of H21A, X29, GLA, GS,
GRA,
X26, X25, GR, X31A, X23, etc. What are you doing for those cars? RTR?
Shake-the-box kits? Or are you facing the long road of building
dozens of
each in resin?
I confess that there will be a lot of Bowser on my layout (and I have
to confess that I credit Bowser and BLI with even making such a WWII
era, PRR mainline centric layout possible - without them I might have
gone to DRGW narrow gage - which is one of the few steam operations I
have seen more than once).

If the shake-the-box kits are built stock (which will not be up to the
standards of many hi-grade modelers in this group), then a fleet can
be assembled quickly, especially using production line techniques
(e.g. building 24 Berwind Gla's at once). Because I hope to build a
large layout - more attention will be placed on high operational
reliability than high levels of detail. But big gaps remain for large
fleets - I'm not sure I can build a fleet of resin X23's, X25's,
Glca's, etc and still build a large layout.

A large layout owner once warned me that the effort to build a large
fleet can become overwhelming - the bulk of the cars will need to be
RTR or shake the box. I'm headed for shake-the-box wherever I can
since I figure at some point I will go through a period of
underemployment and will have time to try some "mass-production"
techniques of my own....

But I have found that huge gaps in the shake/RTR fleet exist, so there
will be many resin cars in my future (if I can find the time) - for
example, I have only found (through the help of this group), one
non-PRR 50 foot WWII era steel box (proto), so a few resin 50' steel
box cars are necessary.

I also want to have a hands-on operations layout, and that puts finely
detailed resin cars at risk. I operate on a layout full of resin box
cars - and handling a car becomes a serious matter. I like to think I
handle them well, but I have seen the owner flinch more than once as a
car is re-railed (note that I can't glance at him when I'm re-railing,
so I don't know if he gags when I do it ;-). I expect my resin cars
(once built) will be placed in trains that are generally run-throughs.
Loads switched locally will be handled by the great styrene fleet...

Dave Evans

Re: Retail gas stations of the 1950's

Charles Hladik
 

Brian,
I recently gave away a book titled "The Gas Station in America". This
was from Johns Hopkins Press who also has one titled "The Motel in America".
Both of these have a pretty good history of the players and quite a few photos.
Hope this helps.
Chuck Hladik

In a message dated 2/5/2009 12:49:09 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
brian@... writes:




I hope the Mike will allow mw a little latitude here since this group
is often a source of wide ranging information. I am looking for an
avenue to determine what retail gasoline stations operated in the
towns I model in the mid 1950's. I have done the usual ebay searches,
and am in the process of inquiring through local historical societies,
old business directories, phone books etc.. Many of these towns had a
bulk distributor'bulk distributor'<WBR>s that received shipment's in ste
but through mergers and acquisitions, I am not sure who the players
were in 1957. Does anyone have any advice on where I might find
additional information?

Brian carlson





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Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Dave and all;



As much as everyone seems to hate this subject coming up again, I found
Dave's and others' discussions fascinating. The original subject seems to
have rapidly faded from view, but Dave's numerical and statistical analysis
would not have come up, otherwise.



Dave, I think much of what you say is generally true, mostly because of what
you are modeling, and when (I also model the PRR, but farther afield and in
nature). I can't wait to see what you come up with in individual trains, as
you get further along in your empire.



At one time, I took large numbers of photos in and around Pittsburgh, and at
the many PRR yards around Pgh, and each one of them was very different from
the others. After doing "car counts" in person and from photos, some things
became evident:



1) The yard car distribution, by road and car type, was vastly dependent on
"who" (both industry and railroad) was out there on the other end of that
line. Conway, as classification yard for everything west, had everything in
abundance, including horribly rare cars that would defy any statistical
analysis (even one-of-a-kind cars). West of there on the Fort Wayne (to
Chicago), you had greater than statistically-driven numbers of cars from
those roads that connected out of Chicago, of course, like CB&Q, MILW, NP,
GN, etc. On the Panhandle (to St Louis) you had more SP, ATSF, MP, and other
southwestern roads, again, of course.



2) The PRR seems to have hosted every other road in North America, or so it
seemed, but only in box cars. Other roads far away did not contribute large
numbers of hoppers, for instance, to what you saw in Pgh. That being said, I
absolutely remember hoppers from SP, ATSF, and even IC, in Pgh. Who knows
what originating load they had that caused them to be there?



3) The box car population in and around Pgh, in PRR yards, was not quite 50%
PRR, except in Pitcairn where they stored the bad order PRR freight cars.
The hopper population, as Bruce stated, was over 50% PRR. The gon population
seems to have been only slightly more PRR than other, but could be much
higher in certain yards based on whether or not they were "gon dominated"
(like 30th St-Pgh). Similarly, "hopper dominated" yards like Shire Oaks,
could be way more than 50% PRR, because of all the hoppers, and the fact that
so many trains that originated there were "semi-captive" to the PRR (ex: HS-1
- Shire Oaks to Ashtabula, or MA-53 - West Brownsville to Pitcairn), the cars
never left PRR rails.



For my modeled portion of the PRR, every location, yard or otherwise, has a
unique mix of car types and roads. Each of the industries on that line, has
to be represented for both MTs and loads, and those specific cars have to be
switched out and end up on a local going into a yard where they become part
of a larger train, providing a very specific flavor to that train. So, as
Mike and others have stated, each train needs to have a plausible and
accurate rationale behind its existence.



For one modeling a huge mainline location that classified for the entire RR,
as you are doing, box car statistics are great, but for me, I had to dig up a
lot of info before things started looking like I remember, and like my photos
documented.



Lastly, while I get to model a huge variety of cars, you, like Bruce, are
burdened with having to build gigantic fleets of H21A, X29, GLA, GS, GRA,
X26, X25, GR, X31A, X23, etc. What are you doing for those cars? RTR?
Shake-the-box kits? Or are you facing the long road of building dozens of
each in resin?



Elden Gatwood



________________________________

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
devansprr
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 9:47 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs



--- In STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> , Anthony
Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Dave Evans wrote:
Because the PRR would load as many of their cars as possible, many of
them would hit interchange roads in higher than the national
percentage rates (and vice-versa).
Is this supposition, Dave, or do you have a factual basis for it?
Tony,

Supposition, and all of my theories and analysis are based on WWII
when many of the car-service rules were suspended.

But I have fragmentary evidence:

- Pictures of WB NYC cars in the Altoona area are rare - too rare.

- PRR operated a very large "EMPTY" west bound classification yard in
Altoona. I think it served 3 purposes - (1) sort WB empty box, gons
and reefers so they could be blocked towards the appropriate home road
(should make for some interesting deviations from the N-G theory for
individual WB freights, which had significant percentages of MT's out
of Altoona - for example a freight headed towards STL may have a bunch
of MT ATSF cars, while one for Chicago may have a similar
concentration of GN and NP MT's), (2) provide a ready source of empty
tonnage to "trim-out" freights to the tonnage ratings of each train's
assigned locomotives when they were about to climb the helper district
from Altoona, through the horseshoe curve, and on to the summit at
Gallitzin, and (3) sort private hoppers that were in captive service
to the many coal mines west of Altoona along the main (or its
branches), between Altoona and the next WB class yard at Pitcairn
(east Pittsburgh).

- Note that blocking empties for common interchange points makes a lot
of sense - Altoona was a "choke point" of the railroad - everything WB
went through there, and while much of the loaded WB traffic was
classified and blocked at the east end, there were lots of MT's to
collect east of Altoona. Once blocked, they could be routed west with
little or no further classification, and while they might be raided by
a yard further west that needed MT's, they should have been able to
move west pretty fast.

- During the WWII era the PRR was still very disciplined about making
money (and they made a lot - but lacked the manpower and traffic lulls
to put it into RoW and equipment maintenance). In an operation big
enough to classify empties (for the portion of the road I wish to
model), I would have to believe that empties were assigned first based
on matching car type to load, and then to make money. Many PRR
employees wanted the road to make money - they had a good retirement
system that was influenced by PRR profits, and the PRR was probably
one of the more tightly managed roads. Based on their solvency into
the late 40's, I would expect that many employees made decisions based
on economic return. I think that sending a loaded PRR box car to the
west coast (when there was a national imbalance of more EB loads than
WB loads), would be a good way to make sure the car generated a lot of
revenue for many weeks, if not months. If the PRR was blocking WB
empties and putting them on symbol freights to get them west ASAP then
the foreign road MT per diem charges could be minimized and I would
think it could be a much better deal than leaving the PRR car MT and
loading a western road's boxcar instead.

- I think a former 50's PRR employee who had worked with car
distribution reported to this group (or possibly the ops-ind group)
that some of the stories about YM's not caring which MT's got sent
where, and not concerned about MT per diem charges, was the exception
on the PRR, not the norm.

So I confess that I am supposing a fair amount on the foreign vs. PRR
loading issue, and the only hard evidence is photographic that shows a
noticeable lack of WB NYC boxcars on trains that were often 30-50% MT.
And I would guess that if the NYC loaded a box in their territory for
a destination west of PA, they would probably try to take it over the
water-level route if they could tarrif it that way.

Unfortunately it seems PRR WWII wheel reports are quite rare - I have
not seen one yet, and only saw one on ebay for a location on the
middle division that went for an obscene amount of money, so real data
is quite scarce.

Please feel free to let me know if I'm wrong on this portion of my
fleet balance theory - this is a work in progress and any good data
and thoughts are greatly appreciated. But assault's on YM habits is
not terribly useful unless it is PRR and WWII.

I'm still pretty confident in the N-G distribution theory for the bulk
of the main-line traffic I want to model (per the earlier posts) and
for guiding my fleet purchases (very little to no captive boxcar
traffic in this region that I am aware of - maybe a little for glass
sand, but not much else).

Thanks,
Dave Evans

Re: PRR FM40 - Sunshine vs F&C Decals for circa 1942?

Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Guys;



Having already built one Sunshine FM (class) for revenue service, and having
done some research on the FM for the article in TKM and the flat car book, I
would add that I felt the Sunshine decals were complete, and as accurate as
they need be, for the period up to 1954, at least. Given that the FM was
being rapidly phased out by the time of introduction of the Shadow Keystone
lettering scheme in 1954, and neither of you care about that, you probably
are not interested that I have never seen a photo of a FM in SK lettering
(and I looked a lot). FM's in work service are a whole different game, as
Bruce can attest!



I have also looked closely at my F&C FM, and while the kit itself seems very
nice, the decals seem a bit fuzzy, certainly more so than the Sunshine
decals. They are also not quite as "complete".



The Champ HC-97 decals are not a good choice for the PRR FM when you have
these other better choices.



Elden Gatwood



________________________________

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Bruce
Smith
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 4:01 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] PRR FM40 - Sunshine vs F&C Decals for circa 1942?




On Feb 4, 2009, at 2:45 PM, parkcitybranch wrote:

I need some decals to letter a few PRR FM40 flat cars. I looked at
the decals available from Sunshine and they are described as "late
steam era". What exactly does that mean? I want to model the cars
circa 1942, will the Sunshine decals let me do that or should I use
the F&C decals? I am concerned about some of the F&C decals because
of the comments in the archives but I am not sure if those comments
apply to the PRR FM40 decals. Thanks.

Jason Sanford
Jason,

There is no "FM40" class of PRR flat car. Since you refer to both
sunshine and F&C, I'm going with class "FM", which was a 40' car (is
that what the 40 is?). The Sunshine decals are definitely better
quality than the F&C. As listed by Sunshine, the kit is simply PRR
Revenue service and few if any of these cars had anything other than
their WWII era paint applied. I have not actually looked at these
decals lately, having built my Sunshine FMs for MOW service, but you
might also consider Champ set HC-97. In all likelihood, to get
accurate lettering you will need to mix and match a variety of decals.

Regards
Bruce

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

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Mark Pierce <marcoperforar@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Mark Pierce" <marcoperforar@...> wrote:
Rutland double-sided #8252 boxcar >
Double sided! Don't you know I meant double sheathed?!

Mark

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Mark Pierce <marcoperforar@...>
 

Burgess is way ahead of us. Within the last year I've purchased
Milwaukee #307802 gondola and Rutland double-sided #8252 boxcar from
him. Me thinks he wanted to dispose of cars unlikely to frequent the
YV R.R. These beauties are part of the "occasional visitors" for me.

Mark Pierce

Re: PS-0? 1940 Pullman Welded Box Car by AW Enterprises - Thoughts?

jerryglow2
 

I used Komar dry transfers on mine which I lettered for CGW.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@..., "parkcitybranch" <parkcitybranch@...>
wrote:

Anyone familiar with the AW Enterprises HO Scale brass 1940 Pullman
Welded Box Car and can provide an opinion on its accuracy. Reading
the archives it souns like this car is also called the PS-0. Are the
PS-0 decals that F&C offers failry accurate? Thanks.

Jason Sanford

Re: The third hand

Joseph Melhorn
 

Jack,

These are small clips, but they are steel and I believe nickel plated. I
also made another set of third hands by clamping and soldering these clips
to #12ga solid conductor wire about 6" long and then drilling appropriate
sized holes in a piece of 1 by 3 x 6" long and gluing the ends of the wire
into the holes. The copper wire bends easily to just about any
angle/position.

Joe

That might work well Joe...the teeth on regular alligator clips don't
"match" each other, making them worthless for small items.

Re: PS-0? 1940 Pullman Welded Box Car by AW Enterprises - Thoughts?

sparachuk <sparachuk@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "parkcitybranch" <parkcitybranch@...> wrote:

Anyone familiar with the AW Enterprises HO Scale brass 1940 Pullman
Welded Box Car and can provide an opinion on its accuracy. Reading
the archives it souns like this car is also called the PS-0. Are the
PS-0 decals that F&C offers failry accurate? Thanks.

Jason Sanford
Jason: I have some photos of PS-0's I could send you for the sake of
comparison. The doors on the cars seem to differ a bit according to
the railroad. As for the F&C decals I'm personally a bit divided. They
aren't great but they sometimes work out okay. I've built three F&C
kits for other folks as well as a couple for myself and I try to find
a better decal if I can. It's just a ten foot height boxcar so except
for the Pullman-Standard brand on the car side I think any good decal
for that road will do.

Sorry this reply is about thirteen hours late.

Stephan Parachuk
Toronto

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

sparachuk <sparachuk@...>
 

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

Mike, you model the UNION PACIFIC MAINLINE, for goodness
sake. Your argument that no Muncie & Western box car would
or should be seen seems to fly in the face of the fact of
many photographs of MWR box cars in California. How did
they get there? Did mothers & wives in California not use
Mason Jars to make homemade preserves? I know my Mom did,
when I lived there.

I think it's a safe bet that every XM box car type of
every U.S. railroad traversed the Union Pacific mainline
with a frequency AT LEAST proportional to its share of
the fleet and with a greater frequency for MWR because
there were so many Mason Jars needed to preserve all those
California fruits and vegetables.

Tim O'
Guys: I am astounded that so many words have been spent today because
earlier I said that if Jack Burgess wanted to go ahead and build that
MWR car he remembered from when he was a kid he could do so and be
justified (however thinly) in doing so. I figured if he wanted to do
it for the fun of it, why not? He could put it in a display case, run
it every ten years or so and just enjoy owning an interesting car.
Like all of us I know what Jack does and he does a great job at it. I
never for a moment suggested that it was mandatory that he build it
but I wouldn't let odds stop me from doing it.

I like building freight cars myself and the first thing I look for is
how interesting the car is. I've used Richard Hendrickson's book on
single sheathed cars as a guide on a few projects recently and I have
some more planned for the next few months. It's a good and valuable
reference. I must admit I didn't see the MWR car in there but there
certainly were some oddballs. I don't let the odds of a car appearing
in my neighbourhood deter me from building it.

Stephan Parachuk
Toronto

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Tim O'Connor
 

Mike, you model the UNION PACIFIC MAINLINE, for goodness
sake. Your argument that no Muncie & Western box car would
or should be seen seems to fly in the face of the fact of
many photographs of MWR box cars in California. How did
they get there? Did mothers & wives in California not use
Mason Jars to make homemade preserves? I know my Mom did,
when I lived there.

I think it's a safe bet that every XM box car type of
every U.S. railroad traversed the Union Pacific mainline
with a frequency AT LEAST proportional to its share of
the fleet and with a greater frequency for MWR because
there were so many Mason Jars needed to preserve all those
California fruits and vegetables.

Tim O'

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Tim O'Connor
 

Mike Brock wrote

Richard Hendrickson says:

"Fact #2: The
1940 Car Builders' Cyclopedia shows a total of 738,509 box cars in
service on the North American railroads in 1/39. That means that out
of 9,847 box cars, one was an MWR car. And y'all think that one car
had even the most remote likelihood of turning up on the Yosemite
Valley RR?"

Well...Hmmm. On UP in Wyoming, we know that during March 1949, the 35 frt
trains in Fraley's book moved about 75.7 cars per train [ did I count them?
Of course not ]. Of these, about 30 cars per train were box cars [ all those
reefers mess up the data ]. So...in a given day [ coincidentally, the
Wyoming Div saw about 35 frt trains per day ], about 1050 box cars moved
across Wyoming. The odds of an MWR making an appearance randomly are 1 in
9847.
Richard and Mike

Ahem. As I have explained many times before, PROBABILITY is not
the same as PROPORTION.

The probability of a SINGLE box car belonging to the MWR on the
YV is indeed 1/9847. This is the PROPORTION of MWR cars to the
box car fleet.

BUT out of a SAMPLE SIZE of 1,000 cars, what is the PROBABILITY
that NONE of them belongs to MWR???

This is elementary stats gents: (9846/9847) raised to the 1,000th
power -- or approx .90

That means the CHANCE that out of 1,000 cars, one is MWR = 10%.

Not one chance in a million. Not one in 9847. But one in 10!!!!

And THAT is why I said it depends on the sample size. So is it
unlikely that a single MWR car showed up on the YV in 1939? Yes.
But is it astronomically unlikely? NO, NOT AT ALL.

Maybe Jack wants to model a day when something unlikely happened.
Or maybe he doesn't. That's Jack's decision. But a preference to
represent an 'average' or 'typical' day on the layout is no more
valid than any other personal preference.

Tim O'Connor

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Kurt Laughlin writes:

"What I am commenting on is the tone of the messages. You mentioned the guy
who puts up a picture of something on his layout fascia. Why would he have
to remind himself that it was legitimate on his railroad?"

I'll try to answer that because...I do something similar. Since I model real places on Sherman Hill, I put photos on the facia of the scenes I model. Not because I'm trying to prove that I modeled real places and the Prototype Police shouldn't arrest me but because most people aren't familiar with the scenes and I want to show the real places and my attempts to create a facsimile of them. It's somewhat like displaying models in an RPM meet. It is not unusual to show photos of the prototype next to the model. It's not a proof thing but, rather, it shows the objective. As with my layout scenes, the viewer decides how well the modeler did. Hard to do that if you don't know the objective. It's very difficult to model with extreme accuracy a real place because, for no other reason, distance. So...it's not a negative..."Here, see...such a place really existed"...but, instead a positive..."Here's, the real place. I had to compress the overall scene but I think it conveys the right impression."

"Obviously the thrust is that there are
others on here or out there judging you whether you like it or not, and
while you have a choice on how you model you had dammed well better choose correctly or . . ."

I'm not sure how you arrive at this conclusion. For example, a few yrs ago we ran a wish list on the STMFC and, I noted that one car that was missing in action was an N&W hopper. N&W had thousands [ I'm not gonna look the numbers up ] of hopper cars and not one good model was available. Some very learned western oriented folks pointed out that an N&W hopper was not a good choice because it never left home rails. I, in turn, pointed out [ I had Richard Prince's excellent book on N&W in front of me which included a chapter on coal movements ] that N&W hoppers carried much more coal into the midwest [ Illinois, Ohio, Indiana ] than they carried through Norfolk and that N&W hoppers moved in bulk in NYC and Pennsy trains....in particular to the Great Lake area. The point was that N&W hoppers were common on RRs in the midwest region. Video tapes of B&O and NKP, for instance show strings of them. The point is, disagreement is not bad...we learn from such. I should also point out that N&W hopper cars seldom ventured west of the Mississippi River and only very rarely wandered over Sherman Hill but, nevertheless, the legend of the N&W hopper on Sherman Hill was born at that time. Coincidentally, about that time, Eastern Car Works produced a model of an N&W H2a hopper car. While a "flat kit", I thought it made into a nice model and commented on that. Another learned modeler in the east was not convinced and implied that I might need an analyst. Well...I couldn't argue with that judgement [ could anyone who has run Prototype Rails for nine consecutive yrs qualify as sane? ] but I did gently point out that the concept of the STMFC is that the members can applaud a model's attributes or cuss them...free from criticism. The learned modeler strongly agreed. I might note that that car still resides in my rendition of Laramie, WY...no doubt waiting for its brothers to show up.

"well, I don't know *what*, but people sure get
short-tempered on here, so I have to figure it's something bad."

I guess I don't see that. Certainly I have disagreed with the N-G theory in its most basic form and I take positions on color presentation that is in conflict with that of some others. We're all still here and we even drink beer together in Cocoa Beach in Jan.

Mike Brock

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson

Um, better cut back on the caffeine, Kurt. Either you care or you
don't. Jack Burgess's example of putting the right interior in a box
car and then gluing the door shut illustrates the point.
Standard statement: it's your railroad, your models, your
operation. Do what ya want, when ya want, as often as ya want. It only
hasta be prototype if you so choose. The discussion you mock, Kurt, is
for those who do care.

----- Original Message -----

I completely understand the idea of doing things right. Jack Burgess' example has a parallel in the scale modeling world that goes by the shorthand ". . . Because I'LL know." I do it myself on my models.

What I am commenting on is the tone of the messages. You mentioned the guy who puts up a picture of something on his layout fascia. Why would he have to remind himself that it was legitimate on his railroad? Why would I "need to demonstrate" (your words) the plausibity of a scenario if I had researched it and knew it was fact? Obviously the thrust is that there are others on here or out there judging you whether you like it or not, and while you have a choice on how you model you had dammed well better choose correctly or . . . well, I don't know *what*, but people sure get short-tempered on here, so I have to figure it's something bad.

What I find really odd is this: If I recall correctly, there isn't any sort of actual competition at prototype modeler meets, so about the only forum where somebody could *ask* to be judged by fellow modelers of the same philosophy is rejected outright.

KL

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

devansprr
 

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

Dave Evans wrote:
Because the PRR would load as many of their cars as possible, many of
them would hit interchange roads in higher than the national
percentage rates (and vice-versa).
Is this supposition, Dave, or do you have a factual basis for it?
Tony,

Supposition, and all of my theories and analysis are based on WWII
when many of the car-service rules were suspended.

But I have fragmentary evidence:

- Pictures of WB NYC cars in the Altoona area are rare - too rare.

- PRR operated a very large "EMPTY" west bound classification yard in
Altoona. I think it served 3 purposes - (1) sort WB empty box, gons
and reefers so they could be blocked towards the appropriate home road
(should make for some interesting deviations from the N-G theory for
individual WB freights, which had significant percentages of MT's out
of Altoona - for example a freight headed towards STL may have a bunch
of MT ATSF cars, while one for Chicago may have a similar
concentration of GN and NP MT's), (2) provide a ready source of empty
tonnage to "trim-out" freights to the tonnage ratings of each train's
assigned locomotives when they were about to climb the helper district
from Altoona, through the horseshoe curve, and on to the summit at
Gallitzin, and (3) sort private hoppers that were in captive service
to the many coal mines west of Altoona along the main (or its
branches), between Altoona and the next WB class yard at Pitcairn
(east Pittsburgh).

- Note that blocking empties for common interchange points makes a lot
of sense - Altoona was a "choke point" of the railroad - everything WB
went through there, and while much of the loaded WB traffic was
classified and blocked at the east end, there were lots of MT's to
collect east of Altoona. Once blocked, they could be routed west with
little or no further classification, and while they might be raided by
a yard further west that needed MT's, they should have been able to
move west pretty fast.

- During the WWII era the PRR was still very disciplined about making
money (and they made a lot - but lacked the manpower and traffic lulls
to put it into RoW and equipment maintenance). In an operation big
enough to classify empties (for the portion of the road I wish to
model), I would have to believe that empties were assigned first based
on matching car type to load, and then to make money. Many PRR
employees wanted the road to make money - they had a good retirement
system that was influenced by PRR profits, and the PRR was probably
one of the more tightly managed roads. Based on their solvency into
the late 40's, I would expect that many employees made decisions based
on economic return. I think that sending a loaded PRR box car to the
west coast (when there was a national imbalance of more EB loads than
WB loads), would be a good way to make sure the car generated a lot of
revenue for many weeks, if not months. If the PRR was blocking WB
empties and putting them on symbol freights to get them west ASAP then
the foreign road MT per diem charges could be minimized and I would
think it could be a much better deal than leaving the PRR car MT and
loading a western road's boxcar instead.

- I think a former 50's PRR employee who had worked with car
distribution reported to this group (or possibly the ops-ind group)
that some of the stories about YM's not caring which MT's got sent
where, and not concerned about MT per diem charges, was the exception
on the PRR, not the norm.

So I confess that I am supposing a fair amount on the foreign vs. PRR
loading issue, and the only hard evidence is photographic that shows a
noticeable lack of WB NYC boxcars on trains that were often 30-50% MT.
And I would guess that if the NYC loaded a box in their territory for
a destination west of PA, they would probably try to take it over the
water-level route if they could tarrif it that way.

Unfortunately it seems PRR WWII wheel reports are quite rare - I have
not seen one yet, and only saw one on ebay for a location on the
middle division that went for an obscene amount of money, so real data
is quite scarce.

Please feel free to let me know if I'm wrong on this portion of my
fleet balance theory - this is a work in progress and any good data
and thoughts are greatly appreciated. But assault's on YM habits is
not terribly useful unless it is PRR and WWII.

I'm still pretty confident in the N-G distribution theory for the bulk
of the main-line traffic I want to model (per the earlier posts) and
for guiding my fleet purchases (very little to no captive boxcar
traffic in this region that I am aware of - maybe a little for glass
sand, but not much else).

Thanks,
Dave Evans

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Kurt Laughlin wrote:
What type of consequences are we looking at if we fail to demonstrate properly, or if we do something that is but possible but implausible? Ridicule? Public humiliation? An operator storming out never to return? The destruction of the offending cars?
Um, better cut back on the caffeine, Kurt. Either you care or you don't. Jack Burgess's example of putting the right interior in a box car and then gluing the door shut illustrates the point.
Standard statement: it's your railroad, your models, your operation. Do what ya want, when ya want, as often as ya want. It only hasta be prototype if you so choose. The discussion you mock, Kurt, is for those who do care.

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 on smaller RRs

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson

This is an important point and of course goes far beyond freight
car distribution. But I'd modify Richard's advice to say that if you
are doing something in your modeling which is, let's say, of limited
plausibility but DOES conform to a prototype practice,

**you need to demonstrate same.**

I have a friend who put prototype photographs on his
layout fascia for anything in a scene which might strike some as
implausible.
----- Original Message -----

I'm just curious this post and the previous one, particularly the highlighted text:

Who exactly is it that NEEDS this demonstation when we are operating our layouts?

What type of consequences are we looking at if we fail to demonstrate properly, or if we do something that is but possible but implausible? Ridicule? Public humiliation? An operator storming out never to return? The destruction of the offending cars?

If it was me, and the response was anything more than "Oh-oh Kurt - watch out for flying pigs 'cause here comes that Ball car - ha ha!" I doubt I'd ever let the SOB back in my house.

That's just me though.

KL

Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs

Richard Townsend
 

I don't think so.? It means that in the long run you can expect that a MWR box car will show up once in 9847 cars.? But you still could have two or more of them in one train. <VBG>.? But then, in the long run you should expect about 19,694 box cars to go by before you see another MWR car.? It seems to me that the real essential point is that statistics don't necessarily reflect reality, as the YV demonstrates.? Good information on what really happened almost always trumps statistics-based assumptions.

I'll take the MWR box car.? I'll run it with my pickle car to?my pickle canning?plant.


Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, Oregon

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 4:46 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs






Mike Brock does a bit less analysis than Dave Evans, then writes:
Let's see...when 9847 box cars have made an appearance, I can have an
MWR box car show up. That means about every 100 op sessions. Hmmm.
Anyone need an MWR box car?
I think you've grasped the essential point, Mike <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