Date   

Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Robert kirkham
 

Generally what I have done with the local archives is provide them with a "case for change", which usually means linking a group of their own photos with their own correctly captioned material, or (less easy) other documents or sources of information into a 5 or 10 line essay demonstrating the error and the correct information. This too has not always been successful (sometimes it isn't even acknowledged), but locally that seems to have more to do with the time and resources available to the archives staff, and less about an absence of logic or respect for accuracy or distrust of the source (me).

Rob Kirkham
--------------------------------------------------
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@signaturepress.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2009 9:18 PM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Steve Lucas wrote:
Some archives/museums/repositories will not entertain correction
from "ousiders" not having the appropriate suffix (or
"qualification") preceding/succeeding their surname. So we are
blessed with erroneous captions at the archive level from "learned"
staff.
In all fairness, Steve, every archivist has experienced the
self-described "expert" who offers many "factual" inputs which turn
out to have no foundation. You are effectively asking staff to
differentiate input on the basis of "knowing the experts." I'd agree
that going with name suffixes is not sufficient, but neither is going
with an individual's sense of confidence (or bluster). Just put
yourself on the other side of that desk, conversing with a visitor you
have never met or heard of, before you are too critical.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Steve Lucas wrote:
Some archives/museums/repositories will not entertain correction from "ousiders" not having the appropriate suffix (or "qualification") preceding/succeeding their surname. So we are blessed with erroneous captions at the archive level from "learned" staff.
In all fairness, Steve, every archivist has experienced the self-described "expert" who offers many "factual" inputs which turn out to have no foundation. You are effectively asking staff to differentiate input on the basis of "knowing the experts." I'd agree that going with name suffixes is not sufficient, but neither is going with an individual's sense of confidence (or bluster). Just put yourself on the other side of that desk, conversing with a visitor you have never met or heard of, before you are too critical.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Don--You are very fortunate. Some archives/museums/repositories will not entertain correction from "ousiders" not having the appropriate suffix (or "qualification") preceding/succeeding their surname. So we are blessed with erroneous captions at the archive level from "learned" staff. And faleshoods repeated often enough become the "truth".

To cite a Canadian example, the first Canadian railway, the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railway opened in 1836, is often cited as being laid to 5'-6" "Provincial" gauge, not the standard gauge that it actually was laid to.

Caveat Emptor...

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Don Strack" <donstrack@...> wrote:

Jim Mischke wrote:

When I informed the curator of this mistake, he said that Mr. Kettering
said
it was Mr. Emerson and that was the way it would remain. (Who am I to
question the original source?)
I've offered so many corrections to the Shipler digital photo collections at
Utah State Historical Society covering 1904-1939, that they added a new
"Notes" field to show corrections, etc., over above what their source said,
the source being the photographer's index notebook.

Freight car content: There are several Shipler photos showing a Link Belt
boxcar loader at a couple Utah coal mines, showing how the loader tipped the
wooden cars on their ends while a conveyor belt gently piled the coal in
each end. I've always wanted to model such a beast someday.

Don Strack


Re: Request for info about SFRD Mechanical Reefers

Schuyler Larrabee
 

Same kit.

SGL


Yes to Golden Spike/Silver Streak. I've never seen a release
from Walthers. Walthers did release an insulated box car kit
that was a flat sided kit but I don't know its origin.

Tim O'Connor

At 5/23/2009 08:49 AM Saturday, you wrote:
Tim, Is Pacific HO the car that was released as Golden Spike, Walthers, Silver Streak etc?

Bill McCoy
Jax

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> , Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
wrote:


classes and build dates were for the following SFRD
mechanical reefers, listed in the January 1957 ORER:

SFRD 1000-1004 (Rr-?)
SFRD 2000-2108 (Rr-?)
SFRD 3150-3179 (Rr-?)

3150-3179 were Rr-54. There is a 1953 builder photo on page 171
of the Great Yellow Fleet. Sadly, there are only four accurate
HO scale models of mechanical refrigerators: one BRE/FGE (plastic
Pacific HO), one FGE (WrightTrak resin), and two post 1960 PFE
models that arrived in 2009 from Red Caboose and Intermountain.
Athearn makes three others w/ varying degrees of inaccuracy and
only one of those resembles a pre-1960 model.

The good news is that with Archer rivets scratchbuilding one is
not nearly as hard as it used to be...

Tim O'Connor







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GN Empire Builder Lettering

Brian Carlson <brian@...>
 

A few weeks ago I asked about the GN lettering applied in the mid 1950's I
learned from those emails that it is called Empire Builder lettering. I am
looking for either a source for an IM 12 panel boxcar in mineral brown with
the empire builder lettering, or a source for decals to do the same. I
purchased a vermillion Empire Builder 12 panel car but it is too new for my
era so it will go into the sell pile.


Brian J. Carlson, P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Don Strack <donstrack@...>
 

Jim Mischke wrote:

When I informed the curator of this mistake, he said that Mr. Kettering
said
it was Mr. Emerson and that was the way it would remain. (Who am I to
question the original source?)
I've offered so many corrections to the Shipler digital photo collections at
Utah State Historical Society covering 1904-1939, that they added a new
"Notes" field to show corrections, etc., over above what their source said,
the source being the photographer's index notebook.

Freight car content: There are several Shipler photos showing a Link Belt
boxcar loader at a couple Utah coal mines, showing how the loader tipped the
wooden cars on their ends while a conveyor belt gently piled the coal in
each end. I've always wanted to model such a beast someday.

Don Strack


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

water.kresse@...
 

I has not been GMI for a long time.  It is now the Kettering University.  GM is now only one of many financial and co-op supporters.



Are you talking about the current Scharchburg Archives?   Richard P. Scharchburg, its original curator when it was the Kettering Foundation Archives, was always very helpful and receptive.  After Richard's untimely death, it has since gone many curators.



Al Kresse

Romeo, Michigan

----- Original Message -----
From: "jim_mischke" <jmischke@worldnet.att.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2009 4:53:25 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions


Two examples:


1)  When I visited the Charles Kettering archives at the General Motors Institute library (GMI, Flint, Mich.) a few years ago, I found reference to a photo of Mr. Kettering with B&O's CMO George Emerson in the finding aids.  Emerson photos are rare.

Upon retrieval, the actual photo was not Emerson, but his B&O boss, Vice President C. W. Galloway, at the controls of the first EMC EA in 1937.

When I informed the curator of this mistake, he said that Mr. Kettering said it was Mr. Emerson and that was the way it would remain. (Who am I to question the original source?)


Freight car content:  at the time it was open to the public every day (I have no idea how GM's finaicial troubles affect their library but it can't be good), this libary had a COMPLETE set of SAE papers, including railroad rolling stock topics.  This is impossible to find elsewhere.  Most libraries just have the bound transactions, a greatest hits treatment.



Which reminds me of ....


2)  At the Barriger 15 years ago, I found a Porter Industrial Locomotive Catalog in the Union Pacific gas turbine file.  A grtoss mistake.   The then curator responded that if it was there, Mr. Barriger must have had a good reason to put it there.   This misfiling was before much of this was cataloged, hence impossible to find with finding aids.  Provinance is king, even when absurdly wrong.









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

Two weeks ago I was researching the M&StL at the Mercantile Library in St.
Louis, accessing the Barriger Collection. While going through John
Barriger's photo album of the M&StL photos, I noticed more than a few photo
captions contained errors. While these were not freight car photos, a person
using this collection as a first source of historic value, could come away
with incorrect information in their notes. I mentioned the errors to the
attendant, but had no way of correcting the captions. While I knew the
correct information for the M&StL, the experince made me suspicious of other
"facts" recorded for which I was not familiar. I know, you should always
double check and verify, but sometimes when doing historic research you only
have one source.

As to captions in books and magazines, as an author I have submitted
captions which were not used or edited to where I hardly recognized them. If
the person who does the finally proof reading does not know the subject
matter, well .....

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

After reading quite a few comments it seems clear that in some books the captions...information other than photos...are very suspect while in others the written information is quite good and reliable. We learn, of course, from experience. Eventually, we learn to avoid acceptance of written information in certain publications while we can rely on that in others. However...is any of this not expected? Simply change "Let the Buyer Beware" to "Let the Reader Beware". I mean...I do seem to recall learning at an early age to not accept anything without investigation. That's one of the guiding principles of the STMFC. State your case and the members will either be persuaded or...maybe not. We probably need to exercise the same judgement while reading anything anywhere.

As a rule, members of the STMFC try very hard to ferret out of the available historical information the "truth". Sometimes it is not clear. Sometimes what appears to be clear might not be because we only have a tiny sample of data to work from. In most, if not all cases, however, the members of the STMFC try to point us in the right directions. Regretfully, there are a few others...fortunately not in the STMFC that I am aware of...that have very useful information that is not made available to hard working authors until after publication at which time it is gleefuly presented. It is this practice that I find annoying. Unfortunately it allows mistakes to enter into otherwise outstanding works since even the best available information might be in error...given the record keeping of various RR's.

Mike Brock


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

jim mischke wrote:
2. Mr. Bossler had earler submitted a prelimiary draft to Morning Sun. When he sent the updated revised manuscript to the publisher, he was told the first one was good enough. So none of the B&O expert input was used and it shows.
Sounds like our boy Yanosey.

With Morning Sun, TLC and many other railroad publishers, all value added comes from the author. There is no such thing as a first draft. The first and only submitted draft needs to be flawless.
Um, maybe not all publishers? <g> We ordinarily edit extensively, except with the rare author who really gets it all right himself.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

jim_mischke <jmischke@...>
 

Two examples:


1) When I visited the Charles Kettering archives at the General Motors Institute library (GMI, Flint, Mich.) a few years ago, I found reference to a photo of Mr. Kettering with B&O's CMO George Emerson in the finding aids. Emerson photos are rare.

Upon retrieval, the actual photo was not Emerson, but his B&O boss, Vice President C. W. Galloway, at the controls of the first EMC EA in 1937.

When I informed the curator of this mistake, he said that Mr. Kettering said it was Mr. Emerson and that was the way it would remain. (Who am I to question the original source?)


Freight car content: at the time it was open to the public every day (I have no idea how GM's finaicial troubles affect their library but it can't be good), this libary had a COMPLETE set of SAE papers, including railroad rolling stock topics. This is impossible to find elsewhere. Most libraries just have the bound transactions, a greatest hits treatment.



Which reminds me of ....


2) At the Barriger 15 years ago, I found a Porter Industrial Locomotive Catalog in the Union Pacific gas turbine file. A grtoss mistake. The then curator responded that if it was there, Mr. Barriger must have had a good reason to put it there. This misfiling was before much of this was cataloged, hence impossible to find with finding aids. Provinance is king, even when absurdly wrong.

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

Two weeks ago I was researching the M&StL at the Mercantile Library in St.
Louis, accessing the Barriger Collection. While going through John
Barriger's photo album of the M&StL photos, I noticed more than a few photo
captions contained errors. While these were not freight car photos, a person
using this collection as a first source of historic value, could come away
with incorrect information in their notes. I mentioned the errors to the
attendant, but had no way of correcting the captions. While I knew the
correct information for the M&StL, the experince made me suspicious of other
"facts" recorded for which I was not familiar. I know, you should always
double check and verify, but sometimes when doing historic research you only
have one source.

As to captions in books and magazines, as an author I have submitted
captions which were not used or edited to where I hardly recognized them. If
the person who does the finally proof reading does not know the subject
matter, well .....

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

jim_mischke <jmischke@...>
 

Craig Bossler did the same thing for the B&O freight car book.

Except ....

1. The B&O point of contact pointedly did not invite our main B&O freight car expert to the evening slide show, mostly because that contact person wanted to be the big hero with no competition. Inexcusable.

2. Mr. Bossler had earler submitted a prelimiary draft to Morning Sun. When he sent the updated revised manuscript to the publisher, he was told the first one was good enough. So none of the B&O expert input was used and it shows. There is a major error in every other caption. A credible first draft, but it is not reliable enough for even reference.


With Morning Sun, TLC and many other railroad publishers, all value added comes from the author. There is no such thing as a first draft. The first and only submitted draft needs to be flawless.



To quote Henry Ford, "All history is bunk." He is so right.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, water.kresse@... wrote:



Guys,



Dave Hickcox (C&O Color Guide, Morning Sun) had the caption process down correct -- bring in the "experts" for beer and treats in a hotel room after a local train show and have them review the captions with the slides in front of them with him making the corrections/additions on 3 x5 cards for each slide.



Short and sweet for the reviewers.  Payment:  free book, good friendship and help/leads in the future.



Al Kresse


----- Original Message -----
From: cinderandeight@...
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:19:34 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions








Guys,
I agree with so much of what you are all saying. Recently I was asked
"off handedly" if I could help with the captions of a new book. I agreed,
and the next day I received over 80 photos to caption, so I emailed back
asking for a timeframe for publication, and when he'd like the captions.
The answer was "the book is due out at the end of next month (six weeks
away), and I needed the captions two weeks ago."
I spent the next 7 days almost completely writing and rewriting
captions, farming out a small number and getting constant bombardments of emails
from the impatient editor.
The book was out on time, but given more time I certainly could have
done a lot better job. Errors might have crept into the process, but I
tried to keep the captions "within my base of knowledge". We all have a few
misconceptions from time to time, the learning process is ongoing for
everyone.
Payment for a weeks work? A free copy of the book, and the feeling
you helped record history. This is pretty typical. I wrote the freight car
section for a well known PRR book back in 1993 and got the same constant
harassment from its editor. In the end I cut off the effort at the forth
rewrite of the text. I have my free book, and the feeling I did as good a job
as I could while working 10 hours days, six days a week at a hard outside
job. (I can see Bruce Smith running to his book shelf to figure out which
book it was!)
Is possibly a rule of thumb that the more the captioner gets for his
work, the less likely it will be right? Most of us do this for the love of
it yet.
Rich Burg
**************Huge savings on HDTVs from Dell.com!
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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


Re: 4 sale-Tahoe Model Works New Coil-Elliptic truck and others

WILLIAM PARDIE
 

Hi Andy:

I won't pay for any of your trips with this order, but I will commit
to three of your Branchline Barber truck frames.

I'll get a check off to you.

Just had the counsel and seats recovered on the Goose and have to get
it back together.

Hope to see you later this year.

Bill Pardie

On May 22, 2009, at 11:16 AM, Andy Carlson wrote:



I am offering Brian's trucks for sale to readers of this list.
All TMW trucks are $6.25 list, my price is $5.00/pair

I have the following:

201 Dalmann 2-level plain code 88 wheels
202 Dalmann 2-level lateral device code 88
203 Archbar truck with code 88
204 Bettendorf swing motion with code 88
205 Barber-Bettendorf swing motion code 88
206 Buckeye 50 ton spring plank AAR code 88
207 Double Truss 50 ton AAR self-aligning, spring plankless code 88
208 Coil Eliptic spring plank 50 ton code 88

The above trucks are also available with RP-25 code 110 wheels, same
price

The above trucks are also available less wheelsets for $1.75 pair

******ACCURAIL TRUCKS******
Accurail "Bettendorf" spring plank trucks, less wheelsets $1.00/pair
Proto Accumate semi-scale couplers, 2 pair pack (4 couplers) with
draft gear $2.25/pack
******BRANCHLINE TRAINS TRUCKS******
Branchline Barber 2-A 50 ton plain journal truck less wheelsets
$1.00/pair
******McHENRY Shelf couplers******

McHenry safety shelf couplers 25 pair $22.99 list, $14.00/package of
25 pair

All prices are less shipping. Contact me at
<midcentury@sbcglobal.net> off list (Please). Note: I now accept
PayPal for Payment with a 4% surcharge.

Available now from Tahoe Model Works is the new HO Coil-Elliptic 50-
ton freight car truck.

This is the Double Truss version, with a centered leaf spring with
coil springs on both sides. The prototype trucks either had a spring
plank or were Self Aligning Spring Plankless. I've done the truck
with a spring plank.

The railroads that I know of using this kind of truck on some
equipment during our period include BAR, C&O, CGW, DT&I, Erie, LNE,
N&W, VGN and WM. Some AC&F tank cars built in 1937 also had them.-
Andy Carlson
Ojai CA





Code 88--NOT!

Brian Leppert <b.leppert@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Andy Carlson <midcentury@...> wrote:
SNIP

I am offering Brian's trucks for sale to readers of this list.
I have the following:
SNIP

208 Coil Eliptic spring plank 50 ton code 88
"Code 88" is a NMRA term for HOn3 RP-25 wheel contour dimensions. Besides being .088" wheel width, the flanges are .005" narrower and shorter. Expect trouble on trackwork layed to Code 110 standards.

The "semi-scale" .088" width wheelsets, as offered on my trucks and available from InterMountain, Reboxx and Branch Line, conform to NMRA's Code 110 dimensions except for overall width which is .022" narrower. The flanges still match the normal Code 110 standards.

I think the only complaint I've read about semi-scale wheelsets is from the owner of a UP Sherman Hill layout with #12 turnouts. We should all be blessed with #12 turnouts!

Brian Leppert
Tahoe Model Works
Carson City, NV


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "jerryglow2" <jerryglow@...> wrote:

IMHO it's the same mentality that has led to the preponderance of ready to run cars instead of kits.

Jerry Glow
Jerry,
It seems like quite a long mental leap from photo captions, whether good, bad or indifferent, to RTR models vs. kits but any mental leaping I might do seems to get shorter with each passing year.

I, like the rest of you I'm sure, have a stash of unassembled kits going back to the 1960s. (In the 1950s as a student I couldn't afford to buy kits faster than I could assemble them.) That stash is one of the reasons I now buy RTR whenever available. As slowly as I work I'll be long dead before they all get built. Why add to the stash of cars I can't run when the original goal was to populate a model railroad with freight cars I can run.

Just a thought. YMMV.

Gene Green


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

???

If book captions were uniformly excellent wouldn't that encourage people to just read them and take them at face value without any extra effort? Bad captions or image only books would seem to be more to your liking as they would force everyone to research and cross-check everything. :-)

Seriously though, if everyone built kits to match the cars in the pictures wouldn't that be desirable? Would a model train running a perfect wood-frame boxcar between a perfect double-stack carrier and a perfect 1932 AAR car be better or worse than what you typically see on layouts today?

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: jerryglow2

IMHO it's the same mentality that has led to the preponderance of ready to run cars instead of kits.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, asychis@... wrote:

I am absolutely astonished and truly flabbergasted! I had no idea that
this is the case with many railroad book readers! It reads as if perhaps we
could save a lot of time and effort just putting our coloring books! My
four-year old granddaughter would love it! Also reminds me of the scenes in
Fahrenheit 451...just pictures no words.


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Why is anyone surprised? Just a few days ago on this list it was written: "I've given people the same advice about Sweetland that I do
about the Henderson freight car books: enjoy the photos but put your thumb over the captions while doing so, lest the foolishness seep into
your system."

Apparently the captions in books to date have been so bad that people have been encouraged to ignore them and just look at the pictures. Now, when people actually *do just that*, we are astonished and flabbergasted? Really now, once the word got out that "most books have worthless captions", did you expect the casual reader not to apply it to everything, just to be safe? Yes, yes, you only meant that people should ignore the captions in SOME books while swallowing others whole, but where is the regular book buyer/reader supposed to turn to find a list of the "approved" texts? Where are the errata sheets for the bad ones published?

Nowhere, mon frere.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: asychis@aol.com

Tony Thompson wrote:

"I will second what Gene Green said: many book buyers don't
read captions. I've been asked more than once about some fact
concerning a photo in one of my books, and have replied with some
astonishment, "That's explained in the caption." To which the usual
response is, "oh yeah?"

I am absolutely astonished and truly flabbergasted! I had no idea that
this is the case with many railroad book readers! It reads as if perhaps we
could save a lot of time and effort just putting our coloring books! My
four-year old granddaughter would love it! Also reminds me of the scenes in
Fahrenheit 451...just pictures no words.


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

jerryglow2
 

IMHO it's the same mentality that has led to the preponderance of ready to run cars instead of kits.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, asychis@... wrote:

I am absolutely astonished and truly flabbergasted! I had no idea that
this is the case with many railroad book readers! It reads as if perhaps we
could save a lot of time and effort just putting our coloring books! My
four-year old granddaughter would love it! Also reminds me of the scenes in
Fahrenheit 451...just pictures no words.

Jerry Michels


Re: Request for info about SFRD Mechanical Reefers

jerryglow2
 

Was it a complete kit or just sides and ends? (which is what I had). It may have been a plastic version of something once offered in metal.

Jerry Glow

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

Interesting, thanks Dennis. Walthers also tooled a composite
gondola (USRA?), another flat kit. I have one of those.

Tim O


Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

asychis@...
 

Tony Thompson wrote:

"I will second what Gene Green said: many book buyers don't
read captions. I've been asked more than once about some fact
concerning a photo in one of my books, and have replied with some
astonishment, "That's explained in the caption." To which the usual
response is, "oh yeah?"

I am absolutely astonished and truly flabbergasted! I had no idea that
this is the case with many railroad book readers! It reads as if perhaps we
could save a lot of time and effort just putting our coloring books! My
four-year old granddaughter would love it! Also reminds me of the scenes in
Fahrenheit 451...just pictures no words.

Jerry Michels
**************An Excellent Credit Score is 750. See Yours in Just 2 Easy
Steps!
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ExcfooterNO62)


Re: Request for info about SFRD Mechanical Reefers

Tim O'Connor
 

At 5/23/2009 10:08 PM Saturday, you wrote:

Question:

I have a number of Silver streak 50' mechanical reefers for BREX and FGEX.? Silver streak kit
# 2002 is the BREX car with a 3-59 build date.? Are these the same cars?? Are they correct for BREX and FGEX or do I need to re-paint them SFRD?

TIA

Rich Orr

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