Date   
Re: Ratios

Dave Nelson
 

The work that I did with Tim Gilbert 20 odd years ago was very specific to WWII to around 1956, mainline trunk routes, initially for boxcars and then flatcars too.  We had far too little data for before WWII or after the mid 50’s to even murmur speculative numbers.

 

That said, it was always my working assumption that WWII really scattered the boxcar fleet. It seems reasonable that the economic collapse of the great depression may have had the opposite effect.  Before that… who knows? 

YMMV.

 

For your specific question I think the answer may be found in the ICC Blue books of whatever era you are interested in.  If Tim were still with us he’d know for sure… and probably provide you with the answer.

 

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Armand Premo
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2019 12:40 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Ratios

 

Ratios varied from decade to decade, I have felt that the wood to steel ratio was important,at least to me.I had too many steel cars because that was all that was available.at that time.Armand Premo

Re: covered hopper grays

Greg Martin
 

Eric,

You don't say what rra or what railroad,  it does make a difference. 



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Eric Mumper <eric.mumper@...>
Date: 9/12/19 4:13 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] covered hopper grays

Group,

Over the last few years there have been a lot of new model paints for regular old freight car color to cover all the variations.  Is there anything like that for covered hopper grays?  While going through RP Cyc 27 there are such color call-outs as Steel Gard Gray (medium gray shade) (the one I am looking for) and Pittsburgh Gray #44122 (medium gray shade).  Are there any known references for these?  Are there any valid model paint colors?  I do see Scalecoat has 2084 UP hopper car gray.  Matching by eye is out for all of these as the only photos are B&W.  Intermountain and any other company doing covered hoppers must have gotten info from somewhere (whether it is accurate or not is another matter.)  It would be nice to have actual data for this as a good starting point and work from there.  Thanks.

Eric Mumper
--
Hey Boss,


Somehow I got deleted from this group in late May. I guess someone didn't like me. Jail is a lonely place.

Greg Martin 

Re: covered hopper grays

Eric Mumper
 

Greg,

RP Cyc 27 focuses on the ACF 1958 cuft covered hoppers.  Being a Steam Era Freight Car List I am mostly interested in the late 1940s to early 1950s.  Railroad is not mentioned as the idea is to find a range of grays applicable to covered hoppers just like the range of FCC now being offered.  Also many of these covered hoppers would have been in SHPX lease service.  What does "medium gray shade" mean when converting to available paint colors?  Most available model grays are either RR locomotive specific or military FS type colors.

Eric Mumper

Re: Ratios

np328
 

I would and still take the word of anything Dave Nelson and Tim Gilbert did as gospel.  After that, I support Bruce Smith's reply to get further clarity.  
Seeing Tony Wagner's post, yes it may well  require a goodly amount of research on your part. How you look upon doing that will affect how deeply you want to dig. 

  
Set some significant time aside, grab your favorite beverage and search this list for Nelson-Gilbert or Gilbert-Nelson, and the same letters without the dash or hyphen "-".  Read all of those. They provide a good start without leaving your chair.   

Brian Carlson did an excellent presentation years (a decade or two ago by now) at CCB. It inspired me to follow his example and later do a presentation at Naperville Sunshine, and the following CCB titled Closer to the Rail Head. 

In a few words, taking the above research by Dave Nelson and Tim Gilbert, and using the reasoning Bruce put forth, that gets you a national balance. Then determine the geographic parameters, of the overall rail division you want to model. Search that area for major industries in that area or just beyond.  And interchanges. That will get regional flavor. 

And the time frame you model affects things.  As has been stated here repeatedly, the closer you can get a year, season, month, as a setpoint, the more valid your data search as applied will be.

    I model the Twin Cities - Twin Ports, late September of 1953 and what did I find?   At first I thought it would be heavy northbound grain trains of 40 foot boxcars to the ports, and in some manner - it was that. 
     However, and here is where the local major industries had effect, there was heavier coal traffic coming south for domestic and commercial heating than the grain going north. Something that would taper off by the late 50s as homes switched to natural gas. (Hence the importance of timeframe.)  Still that coal traffic south, via hopper, gon, and boxcars was the major tonnage in either direction and helped determine my car purchases. 
   
     A steel mill in the Duluth area that sent pig iron ingots south via gons, in addition to boxcar loads of wire and nails southbound in significant amounts entered in.

   
     There was a pipeline running east to west through both the Twin Cities and Twin Ports and they balanced transfers between the pipelines via rail in tank cars, in significant numbers. I need to clarify, both pipelines had transfer points directly on or adjacent to my railroad. Also as I have posted here prior, some tank cars loaded from Montana and Wyoming to Minnesota, enough that it enters in as a traffic factor to me.

    
     A surprise was meat, there were the St. Paul stockyards and several meat distribution offices in Duluth. Swift, Armour, and others. That in addition to a slaughter house in West Duluth which meant stock cars northbound. From the St. Paul stockyards went carloads of meat for export via ship. How or why did they do that? I don't need to know, all I needed was the carload numbers of meat reefers.  

    The connection from Canada via the DW&P into Duluth was significant, as I have posted to this list before, 44 cars per day on average on my railroad, CN cars, mostly of newsprint, going south loaded, and returning empty. I bought a whole bunch of CN TLT cars for representation there. 
   
    All of this affected my balance of the purchase of gons, hoppers, reefers, tank cars, in addition to boxcars. 

And all found through research.
         
        How deeply do you want to research, that depends and is up to you. I will add that there were several branch lines off the above Twin Ports -Twin Cities. The Grantsburg branch and the Stillwater branch were two of those. The Stillwater branch connected with the Omaha and Milwaukee at Stillwater, MN. There was pulpwood that came off the Grantsburg branch, then went south to the Stillwater branch, and was transported by prior named connections to papermills in central Wisconsin. Again, something that affects modeled traffic.     

Of steel vs wood sided, I cannot give you a clear answer. Other have posted on wood vs steel car by year. You'll just have to search this list for those posts and that data.
However Mike Brock himself posted this in the files https://realstmfc.groups.io/g/main/files/DS-SS-Steel%20Split%201938%20to%201950%20Summary.xls   

           Perhaps if you named your region and date frame modeled, others could help.                                     Jim Dick - Roseville, MN 

Re: Ratios

Armand Premo
 



On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 12:19 PM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Armand,

Still don’t believe (or remember) what you have been repeatedly told here over the past, what 20 years or so?

It’s really simple… estimates are as follows (and these estimates are based on hard numbers):

Home Road house cars - 25%
Home Road gondolas - 50%
Home Road hoppers - 75%

Foreign road house cars - distributed essentially in the national fleet percentages
Foreign road flat cars - national fleet percentages
Reefers - if originating traffic, nearly (but not completely) 100% “home” road (ie, the associated company, SFRD for ATSF, PFE for SP and UP, etc)
if receiving traffic, closer to national fleet numbers
if modeling WWII, national fleet numbers for everything
Tank cars - very era dependent, but typically regional, unless modeling WWII tank car trains
Foreign road gondolas - regional railroads
Foreign road hoppers - nearest neighbors, but often very specific for location, connection, and cargo. e.g C&O and N&W cars interchanged onto the PRR on Lines West for delivery to the great lakes, but almost never seen on Lines East PRR (except during WWII).

Exceptions - lines with specific traffic (most often branch lines), where the cars needed might be in pool service such as automobile manufacturing.

Note bene: These are FLEET percentage, so before Mike Brock has to post yet another disclaimer about trains full of  SP cars on the UP, these numbers DO NOT apply to every train, but rather to the aggregate total of cars. So, for example, trains on my (proposed) layout on the PRR stopping to interchange cars in Columbia PA with the READING will have a higher than national average percentage of READING cars to reflect that local traffic, but the rest of the trains will have almost none, since READING traffic of that nature was unlikely to be seen going past an interchange and my overall READING percentage will be just about the national fleet number!

Regards

Bruce


Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."




On Sep 13, 2019, at 10:43 AM, Armand Premo <arm.p.prem@...> wrote:

I would like to open the topic of ratios and how they might be used to develop a realistic roster for the specific era,road and locations Armand Premo

Carolinas RPM Meet November 8th and 9th 2019

O Fenton Wells
 

We invite you to our Carolinas School RPM, Winston-Salem, NC, Friday, November 8 & Saturday, November 9, 2019.
 
This is the third year under this format, and we are really excited about our line-up of speakers and hands-on demonstrators.  
 
Our two day program is more than lectures:  you will also have the opportunity to learn, hands-on, from some of the best modelers in the country so you will leave with new techniques that you have practiced!
 
For 1940’s to 1970’s modelers, Fenton Wells is presenting a great program on how to accurately model the Seaboard AF-2, 3 and 4 double door, 40’ box cars.
 
Fenton is also going to present an interesting history of Southern Railway’s Saluda Grade.  Bob Harpe, the king of “y’all line diesels”, will show you how to model the Western Maryland Chop Nose GP9.
 
For modelers of the modern era, our 2019 “Bash n’ Build” clinic, James Wall will provide step-by-step instructions on kit bashing the Accurail ACF covered hopper to be an accurate model of the Southern Railways ACF covered hoppers.
 
Additionally, we will have clinics presented by Randy McKenzie, Jack Dziadul, Dustin Whitten, Lao Labra, Tom Sinks, Ken Rickman, Paul Faulk and Dr. David Bott.
 
Butch Eyler will be helping you with hands-on weathering, and Lao Labra will be showing airbrush techniques after his program in a hands-on demonstration.
 
Also, Tony Sissons will be demonstrating his technique bending handrails and hand grabs fitted to “out of the box” models.
 
To help with research, Bob’s Photos will be back again this year.
 
If you are one of the first 20 to register, you will receive a complimentary Accurail ACF hopper that is the base kit for our Southern Railway Bash & Build Hopper!  [We thank Accurail for its generosity!!]
 
Send your $25 registration fee to:   Carolinas RPM, 
     c/o Kevin W. von der Lippe  
     P. O. Box 13642
 
We hope to see you in Winston-Salem on Nov. 8&9.
 

Re: Ratios

Hugh Guillaume
 

Like most people, I have far more rolling stock than will fit onto my model railroad.  To determine how many freight cars to place on the tracks I calculated the capacity of all sidings - yard, passing and industrial based on 40' cars - and divided that in half to set the maximum number of cars to be on the railroad at one time.  My model railroad is based on an NYC single-track branch line to a coal mine so I have more NYC cars than other roads.  Also, I have no refrigerator cars because I have no on-line industry that would use reefers.  The coal mine has a capacity of nine two-bay hoppers so I need only eighteen hoppers.  I have one retail coal yard so I need two hoppers from roads that serviced anthracite mines - one load and one empty.  I used information that I found years ago in magazine articles to determine how many foreign road cars to have on the roster.  It all worked out well because my model railroad is not clogged with cars, there is no gridlock anywhere.  Like prototype railroads, my model railroad has lots of empty track which I think enhances the realism.  Too many model railroads have too much track and way too many cars and locomotives.  On my model railroad there are four NYC GP-7 locomotives and four NYC cabooses.  Passenger service was discontinued.  The era is 1953 with no rolling stock or vehicles any newer than 1953.  Discussing ratios is an excellent topic, by the way!!!

Re: Ratios

Randy Hammill
 

Although I generally agree with the Gilbert-Nelson approach, along with Bruce Smith’s percentages, they are very dependent upon the road you model. 

Bruce models the PRR, so 75% home road hoppers on any coal hauling road makes sense. But I model the NH that has a modest fleet of hoppers of less than 1,000, with little originating traffic that would send them offline. So home road hoppers make up a very small part of my fleet.

Understanding your road’s traffic is very important. For example, as much as 60% of the coal entering CT in my era was by water. That appears to have been Pocahontas and other bituminous coming through Baltimore, and I think was the primary source of coal loaded in NH hoppers to be distributed to industry, but particularly the railroad’s facilities. On the other hand, anthracite came primarily via Maybrook, unless you were in the vicinity of NYC, in which case it came mostly by float via Jersey City and Greenville. So I go with the anthracite hoppers as a mix of 75% home road of their loading point.

So the mix of hoppers is very dependent on whether you’re modeling a coal road or not, I think.

Gondolas and flats are the same, and since the NH was heavily involved in manufacturing, gondolas were also predominantly foreign. Like the hoppers, I think gondolas and flats are far more dependent on the home road of the loading point. 

I also think we often have too little variety (and too few) “rare” cars. I have two pictures, from different days, with ATSF Ga-8 gons, and these weren’t photographed because of their rarity, they just happened to be on those trains. Likewise the photos of the Litchfield & Madison gondola in New Britain. Numerous pictures of C&I hoppers, etc.

I’m not saying those happen every day, but based on those and many, many other photos that have “rare” cars (often in the background) show that there’s a wider variety than many allow. I think we often make the mistake of not having enough different “rare” cars to mix in, making the couple of rare cars that are owned very common on our layouts.

Randy
--

Randy Hammill
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954
http://newbritainstation.com

Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Jim Betz
 

Hi,

  Recent post to another group

  https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/SHORPY-8c15269a.preview.jpg

brings up the question of "how does one achieve the variety of the roof details
that is evident in this picture?" ... as in are there any products out there that
provide the minor variations such as the roof walks (both how wide the boards
are and the fact that many boards are not straight/true).  Another detail is the
way the L-grabs have verticals that are 'truly vertical' at the corner.  Etc., etc.
etc.  
  On the question of the width of the running boards - on the first -full- car you
can just make out the "N. P." ... so I'm wondering if different RRs had different
specs for their running boards?  Or is that tied to the mfgr of the car(s)? (Note
that the 2 cars on either side of the 1st full car have narrower boards.)

  Also note that the string of cars shows that almost every other car is canted
a different direction (left/right) ... which indicates that the cars were rocking
and rolling their way into that curve.  I've -never- seen a layout that achieves
this particular effect ... that didn't also have a lot of "layout induced derailments".
What seems to be needed to be done to produce this would be very small
height shims one one side and then the other ... say about a car length or
so for each direction.  Yes?  Have you ever seen this produced in a way
that makes the cars rock back and forth - only slightly but enough so if you
look for it you notice it?
                                                      - Jim B. in Burlington, Wa.
               

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Jim Betz
 

  ... just noticed that you will have to go to the Shorpy site to get the
full details I've posted questions about ... the attached version is
some kind of 'preview' that doesn't expand when clicked on from
this group ... sorry.
                                                                     - Jim B.

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Paul Woods
 

Hi Folks

If you encounter a Shorpy preview like this, all you have to do is copy and paste the link into your web browser, then delete the '.preview' part from the link before hitting enter; this will send you to the high-res version instead.

Regards
Paul



---- On Mon, 16 Sep 2019 05:14:22 +1200 Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote ----

  ... just noticed that you will have to go to the Shorpy site to get the
full details I've posted questions about ... the attached version is
some kind of 'preview' that doesn't expand when clicked on from
this group ... sorry.
                                                                     - Jim B.





Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Eric Hansmann
 

The original is available to download in several sizes through the Library of Congress website at this link.

https://www.loc.gov/item/2017807305/

 

Nearly all of the Shorpy images are in the Library of Congress holdings.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Paul Woods
Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2019 1:24 PM
To: main <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

 

Hi Folks

If you encounter a Shorpy preview like this, all you have to do is copy and paste the link into your web browser, then delete the '.preview' part from the link before hitting enter; this will send you to the high-res version instead.

Regards
Paul

 

 

 

---- On Mon, 16 Sep 2019 05:14:22 +1200 Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote ----

 

  ... just noticed that you will have to go to the Shorpy site to get the
full details I've posted questions about ... the attached version is
some kind of 'preview' that doesn't expand when clicked on from
this group ... sorry.
                                                                     - Jim B.

 

 

 

 

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Jim,

I have never heard of any sort of device to make cars rock, though some do due to inexpert assembly via loose truck screws.

There was a device that made cars coast when kicked loose by a switcher available about 30 years ago. It essentially a special underframe/floor with a large flywheel with a rubber band to a sheave on one of the car axles, and I believe developed by John Allen. I had a couple of these and they didn't work very well; the drag in a train was considerable, there was reduced turning radius for the truck, and control in those days usually wasn't fine enough for a switcher to properly kick the car. Eventually these underframes went away with my Athearn blue box cars.

On one of my portable layouts I had a spur that was sunk into the baseboard so the ties were nearly covered in dirt and a lot of Woodland Scenics foam. I had pounded on the track a bit with a hammer to make the rails uneven (code 70 Lambert track), and my cars did sway somewhat. I never had any derailment problems. It was an interesting experiment, and sinking the track is something I plan for my next layout. One spur will be sunk so the rails are embedded in street paving with cobbles or stone setts, and the other will essentially be in dirt as the track goes into a small iron works yard. I plan to use a piece of Lambert guard rail flex track for these. I'm not going to bang on the rails though.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 9/15/2019 1:12 PM, Jim Betz wrote:
Hi,

  Recent post to another group

  https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/SHORPY-8c15269a.preview.jpg

brings up the question of "how does one achieve the variety of the roof details
that is evident in this picture?" ... as in are there any products out there that
provide the minor variations such as the roof walks (both how wide the boards
are and the fact that many boards are not straight/true).  Another detail is the
way the L-grabs have verticals that are 'truly vertical' at the corner.  Etc., etc.
etc.  
  On the question of the width of the running boards - on the first -full- car you
can just make out the "N. P." ... so I'm wondering if different RRs had different
specs for their running boards?  Or is that tied to the mfgr of the car(s)? (Note
that the 2 cars on either side of the 1st full car have narrower boards.)

  Also note that the string of cars shows that almost every other car is canted
a different direction (left/right) ... which indicates that the cars were rocking
and rolling their way into that curve.  I've -never- seen a layout that achieves
this particular effect ... that didn't also have a lot of "layout induced derailments".
What seems to be needed to be done to produce this would be very small
height shims one one side and then the other ... say about a car length or
so for each direction.  Yes?  Have you ever seen this produced in a way
that makes the cars rock back and forth - only slightly but enough so if you
look for it you notice it?
                                                      - Jim B. in Burlington, Wa.
               

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, Sep 15, 2019 at 12:15 PM, Garth Groff wrote:
Jim,

I have never heard of any sort of device to make cars rock, though some do due to inexpert assembly via loose truck screws.
The big problem with rocking model cars is that physics doesn't scale. Prototype cars rock at a natural frequency of maybe once or twice a minute, guessing here, but it's a slow ponderous motion. Model car with loose truck screws jitter at a frequency of maybe once or twice a SECOND, which looks maniac, not ponderous at all. the effect is just nervous jitters.

Dennis Storzek

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Rufus Cone
 

Two points

The roof on the mentioned car does not have the expected NP features (roof not curved and cast fittings clamping the panel joints are absent at the edges).  From the LOC tif version of the image, I do not "see" the NP initials myself, even after adjustment.  Perhaps the N is the second letter in the reporting mark - suggesting perhaps GN, given the location of the photograph.

To find the Library of Congress version of a Shorpy photo such as this, copy the numerical portion of the Shorpy link 8c15269a into your search engine.  With Google it is the first item to come up.

https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/SHORPY-8c15269a.preview.jpg

...- on the first -full- car you
can just make out the "N. P." ...
--

Rufus Cone
Bozeman, MT

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

Bob Webber
 

I would take note of age, car owner, car outline. The car with the narrower running boards is also a few inches narrower than the others...when you mix 36', 40' 50' etc. in the same train, when you have varying degrees of car widths too due either construction era or home road (look at a X29 vs the same era Western car), when the older a car is, the drier (usually) the boards get, the more "character" is evinced.

The real issue is though not only does the physics not scale as Dennis noted, but the boards width and warping isn't apt to scale (as much). Looking at the boards, some are warping one way, other another - one reason the drawings show specific grain patterns for specific boards in specific places/ The drawings don't just show the base construct, but there is far more to them - the scrap diagrams and the wood grains are critical in learning why a car was built in a specific way - and why and how they age. This is not unlike determining crown and laying the wood - or instilling a crown (by saw or cast) such that the load bears "on top of" the crown.

Most running boards on HO models are one piece - or three. Rarely do people make the effort of actually using three pieces of wood - in the proper sequence and grain pattern . If you are going to speak of variety in terms of the roof though, that's the granularity you are going to have to get to. Note that if you do as some of us did 40 years ago - scribing then shaving the inside of the "boards" to duplicate this (in our heads, anyway) - you end up with ...shaved plastic looking like ...nothing natural.

If you look at the photo, the 2d, 5th & 7th cars are all narrower - and have narrower running boards. When built, they were likely in proportion and within the standards. As cars got wider, the boards got wider. The saddles got wider - think the opposite of airline seat evolution. Too...check out the 7th & 8th cars - those appear to be much shorter, much narrower cars. The photo makes it look like that's 1 car - but check the brake staffs. So...you are looking at two sets of boards - not one that is widely varied. Looking at roofs is a fine thing - regardless. But in context it may make more sense.

At 12:12 PM 9/15/2019, you wrote:
Hi,

Recent post to another group

<https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/SHORPY-8c15269a.preview.jpg>https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/SHORPY-8c15269a.preview.jpg

On the question of the width of the running boards - on the first -full- car you
can just make out the "N. P." ... so I'm wondering if different RRs had different
specs for their running boards? Or is that tied to the mfgr of the car(s)? (Note
that the 2 cars on either side of the 1st full car have narrower boards.)

----------
Bob Webber

Re: Qs Generated by a Shorpy Photo ...

spsalso
 

The car two cars back is likely NP, account of the curved roof.

The car between has an interesting roof.  Hutchins dry lading, perhaps?

The first and second  plank (from the left) on the foreground car have a similar knot arrangement, implying they were adjacent cuts from the log.  FWIW.



Ed

Edward Sutorik

Re: Ratios

Jason Kliewer
 

I've transcribed 10,000 car movements from 1960's train list for the Chicago Great Western and the home road cars only made up 10% of the total.

Along with that, in the top 10 were Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

Jason Kliewer

Re: Ratios

Brian Carlson
 

The G-N or N-G data really only works up to the mid 1950s. This is well stated in the analyses done by Tim and Dave.  Once you get later things changed, piggyback, specialized boxcars, specific service, older cars on the books but stored all over the place (looking at you Pennsy), etc. 

Brian J. Carlson 

On Sep 15, 2019, at 5:53 PM, Jason Kliewer <wcfn100@...> wrote:

I've transcribed 10,000 car movements from 1960's train list for the Chicago Great Western and the home road cars only made up 10% of the total.

Along with that, in the top 10 were Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

Jason Kliewer

Re: Ratios

Tony Thompson
 

Jason Kliewer wrote:

I've transcribed 10,000 car movements from 1960's train list for the Chicago Great Western and the home road cars only made up 10% of the total.

Along with that, in the top 10 were Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

     One factor to consider in evaluating any road is what their proportion was, of originating vs. terminating traffic. One example is the BAR, which originated far more traffic than it received, fully 85 percent of all traffic was originated. This meant that they had to own a big car fleet to serve their shippers.
     A bridge route like the UP was almost the opposite.
     I discussed a Car Service article from the BAR as a part of one of my blog posts a couple of weeks ago, and provided a link to the BAR employee magazine about this. If you're interested, here is a link.


Tony Thompson