Another question from the newbie...
Yeah the newbie's at it again, you've just got to appreciate how steep
the learning curve is ;-)
Let me just say that Kalmbach's book though a good primer is a bit
light so I started looking for some books on freight cars. I'm really
looking for photos of frieght car protypes that ran on or through New
England - B&A (both of them), NH, NYC, PRR, especially B&M.
Anyone got some good suggestion? How is the Classic Freight Cars by
Henry Maywald? Anything else I should look for?
Ted Culotta <tculotta@...>
On Mar 22, 2006, at 9:10 AM, RichBeau wrote:
Yeah the newbie's at it again, you've just got to appreciate how steepRich:
For the NH, try back issues of The Shoreliner (the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association's publication,) the various Morning Sun NH books have good covergae of trains and scenes, particularly the "NH Trackside" ones featuring the work of Arthur Mitchell and Tom McNamara. Also good are the "New Haven Color Pictorial" books from Four Ways West.
645 Tanner Marsh Road, Guilford, CT 06437
On Mar 22, 2006, at 8:10 AM, RichBeau wrote:
I'm not sure if you're implying above that the prototype cars you are looking for are from those roads, or that you're looking for ALL cars that ran on the rails of the roads above? Why is that important? As many long and continuing discussions on this list indicate, you cannot apply the same rules to the distribution of ALL freight cars. Indeed the old Model Railroad model of regional-local distribution has been proven false for many different types of freight car. Here's a brief primer and some sources of information:
Box cars - Distribution according to the national fleet. Unless you model a specific situation that you can document, your box car fleet should model the national fleet (these distributions have been posted here before and I can provide them again off list if needed)
Flat cars - Distribution according to the national fleet.
Gondolas - National - regional distribution. For example, with PRR's HUGE gon fleet, seeing PRR Gons on the UP isn't that unusual, but on the PRR around Pittsburgh, you would expect to see PRR and connection railroads in the highest percentages and you would be unlikely to see a UP gon.
Hoppers - Regional - local distribution. A high percentage of hoppers are usually home road, although that may vary greatly depending on the nature of hopper traffic and whether the road is originating loads, a bridge route or terminating loads. For example, on a C&O branch at the mines, you would see nearly 100% C&O cars, but on the PRR, you would see 75% or less PRR cars, with cars from many connecting and a few more distant railroads.
Stock cars - National - regional - local distribution. The percentage of foreign stock cars varies tremendously depending on whether the road is originating loads, a bridge route or terminating loads. Originating roads have mostly home-road cars while bridge and terminating roads have many cars, and may either reflect the regional pool (at intermediate sites) or the national pool. The stock rush on an AT&SF branch might consist almost entirely of AT&SF cars, but the Man O War stock train on the PRR would have had cars from many western roads (UP, SP, ATSF, Frisco,) as well as midwestern (Mopac, C&NW etc) in addition to PRR and other eastern cars.
Reefers - Mainly private roads. Again, percentages depend on the type of traffic. Except for WWII, most originating traffic is highly biased to the associated home road (ie UP/SP and PFE), but bridge traffic is less so, and terminating traffic is likely to show something closer to the national mix.
Tank Cars - Mainly private roads. Again, percentages depend on location. If you model the refinery, then you will want to heavily bias your fleet to cars leased by the company running the refinery. Likewise, if you model an oil distributor as a delivery point, typically it will be served by cars leased or owned by that company. Bridge traffic may look more like the national or regional percentages.
Ted Culotta's Essential Freight Car series in RMC
Ted's book on the 1932 AAR box car (http://www.speedwitch.com/)
Railway Prototype Cyclopedia (now publishing vol 13, or at least trying to!)
Prototype Railroad Modeling (http://www.speedwitch.com/)
The RPI pay web site (http://railroad.union.rpi.edu/)
The Steam Era Freight cars web site (http://www.steamfreightcars.com/)
The package inserts on many Westerfield and Sunshine kits
The photo pushers, like Bob's photos.
You'll know you've truly become a freight car fanatic when someone shows you a great photo of a locomotive, and you start looking at the cars in the yard behind it <VBG>!!
Bruce F. Smith
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin
|- ______/ O O \_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |
| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 \ | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
| O--O \0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0
Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
Rich,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
To add a New England twist to Bruce Smith's reply, between 1945 and 1960, the daily average of home road cars on line of total freight cars on line ranged from between 6.1% - 23.7% for the New Haven and 12.2% - 29.4%. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of freight cars on line on these two were owned by foreign roads. The Maine RR's had a higher percentage of Home Road cars on line because they originated more of their traffic than either the B&M and New Haven did.
Regarding car types,
Boxcars - I will echo Bruce's thoughts on the wide distribution of ownership of boxcars in New England. Compared to other roads in other regions, the percentage of Canadian-owned boxcars was much higher than that in other regions in the US. My favorite example showing this wide distribution were the last 88 boxcars delivered and dispatched from the Suncook Valley RR, a 25 mile shortline east of Concord NH, before it was abandoned on December 20, 1952. 26 of the 88 cars were owned by three Canadian roads - CN, CP and ONT; two by the B&M representing the New England Region; 14 by seven RR's in the Great Lakes Division - the NYC, NKP, LV, GTW, ERIE, DL&W and D&M; 10 by five roads in the Central East Region - PRR, B&O, CNJ, B&S and RDG; 4 in the Pocahontas Region (C&O, N&W); 8 boxcars owned by five RR's in the Southern Region - ACL, IC, L&N, SAL and SOU; 7 boxcars owned by five RR's in the Northwest Region - C&NW, CBW, GN, MILW and NP; 6 boxcars owned by four RR's in the Central West Region - ATSF, FW&DC, SP and UP; 7 boxcars owned by four RR's in the Southwest Region - MP, SLSF, T&NO and T&P plus four unknowns. Of boxcars owned by the roads omitted from the 88 boxcars listed, there was the probability that they would have shown up on the SunVal in Jan-Feb 1953 if the road had not been abandoned.
Hoppers (Open Top) - A considerable amount of coal was brought to New England by ship. Most of this "tidewater coal" was shipped from the Hampton Roads; therefore, C&O, N&W and VGN hoppers would rarely be seen in New England. The New England roads owned hoppers and drop bottom gons to carry this coal inland. In southern New England, much of the coal was barged in via Long Island Sound. Anthracite coal arrived usually in hoppers owned by the Anthracite roads - CNJ (CRP), D&H, DL&W, ERIE, L&NE, LV, PRR and RDG. Soft bituminous coal arrived from the western PA and northern fields in hoppers owned mostly by the B&O, NYC, PRR and WM.
Stock Cars - Whatever New England live stock was slaughtered was brought to the slaughter houses by truck. Therefore, any stock cars seen in New England were carrying livestock from outside New England in cars owned primarily by roads upon which the loads were originated.
Covered Hoppers - Most of them were assigned to the Cement industry which was transitioning from bagged cement in boxcars to bulk loading in smallish Cement Covered Hoppers. L&NE and LV covered hoppers served the Lehigh Valley cement plants shipments to New England while the Thomaston ME plant had MEC covered hoppers assigned to it. There were a number of B&M and NH covered hoppers - some of the B&M's were assigned to sugar refiners to carry cane from the port of Boston inland.
Hope this helps, Tim Gilbert
Bruce Smith wrote:
On Mar 22, 2006, at 8:10 AM, RichBeau wrote:I'm reallyRich,
On Mar 22, 2006, at 6:10 AM, RichBeau wrote:
Yeah the newbie's at it again, you've just got to appreciate how steepThe Classic Freight Cars series contains a lot of useful photos. Two caveats, however. First, many of the cars shown in those books aren't "classics" as this list defines them, as they are cars built in the 1960s and later. Second, the photo captions have become a standing joke on this list, as they are full of factual errors and misinterpretations. Don't believe anything you read there unless it's confirmed by other evidence.
Other sources that have not yet been mentioned include the Railway Prototype Cyclopedias published by Ed Hawkins and Pat Wider. Number 13 is about to appear, and some of the early issues are now out of print, but most issues are treasure troves of freight car photos and information (and, unlike the Classic Freight Cars series, the information has been carefully researched and can be trusted). You'll often see references on this list to the periodical Official Railway Equipment Registers, which listed all of the freight cars in interchange service in North America on a given date by reporting marks, numbers, and dimensions. With one exception, these are out of print and sell for high prices on the resale market; the exception is that reprints of the 1/43 and 1/53 ORERs are available from the National Model Railroad Association (http://www.nmra.org/)
You'll also see references to the various Car Builders' Cyclopedias, which were big reference volumes published at frequent intervals for the use of railroad mechanical officers. These, too, are long out of print and sell for astronomical prices if you can even find them, but large reference libraries at railway historical museums and universities sometimes have them and there may be such a library near where you live. Years ago, a series of reprints of parts of these volumes were published by Newton Gregg, and some of these are still available (I don't have the address, but someone else on this list can provide it).
Over the past twenty years or so, much valuable material on freight cars has been published in model railroad periodicals, notably Mainline Modeler and Railmodel Journal. Many back issues are still available, and when they're not, an appeal on this list for photocopies will usually produce results. For an exhaustive index, go to: http://index.mrmag.com/.
Also, if you haven't discovered it yet, Ted Culotta's Steam Era Freight Cars website is easy to access and full of good stuff: http://www.steamfreightcars.com/.
Something else to keep in mind with stockcars is that they were often
used for things other than stock "off season" I've seen everything
from railroad ties to watermelons listed. I use this as justification
for running more of them on my layout than the stock traffic warrants.
You know...'cus they're cool!
to the slaughter houses by truck. Therefore, any stock cars seen in New
I have observed stock cars carrying ties,cedar posts and hay.Armand Premotoggle quoted messageShow quoted text
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Aufderheide" <mononinmonon@...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 12:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Another question from the newbie...
Bruce Smith wrote:
You'll know you've truly become a freight carThis is exactly where I'm at! I must be in trouble. My other told me
not to hang 'round with the wrong crowd. <LOL>
I have the Robert Willoughby Jones Boston & Maine book. I keep trying
to see the logo and serial number (?) of the cars tagging along
behind. I figured that was the best place to start - model those
specific cars that I had photo graphic proof that they were here.
Thanks Richard for the critque of the Classic Freight Cars books and
mentioning that they are a bit suspect (Garth Groff also wrote of
these problems in a private email). Your list is most helpful and
gives me some good directions to look.
Bruce & Tim the overviews are great stuff! Thank you. I have been
looking at the various documents in the files area so with your most
recent 20,000-foot view and Tim Gilbert's comments (plus Tim's very
good synopsis in the files area) I at least have a much better grasp
of reality (As if I ever had one, as the opening of this psoting
I've been reading Ted Culotta's Essential Freight Car series in RMC.
In fact I made a spreadsheet cross-referencing many of the currently
available F&C, Westerfield and Sunshine kits (at least ones I could
identify postively). So it's nice to have Ted add a couple of cents
worth. Thanks for the pointers Ted (great series in RMC BTW) I'll
hunt up copies of those. Expect an order from me soon for at minimum
a copy of Prototype Railroad Modeling.
--- In STMFC@..., "RichBeau" <RichBeau@...> wrote:
Welcome to the nut house . . . most of us on this list have been trading e-mails, good -
natured ribbing (which some misinterpret as insults) -- and best of all information -- for
going on a decade + now . . .
Wow, Richard and Tony are getting old . . .
Oh, and there's always room for one more nut . . .
Which one? There are two B&M Books, as well as a book on Vermont railroads called
"Green Mountain Rails" -- all are well worth the price.
I keep trying
to see the logo and serial number (?) of the cars tagging alongI tried that with Central Vermont trains, and got a lot of potential projects -- including the
long elusive B&A State of Maine car . . . from photo studies. The problem with the photo
analysis of course, is that you're usually looking at the cars behind the engine or in front
of the van. Since trains were blocked you'll start to notice a remarkable similarity among
the cars in the same train on different days or seasons. It doesn't make it a BAD idea to
study the pics, just something you need to keep in mind.
I concluded my "picture" study of CV trains years ago -- in the interim I latched onto a
large number of CV Form 852's (essentially conductor's wheel reports) that included
reporting marks and car numbers -- all for a one week period in late 1953. Those have
given me enough projects to last three lifetimes.
Richard's list is excellent, and are really an "essential" library for the freight car modeler/
historian. I'll add the Morning Sun color books are worth consideration. You'll want to
certainly add "Color Guide to Northern New England Freight and Passenger Equipment" by
Dave Sweetland to your bookshelf. It covers B&M, CV, B&A, Rutland, CP(IofM), and MEC
equipment -- most of which is from the steam era (A LOT of the Morning Sun rolling stock
guides show steam era cars in later schemes -- Dave Sweetland was one of those who
took color photos of cars in the 1950s . . .)
Another excellent book for pictures of steam era cars in their natural habitat is Central
Vermont Railway in Color (I know some dedicated Western road modelers added this one
to their library based on the freight car pics alone. It shows lots of pictures of steam
engines -- with a bunch of the cars behind them quite visible.
There are several B&M "Trackside" Books which are good -- but I've stopped buying them
because they all seemed to develop a "sameness" -- a bunch of pictures of North Station.
And I simply don't need to spend the money or shelf space on that. As a B&M fan, YMMMV,
And, although not the subject of this list -- when you've had your fill of freight cars be
sure to get a copy of "Passenger Trains of Northern New England."
If you want something -- anything -- reduced to numbers and analyzed, Tim's your man.
<g> -- Seriously, he's been a big help to me, and many others, over the years. As a B&M
fan, you're doubly lucky since Tim is rumored to have a "minor" interest in the Minuteman
Route as well . . .
Hope this lengthy post is helpful in some small way, and again, welcome -- there's always
room for one more nut . . .
Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
Rich,You'll know you've truly become a freight carThis is exactly where I'm at! I must be in trouble. My other told me
What year and what area of New England are you modeling? There is no sense in modeling a car series which either had not been built or retired in the year in which you are modeling.
From a practical point of view, you can be sure that almost every significant boxcar series (of over 500 cars) appeared in New England in the year you are modeling providing that they were listed in a contemporary ORER. You can be less sure if the roster total was less than 500, but the criterion here would not be "guilty without a doubt," but more reasonable than not. You will not be far off if you use cars from Ted Cullota's ESSENTIAL FREIGHT CAR series providing the boxcar series had not been retired in the year in which you model.
And then there is the issue about the paint scheme of the boxcar series for the year in which you are modeling.
Ask yourself why did the photographer pull the trigger? When shooting a freight car, he did want to waste film on the mundane. Instead, he shot the exotic which grabbed his eye. I don't think you want to have a railroad full of freight cars which were exotic exceptions - focus in on the mundane. (Another criticism of Maywald's work.)
I believe there is a tape of a New England RR with an L&N center drop bottom gondola. While I cannot dispute that the car was in New England at a certain point of time at a specific location, I would consider it a rarity because coal mines served by the L&N in Kentucky were not generally sources of coal in New England. Indeed, it probably got to New England with a load which was in conflict with Car Service Rule C-411 which mandated empty coal cars of the C&O, L&N, N&W and VGN be returned to their owners without reloading.
While Car Service Rules were largely ignored, this one appears to have been obeyed because it was simple and direct. Most of the other rules were abstract - for instance, Rule #1, "Home cars shall be used for the movement of traffic beyond the limits of the home road when the use of other suitable cars under these rules is practical." What was a suitable foreign car empty and how close it it was to the shipper provided some wiggle room and use of judgment.
Hope this helps, Tim Gilbert
You'll know you've truly become a freight car fanatic whenAlmost, Bruce. It's when you see a really good shot of an interesting freight car spoiled by a
locomotive blocking part of it.
Expect an order from me soon for at minimum a copy ofYou won't be disappointed.
Walter M. Clark
--- In STMFC@..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...>
rest of the message>.
Richard forgot to mention that Al Westerfield
http://www.westerfield.biz/ has several ORERs available on CD. They
are $20 each (except for some PRR stuff that's more) and start as
early as 1885, going through the end of the cutoff for this group. I
have the one closest to the time I model and have referred to it
Walter M. Clark
Time stopped in November 1941
Well it looks like I've got a good short list.
The regional historical group's (the New Haven Railroad Historical
and Technical Association and the B&M RR Historical Society)
Plus a number of good books...
Robert Willoughby Jones:
Boston and Albany: the New York Central in New England. in 2 Volumes
Boston and Maine: Forest, River, and Mountain
Boston and Maine: City and Shore
Green Mountain Rail: Vermont's Colorful Trains
Color Guide to Northern New England Freight and Passenger Equipment
Kevin J. Holland:
Passenger Trains of Northern New England
Vermont Railway in Color
Westerfield's ORER CDs
Thanks these will be helpful. At least I'll spend my dollars wisly.
historical society for the road you are interested in...This months issue of model railroader has a very good article on the history of boxcars and the models available to match each change in design.......PaulAs you see there is lots of info on boxcars...Start with the
Well it looks like I've got a good short list.