Chalk marks


Charles Hladik
 

Armand,
I don't have a clue as to location or meaning but as you say, they are a
nice addition to prototypicallity, and available from several sources along
with the old toothpick and paint routine. It would be nice to do them
correctly.
Chuck Hladik
Rutland Railroad
Virginia Division
<BR><BR><BR>**************************************<BR> AOL now offers free
email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at
http://www.aol.com.


armprem
 

As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo


pierreoliver2003 <pierre.oliver@...>
 

Armand,
From what I've been able to gather from the photos that I've seen, the
chalkmarks are made by the local crews or l.c.l. dock people to help
tell them the destinations of the cars in question. A simple set of
marks understood by all saves one from having to constantly check the
paperwork. Useful when it's raining as well.

Pierre Oliver

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "armprem1" <armprem@...> wrote:

As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Armand,

Most of the time chalk marks identified a track or a destination grouping.
Could be numeric, could use simple words like "East" or "West". Could even
use the telegraph calls of the stations where the cars went.

[The most common way Dispatchers showed setouts and pickups on a train sheet
was with telegraph calls. Some still do that to this day. If we were still
using paper train sheets I would probably use that system but paper train
sheets are
long gone.]

There were some yards and some crews that could not work without them.

I can recall just one Conductor that was on a pool turn that had to mark the
yard. Since they were being paid by the mile this was their time that they
were wasting, not the Railroad's. His Brakemen always bitched to me about
why I didn't mark the yard. I told them that I did not even know his system
and that they would just be waiting for me rather than waiting for him. That
train was often standing there waiting for the delivery that needed to be
switched and picked up. Was usually in a high speed mode anyway.

We always kept a full box of chalk on hand but it was very seldom used.

While I'm sure there were plenty of yards where Clerks did mark the cars
that would be a local thing. It was much more common to have a Clerk with
little
car cards that were applied with a staple gun. The IHB at Gibson IN used
that
system until the advent of ACI, then they just didn't keep track of
anything.

As to location on car that would usually be someplace that could be reached
from the ground. There may be an exception to that in regards to freight
houses. It is at least possible that they would use some car marking system
to identify cars by destination. This would put the marking near the door
and higher up on the car.
I can not recall this system ever being used but can not rule it out.

Most of my photo inventory of the steam era is of new cars so there would
not be any hints to be found there.

"The Postwar Freight Car Fleet" by Larry Kline and Ted Culotta has tons of
examples. A couple pages at random, 72 and 73. All four of these cars are
marked in the normal spot on the lower left hand corner that can be reached
from the ground. Two of the cars have markings next to the doors that could
only be done from a loading dock. Note that all four of these cars have
stapled
car tags on the wood area provided on the door. These again could be reached
from the ground.

Russ

----- Original Message -----
From: armprem1
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, 22 February, 2007 09:39
Subject: [STMFC] Chalk marks


As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo


Barry Roth
 

And also, what is a source for decals/dry transfers of them? (I presume dry transfers are preferable because they can be applied over weathering.)

Barry Roth

armprem1 <armprem@surfglobal.net> wrote:
As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo


.





---------------------------------
Don't get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast
with theYahoo! Search weather shortcut.


ljack70117@...
 

As an switch crew forman on the Santa Fe I never used chalk marks. We used our switch lists and this was as fast as using the marks. In our yard we had a clerk that went down each incoming train and stapled destination cards to the cars. I never paid any attention to those either.
Some crews liked them. Most of us did not.
Did I tell you about the night the yard clerk check an out bound train and had one car they could not find any paper work on it. They looked every. So someone said call Joe ( he was the clerk that just went off duty) he will know about it. So they did and he said it was going to Kansas City. They then ask him what was in it and he said to put it down a lumber. They said that can not be as this was a tank car. Joe said "Why do you care. You do not have to unload it". Big grin.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
Boca Raton FL
ljack70117@adelphia.net
I was born with nothing and
I have most of it left

On Feb 22, 2007, at 11:13 AM, pierreoliver2003 wrote:

Armand,
From what I've been able to gather from the photos that I've seen, the
chalkmarks are made by the local crews or l.c.l. dock people to help
tell them the destinations of the cars in question. A simple set of
marks understood by all saves one from having to constantly check the
paperwork. Useful when it's raining as well.

Pierre Oliver


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "armprem1" <armprem@...> wrote:

As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo




Yahoo! Groups - Join or create groups, clubs, forums &amp; communities. Links




benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Barry Roth asked:
"And also, what is a source for decals/dry transfers of them? (I
presume dry transfers are preferable because they can be applied over
weathering.)"

In HO scale, Sunshine decals (see page 29 of the Sunshine kit list in
the group files section for the individual sets) and Clover House dry
transfers. Also, Ted Culotta suggested using a Koh-i-noor Rapidograph
pen with some very, very fine points and some white ink for chalk
marks that are more subtle in addition to those available in the decal
and dry transfer sets. See Charlie Duckworth's article in the November
1994 issue of Mainline Modeler for more details.


Ben Hom


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Larry,

That guy would get along great with a hold track Clerk that worked for the
St Paul at Bensenville. They would send various odd cars to the IHB with
just a piece of paper that said what road the car went to. When these cars
showed up and you called him his first question was, "Who did you get the
car from?" When we replied, "From the IHB", his standard answer was "Then
it's a problem between you and the IHB and none of my business."

The St Paul had a car distributor in Chicago that was adamant that the BN
owned the cars lettered "RBNX". I doubt that many of these cars got loaded
very often since they spent weeks bouncing back and forth. IIRC someone
finally thought of a dodge and started "Home Shopping" them. I think FGE
had to provide us with a routing to Potomac Yard.

I know, out of scope. I'm sure that there were the same problems before
1960, just different versions.

Russ

----- Original Message -----
From: ljack70117@adelphia.net
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, 22 February, 2007 10:33
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Chalk marks


Did I tell you about the night the yard clerk check an out bound
train and had one car they could not find any paper work on it. They
looked every. So someone said call Joe ( he was the clerk that just
went off duty) he will know about it. So they did and he said it was
going to Kansas City. They then ask him what was in it and he said to
put it down a lumber. They said that can not be as this was a tank
car. Joe said "Why do you care. You do not have to unload it".
Big grin.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
Boca Raton FL
ljack70117@adelphia.net
I was born with nothing and
I have most of it left


Tim O'Connor
 

I use ordinary artist's pencils for chalk marks. You can get white, or I
prefer "French Grey" which looks like faded chalk. Just sharpen them.
The pencils are pigment-based so they will stick and not smear. The
Sunshine decals are good if you need to know what the chalk marks
look like.

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "benjaminfrank_hom" <b.hom@worldnet.att.net>
Barry Roth asked:
"And also, what is a source for decals/dry transfers of them? (I
presume dry transfers are preferable because they can be applied over
weathering.)"

In HO scale, Sunshine decals (see page 29 of the Sunshine kit list in
the group files section for the individual sets) and Clover House dry
transfers. Also, Ted Culotta suggested using a Koh-i-noor Rapidograph
pen with some very, very fine points and some white ink for chalk
marks that are more subtle in addition to those available in the decal
and dry transfer sets. See Charlie Duckworth's article in the November
1994 issue of Mainline Modeler for more details.


Ben Hom


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Feb 22, 2007, at 8:21 AM, Barry Roth wrote:

And also, what is a source for decals/dry transfers of them? (I presume dry transfers are preferable because they can be applied over weathering.)
For many years I've applied chalk markings on freight car models in what I believe is the quickest, easiest, and most realistic fashion by using a very sharp white Prismacolor artist's pencil, readily available at any art supply store. Look at photos of steam era freight cars to see what kind of markings were put on them and then just copy them. I supplied the data for the Clover House transfers, which are all based on photos. However, the problem I have with dry transfers, decals, and pens is that the chalk marks are too opaque and sharp-edged; the real ones were softer and a bit fuzzy, which is exactly the effect produced by a white pencil.

Also, don't forget destination cards, which were stapled onto the destination card boards (or, on wood sheathed cars, just about anywhere the car clerks chose to put them, though usually on the doors). These were small white cardboard tags with destinations either printed or written on them. The printing doesn't have to be there in HO scale; in photos, it's hardly ever visible. But the cards were on every car in a train, showing where it was going (even on empties). Old cards were often on cars in yards, as well, and sometimes on cars enroute though they were supposed to be removed when a new card was attached. These cards are easily modeled with small square bits of white decal.

Cars ready for loading often had cleaning cards indicating that they had been cleaned and what kind of cargo they were suitable for. Microscale decal set 87-975 includes a variety of these cleaning cards, as well as a full range of steam era warning placards for dangerous loads and various special instruction placards (DO NOT HUMP, UNLOAD THIS SIDE, FRAGILE, etc.) Most cars didn't have warning or special instruction placards, but having them on a few of your models adds realism.

Richard Hendrickson


armprem
 

Let us complicate matters even more.Chalk marks were rarely erased and often were placed on a car by a connecting or other foreign road ;which leads me to ask,was there a common system or language ?It seems to me that this might cause some confusion for switch crews.Armand premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "pierreoliver2003" <pierre.oliver@sympatico.ca>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Chalk marks


> Armand,
> From what I've been able to gather from the photos that I've seen, the
> chalkmarks are made by the local crews or l.c.l. dock people to help
> tell them the destinations of the cars in question. A simple set of
> marks understood by all saves one from having to constantly check the
> paperwork. Useful when it's raining as well.
>
> Pierre Oliver
>
>
> --- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "armprem1" <armprem@...> wrote:
>>
>> As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
>> marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
>> convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
>> area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
>> weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo
>>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups - Join or create groups, clubs, forums &amp; communities. Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.441 / Virus Database: 268.18.2/692 - Release Date: 2/18/2007 4:35 PM
>
>


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

The CB&Q supplied both white and yellow chalk. Probably whatever was cheaper
when the storehouse had to re-stock. The sticks were round, about an inch in
diameter, and must have been either 4" or 5" long.

What to put on a car? Unless you have a detail photo of one car you are
trying
to model just about anything will work. While they would only make sense to
the
yard where the cars were marked there were some common Railroad language
terms.

Some common suggestions: Rip, Weigh, Scale, Pit, Dock, Hole, Team, East,
West,
North, South, the initials of other Railroads, any kind of number.

There were some fairly standard abbreviations for Railroads. At least in the
Chicago area:

CB&Q = Q
CMStP&P = St Paul
IHB = IHBelt semi-officially, also Harbor
NYC = C
PRR = Pa
AT&SF = SF or SFE
EJ&E = J

When checking cars or making up lists it was common to drop the "X" from the
end of frequently seen car initials. As in:

FGEX = FGE
BREX = BRE
WFEX = WFE
CRLX = CRL

Russ

----- Original Message -----
From: timboconnor@comcast.net
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, 22 February, 2007 10:58
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Chalk marks



I use ordinary artist's pencils for chalk marks. You can get white, or I
prefer "French Grey" which looks like faded chalk. Just sharpen them.
The pencils are pigment-based so they will stick and not smear. The
Sunshine decals are good if you need to know what the chalk marks
look like.


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson notes:

"Also, don't forget destination cards, which were stapled onto the
destination card boards (or, on wood sheathed cars, just about anywhere
the car clerks chose to put them, though usually on the doors). These
were small white cardboard tags with destinations either printed or
written on them."

There is a video produced by Mark I Video named Omaha: Rail Metropolis. This video shows a clerk compiling such cards and then yard crews tacking them to various cars. The UP frt conductor's book I have includes the numbers...0-6 [ as I recall ] in the destination column.

Mike Brock


Barry Roth
 

Thank you, Tim and Ben. I will probably try the pencil route before trying to get the dried black ink out of my finest Rapidograph pens! Tim, what do you mean by "pigment-based"? If I remember right, colored pencils have a binder that is oily or waxy (they are, literally, closer kin to crayons than to graphite pencils) and does make them stick.

Barry Roth

timboconnor@comcast.net wrote:

I use ordinary artist's pencils for chalk marks. You can get white, or I
prefer "French Grey" which looks like faded chalk. Just sharpen them.
The pencils are pigment-based so they will stick and not smear. The
Sunshine decals are good if you need to know what the chalk marks
look like.

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "benjaminfrank_hom" <b.hom@worldnet.att.net>
Barry Roth asked:
"And also, what is a source for decals/dry transfers of them? (I
presume dry transfers are preferable because they can be applied over
weathering.)"

In HO scale, Sunshine decals (see page 29 of the Sunshine kit list in
the group files section for the individual sets) and Clover House dry
transfers. Also, Ted Culotta suggested using a Koh-i-noor Rapidograph
pen with some very, very fine points and some white ink for chalk
marks that are more subtle in addition to those available in the decal
and dry transfer sets. See Charlie Duckworth's article in the November
1994 issue of Mainline Modeler for more details.


Ben Hom




---------------------------------
Have a burning question? Go to Yahoo! Answers and get answers from real people who know.


ljack70117@...
 

There was no confusion if you did not use them as we did not in the Santa Fe yard in Emporia.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
Boca Raton FL
ljack70117@adelphia.net
I was born with nothing and
I have most of it left

On Feb 22, 2007, at 1:18 PM, A. Premo wrote:

Let us complicate matters even more.Chalk marks were rarely erased and
often were placed on a car by a connecting or other foreign road ;which
leads me to ask,was there a common system or language ?It seems to me that
this might cause some confusion for switch crews.Armand premo
----- Original Message -----
From: "pierreoliver2003" <pierre.oliver@sympatico.ca>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Chalk marks


Armand,
From what I've been able to gather from the photos that I've seen, the
chalkmarks are made by the local crews or l.c.l. dock people to help
tell them the destinations of the cars in question. A simple set of
marks understood by all saves one from having to constantly check the
paperwork. Useful when it's raining as well.

Pierre Oliver


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "armprem1" <armprem@...> wrote:

As far as I know there has been little or no discussion about chalk
marks on car sides.What is their purpose?What information do they
convey?Were there common practices as to location on the car.This is an
area that is rarely modeled by many modelers,but IMHO is as vital as
weathering.What are your thoughts?Armand Premo




Yahoo! Groups - Join or create groups, clubs, forums &amp; communities.
Links






--
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.441 / Virus Database: 268.18.2/692 - Release Date:
2/18/2007 4:35 PM


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Paul Hillman
 

I used to use white, type-writer correction tape. It may come in other
colors. Lay it on the car and write anything you want with a sharp
enough pencil or other object.

I haven't done this for a long time, but I have cars from several years
ago that still have my markings I made. Don't remember if I dull-coated
it afterwards.

I don't know if it's still made with all the modern printer systems
that there are now. I suppose it still is. I'll check with Office
Depot, etc.

Paul Hillman


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Barry Roth <barry_roth@...> wrote:

Thank you, Tim and Ben. I will probably try the pencil route before
trying to get the dried black ink out of my finest Rapidograph pens!
Tim, what do you mean by "pigment-based"? If I remember right, colored
pencils have a binder that is oily or waxy (they are, literally, closer
kin to crayons than to graphite pencils) and does make them stick.


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "A. Premo" <armprem@...> wrote:

Let us complicate matters even more.Chalk marks were rarely
erased and
often were placed on a car by a connecting or other foreign road ;which
leads me to ask,was there a common system or language ?It seems to
me that
this might cause some confusion for switch crews.Armand premo

Chalking track numbers did lead to confusion; that's the reason for
the printed routing cards.

The impression I get from talking to old timers is that these were
many times unique personal marks that had no meaning to anyone else.
Scrawl your initials or a doodle in a consistent way, and you have a
personal mark that you'll recognize when you see it, that isn't likely
to be confused with anything else on the car.

These were used like bookmarks, or folded page corners in a book. When
a crew reported for duty, they'd look over the consist, then walk
their train. On this particular day, the first 21 cars get set out to
the J interchange, and an additional thirty go to the B&OCT, with
everything else going through. As the head brakeman walked the train,
he'd go back 21 cars and make his mark by the cut lever; thirty more
and make his mark again. Later, out on the road, standing by the J
switch in the rain and howling wind, he didn't have to look at a list
to see what cars went to the J, he'd just let them go by until he saw
the mark he made earlier, stop them, and make the cut. Same with his
second cut later in the run.

That's the reason these marks seldom make any sense; they only had to
make sense to the man who had just made them hours before. The only
information the mark really had to convey was, "I was here before,
this is the place I make the cut".

Dennis


Tim O'Connor
 

Paul

I just meant they do not use chalk or graphite. Yes there must be a binder
to hold the pigment together. I have used artist pencils to add color to running
boards, highlight tank car bands and door tracks, highlight rivets, etc -- very
easy to do, very quick, and effective. I bought them at a local 'paper store'.

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Paul & Bernice Hillman" <chris_hillman@msn.com>

Thank you, Tim and Ben. I will probably try the pencil route before
trying to get the dried black ink out of my finest Rapidograph pens!
Tim, what do you mean by "pigment-based"? If I remember right, colored
pencils have a binder that is oily or waxy (they are, literally, closer
kin to crayons than to graphite pencils) and does make them stick.


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Feb 22, 2007, at 10:18 AM, A. Premo wrote:

Let us complicate matters even more.Chalk marks were rarely erased and
often were placed on a car by a connecting or other foreign road ;which
leads me to ask,was there a common system or language ?It seems to me that
this might cause some confusion for switch crews.
Armand, you're right that chalk marks were seldom erased (and in some cases lasted for weeks or months before they were erased/obscured by weather and dirt). However, prototype photos often show chalk marks that were crossed out; apparently that was the practice whenever a chalk mark was regarded as potentially confusing.

Richard Hendrickson


Greg Martin
 

In a message dated 2/22/2007 5:18:26 PM Pacific Standard Time,
rfederle@cox.net writes:




Are you sure that wasn't Herbie under the palm tree? Bozo Texino had a large
brimmed hat and cigarette I do believe.







Which is beyond the scope of this list I do believe...

Greg Martin
<BR><BR><BR>**************************************<BR> AOL now offers free
email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at
http://www.aol.com.