Why so MUCH discussion on coal car models?


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jul 6, 2009, at 10:17 AM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Having recently spent some time reading Bob Karig's very
fine book on coal cars, I nevertheless have to say I'm amazed how
little attention he pays to those Western roads which DID have coal
traffic and coal cars. Union Pacific was undoubtedly a pioneer in
steel hoppers and GS gondolas (never mentioned by Karig) and he says
very little about any Western road's coal cars--unless you regard
Illinois Central as a Western road.








Well, if hopper cars are the subject, there's not all that much to
talk about. As you yourself point out in SP Freight Cars Vol. 5, the
SP owned no cross hoppers until after WW II, and the cars purchased
in 1946 and 1951 for the T&NO were in captive limestone service in
Texas. Santa Fe owned none until 1929, and did not purchase them in
significant numbers until after WW II. Rio Grande owned none until
the '50s, WP never had them, UP pioneered steel hoppers early on and
then bought no more of them until the 1950s. NP and GN owned only a
few hoppers, and those appear to have been used mostly on their
eastern lines. On all of these railroads, at least until well into
the 1950s, coal was carried almost entirely in GS gondolas. How
about a book on those?.
But the book is a treasure on many levels, not least his
meticulous information on lettering, trucks, etc. etc., many areas



ordinarily glossed over in car histories. Even if you're not THAT
interested in coal cars, you should have (and read) this book.




I entirely agree. The chapter on trucks alone is worth the price of
the whole book.

Please note that I have changed the subject line, as for more than a
week now we have been deluged with posts about hopper cars. Should
keep the east coast hopper addicts off the streets and out of trouble
for awhile.

Richard Hendrickson


water.kresse@...
 

As a reminder, I'm not sorry to say, the initial subject was coal cars -- both hops and gons.  I've learned a lot!  Thanks guys.  Now I have to re-focus on automobile box cars equipped with Evans Products Auto Loaders.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hendrickson" <rhendrickson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, July 6, 2009 2:27:28 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Why so MUCH discussion on coal car models?

On Jul 6, 2009, at 10:17 AM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Having recently spent some time reading Bob Karig's very
fine book on coal cars, I nevertheless have to say I'm amazed how
little attention he pays to those Western roads which DID have coal
traffic and coal cars. Union Pacific was undoubtedly a pioneer in
steel hoppers and GS gondolas (never mentioned by Karig) and he says
very little about any Western road's coal cars--unless you regard
Illinois Central as a Western road.








Well, if hopper cars are the subject, there's not all that much to  
talk about.  As you yourself point out in SP Freight Cars Vol. 5, the  
SP owned no cross hoppers until after WW II, and the cars purchased  
in 1946 and 1951 for the T&NO were in captive limestone service in  
Texas.  Santa Fe owned none until 1929, and did not purchase them in  
significant numbers until after WW II.  Rio Grande owned none until  
the '50s, WP never had them, UP pioneered steel hoppers early on and  
then bought no more of them until the 1950s.  NP and GN owned only a  
few hoppers, and those appear to have been used mostly on their  
eastern lines.  On all of these railroads, at least until well into  
the 1950s, coal was carried almost entirely in GS gondolas.  How  
about a book on those?.
But the book is a treasure on many levels, not least his
meticulous information on lettering, trucks, etc. etc., many areas



ordinarily glossed over in car histories. Even if you're not THAT
interested in coal cars, you should have (and read) this book.




I entirely agree.  The chapter on trucks alone is worth the price of  
the whole book.

Please note that I have changed the subject line, as for more than a  
week now we have been deluged with posts about hopper cars.  Should  
keep the east coast hopper addicts off the streets and out of trouble  
for awhile.

Richard Hendrickson


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson notes:

Please note that I have changed the subject line, as for more than a
week now we have been deluged with posts about hopper cars. Should
keep the east coast hopper addicts off the streets and out of trouble
for awhile.
Hmmm. OK. It is interesting that we've heard a great deal from the...uh..."east coasters"....and some mild..."...complainth too much..." from the...uh...west coasters. So...even though the largest city served by the Santa Fe was in the heart of C&O, N&W and...as we'll see...at least two other RR's country [ hint: it lies next to Lake Michigan ], and lots of folks who worked on the SP spoke with a distinctly Southern dialect [ the first time I ate grits was in a rather large and famous city served by the SP ], perhaps we should hear from another significant coal hauler...this one being a "western" RR [ not "west coaster", mind you ]. Enter CB&Q.

There is a very interesting book on the subject, Burlington Bulletin Bulletin #35 The Q in the Coal Fields produced by the Burlington Route Historical Society. A couple of points of possible interest.

1. Coal from this area was an excellent coal for steam loco use.

2. Coal hauled by the Q went to the following locales in order of significance: Chicago [ there's that place again ].

3. St. Louis. One tiny problem. The Q didn't go to St. Louis from the coal fields. Sooo, its cars went off line onto the B&O. However...to add to the fun, so did its engines. The entire trains left Q tracks and traveled on the B&O.

4. Minneapolis area plus the Dakotas.

A couple of other points. "The Q received considerable interchange coal tonnage in Southern Illinois from NYC, C&EI, Missouri Pacific, IC, and Southern. The Q sent its loads onto several other RR's at crossing points north of Centrallia. In some cases, but not the most common, the Q would use trackage rights to and from an off line mine...the entire train making the move. The mines, incidentally were not owned by RRs...although the Q did own one. It is not unusual to see a photo of a mine with cars from NYC, B&O, IC, C&EI and the Q lined up. Apparently the RRs did switching operations by taking turns...one switching for a specific pariod of time, then another RR taking over. This contributed to a certain amount of...uh...favoritism apparently involving loads traveling by ship on the Great Lakes.

Motive power for Q drags was provided by a variety of engines. Perhaps most impressive was the M-4 class of 2-10-4's.

None of this, however, explains the Mopac triple hopper operating in captive service on the B&O heading back to West Va. for another load. Perhaps B&O crews couldn't distinguish between B&O and Mopac on the black hopper cars. Or...maybe Mopac made nicer hopper cars...given that UP also "captured" some for use on the branch south of Provo, UT.

For those living in country not served by coal who might be wondering why all the interest in such activities, there's something attractive about a long train of coal cars headed by some massive engine...or two or more...slowly making its way up some winding steep grade, engines at full throttle, huge smoke clouds and all...as Matt Forsyth points out. While I missed most of that, NS did provide a look in '86 when they ran N&W 1218 with a 50 car train of hoppers sans diesels up Christiansburg Mtn during the NRHS convention that yr. It was a treat to be there and be deluged with cinders as was it in 1981 when ex-C&O 614 went up Sand Patch grade at 15 mph working full bore with a long excursion. Ol' Ross Rowland didn't believe in tip toeing through the tulips...uh...dogwoods. The train had no diesel helper on board...astonishing when you think about it. I could hear it working for a full half hour before it arrived at the famous Mance curve. Of course, all this is matched by similar locos operating in the west and, for sure, if those working on the Santa Fe 2900 class 4-8-4 in Albuquerque ever get that beast operating, I'll be there. I'm already studying maps to see where to shoot. As you can tell...I need a steam fix. Hard to come by in Florida...

Mike brock


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jul 6, 2009, at 3:29 PM, Mike Brock wrote that the CB&Q was a...

"western" RR [ not "west coaster", mind you ].

As the French say, it is to laugh. The Q's major western terminal
was Denver. Granted, there was a secondary line that ventured some
distance into Wyoming and Montana, but still.... The Q was a
"western" railroad only from the perspective of easterners who think
the west starts at the Mississippi River. However, for all of us
true westerners, the west begins at the Front Range. Period. Denver
and Cheyenne are west, but only barely. I mean to take nothing away
from the Burlington, which was in many ways an admirable railroad
(though, it must be said, with some of the ugliest steam locomotives
ever conceived). But a western railroad? Emphatically not. It was
a midwestern railroad (or great plains railroad, if you maintain the
quaint illusion that Ohio and Indiana are in the midwest). The Santa
Fe, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Milwaukee Road were both
midwestern and western railroads by virtue of their very long main
lines from Chicago or Minneapolis to the west coast. By similar
reasoning, the Southern Pacific/T&NO was both a western and
southwestern railroad. The Rio Grande, Western Pacific, and Spokane,
Portland & Seattle were western railroads, as were a number of short
lines like the Sumpter Valley and the Oregon, California & Eastern.
But for Pete's sake, Mike and others, get it out of your heads that
Kansas and Nebraska, much less Iowa and Missouri, and the railroads
that served them are in any sense "western," just because they are
west of where you happen to be.

Richard Hendrickson


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson says:

Granted, there was a secondary line that ventured some
distance into Wyoming and Montana, but still.... The Q was a
"western" railroad only from the perspective of easterners who think
the west starts at the Mississippi River. However, for all of us
true westerners, the west begins at the Front Range.
Well, I'll grant you that the Q should not be considered a "western" RR. But before that, if we are going to describe sections of the country, we have to step back a bit and do all the sections. IOW, it's not just the west...say, beginning at Denver...and the east. That doesn't allow any distinction between New York and Omaha or St. Louis and Charleston and, I assure you there is a great distinction. So...let's try this. New England: To the north and east of New York. The East: New York, PA, West Va, VA, New Jersey, Delaware [ wherever that is ], DC and Maryland. The South: South of VA including Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Jawga, the Carolinas but not Florida. The Florida: Florida. A difficult problem because half of the population south of Orlando belongs in the East while half of the population north of Orlando belongs in the South. Half of the rest has a uniquely Miami feel...whatever that is. The Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Well...where else could we put the Dakotas? No offense...but are they still there? The Southwest: Texas and New Mexico [ although many Texicans believe they are simply their own country ]. The Mountain West: Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. The Far West: Arizona, Cal, OR, and Wash.

I don't know what to do with Kentucky.

However, regardless of all this, there is a precedent that has been set and no amount of complaing will change it. The term "Western" refers to a class of movies and television programs [ Maverick where are you when I need you? ] in which many thousands of them took place in Texas. Not east of Fort Worth, mind you, but, as I've tried to say before, the movie Fort Worth has some guy saying..."The West starts at Fort Worth". Who am I to disagree.

For those that haven't seen it...and to make sure Jeff Aley doesn't try to put me in Moderate Jail [ and me with the master key, heh, heh ]...I will note that the MK&T [ the Katy ] for quite a few yrs applied the expression "Serves the Southwest Well". The story goes that a RR worker walked along side one of the Katy box cars sporting the message and noted aloud, "Wonder where that damned well is?" Little did he know that Katy's CEO was within hearing distance. It is unknown what happened to the worker but Katy changed the expression to "Serves the Southwest". Given that the RR served Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, I'd say that the issue is hopeless.

Mike Brock


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Mike Brock wrote:
...I will note that the MK&T [ the Katy ] for quite a few yrs applied the expression "Serves the Southwest Well". The story goes that a RR worker walked alongside one of the Katy box cars sporting the message and noted aloud, "Wonder where that damned well is?" Little did he know that Katy's CEO was within hearing distance. It is unknown what happened to the worker but Katy changed the expression to "Serves the Southwest". Given that the RR served Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, I'd say that the issue is hopeless.
Cute story, Mike, but AFAIK the "Serves . . . Well" slogan superseded, not preceded, the "Serves" slogan. There is a group in the Southwest, less than enamored of the Katy, which purportedly has lettered model freight cars with the slogan, "Serves the Southwest Right."

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

The Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Well...where else could we put the Dakotas? No offense...but are they still there?

Mike,
You really need to travel more. Many folks who are from the Dakotas (as well as eastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Panhandle of Texas) would consider themselves as living on the "Great Plains" of North America, and this region is often referred to as such in many elementary school geography texts.

Those of us who live in flyover country, especially North Dakota, are used to such hubris and condescension from our countrymen on the coasts.

Now, what does this have to do with steam era freight cars? I really don't know, but I do know that many of them traversed the plains states, some behind the most powerful simple Mallet articulateds ever built (and in the railroads shops, to boot).

With tongue planted firmly in cheek,
Bob Heninger
Proud North Dakotan (but temporarily in Iowa City, IA, which is definitely the Midwest).


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jul 6, 2009, at 7:12 PM, gn3397 (Bob Heninger) wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

The Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas,
Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.
Well...where else could we put the Dakotas? No offense...but are
they still there?

Mike,
You really need to travel more. Many folks who are from the Dakotas
(as well as eastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado,
Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Panhandle of Texas) would
consider themselves as living on the "Great Plains" of North
America, and this region is often referred to as such in many
elementary school geography texts.














Well said, Bob. The great plains states are nothing like Ohio,
Indiana, and parts of Illinois.

Richard Hendrickson


Schuyler Larrabee
 

But for Pete's sake, Mike and others, get it out of your heads that
Kansas and Nebraska, much less Iowa and Missouri, and the railroads
that served them are in any sense "western," just because they are
west of where you happen to be.

Richard Hendrickson
Well, y'know, Richard, they're all west of Buffalo, where the land gets flat, so for my money,
they're "western roads. West of Meadville PA, the ERIE considered that the "west end."

8^)

Schuyler (right coast) Larrabee






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Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Schuyler Larrabee wrote:
Well, y'know, Richard, they're all west of Buffalo, where the land gets flat, so for my money, they're "western roads. West of Meadville PA, the ERIE considered that the "west end."
Wotta perspective. Of course it's true that Pittsburgh was the "gateway to the west" circa 1830. But a lot of easterners haven't progressed much beyond that in their understanding <g>.
Schuyler, consider this: the "east end" of the Western Pacific crossed Nevada.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


SUVCWORR@...
 

Nah that's not right.? The original gateway to the west, regardless of ST. Louis' claim, is PIttsburgh and considering that the PRR broke its massive system into the PRR and PRR Lines West -- Lines west of Pittsburgh -- anything west of Pittsburgh is the west.? Following this ill-logical line and considering the geographical area served by the PRR and the foregoing, that would make the PRR a western railroad as well as an eastern road and it had plenty of open top hoppers.? So open top hoppers were a very common western road car.? <removing tongue from cheek>

And yes Ohio was part of the Northwest Territory and most of Cleveland was the Western Reserve from whence the name of Case Western Reserve University arises.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Schuyler Larrabee <schuyler.larrabee@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Mon, Jul 6, 2009 9:50 pm
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Why so MUCH discussion on coal car models?










But for Pete's sake, Mike and others, get it out of your heads that
Kansas and Nebraska, much less Iowa and Missouri, and the railroads
that served them are in any sense "western," just because they are
west of where you happen to be.

Richard Hendrickson
Well, y'know, Richard, they're all west of Buffalo, where the land gets flat, so
for my money,
they're "western roads. West of Meadville PA, the ERIE considered that the
"west end."

8^)

Schuyler (right coast) Larrabee






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

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Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tony Thompson writes:

Cute story, Mike, but AFAIK the "Serves . . . Well" slogan
superseded, not preceded, the "Serves" slogan.
I don't think so. Neither does Raymond George who wrote Missouri Kansas and Texas in Color and co authored Katy Power along with Joe Collias. At the time of publication George was an active contributor to the Katy Flyer... the Katy Historical Society. To add to that his father became VP of Katy operations in '65. IOW, not a casual writer. However, even stronger evidence exists. There are photos of Katy box cars [ in yellow ] carrying the "well" slogan shot in 1945. There are others shot later, New date: 1954 with no "well"...just "Southwest". To add to that, my 1943 MK&T timetable shows the "Well" and the back cover to the 1944 annual report shows "well". Apparently the "well" was dropped in '46. Whether or not the incident really happened will likely never be known. My guess is that perhaps an administrator in another RR may have pointed it out to Katy CEO Sloan. Who knows?

The Katy obviously did some things wrong...as has every RR with the possible exception of the N&W which I don't believe ever went bankrupt or had financial problems. Note...I said "think".

Mike Brock
An Okie from Muskogee on the Katy mainline.


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Bob Heninger says:

You really need to travel more.
True, so true. I'm gonna miss the big steam event in Michigan coming up. Verry annoying.

Many folks who are from the Dakotas (as well as eastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Panhandle of Texas) would consider themselves as living on the "Great Plains" of North America, and this region is often referred to as such in many elementary school geography texts.
Yes, yes. Note my response to Tony Thompson. I hail from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Not quite west enough to be on the great plains, though...have to be at least to the 100th meridian as I understand it.


Those of us who live in flyover country, especially North Dakota, are used to such hubris and condescension from our countrymen on the coasts.
Well...if we'd have launched rockets from the Dakotas I guess I'd still be there...

Now, what does this have to do with steam era freight cars?
Come to think of it...I don't know either. Don't anynone tell Jeff Aley...

Mike Brock


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson writes:

Well said, Bob. The great plains states are nothing like Ohio,
Indiana, and parts of Illinois.
True enough. Flat as a pancake...like Florida. Sorry...couldn't resist. Now, now...don't bring up the foliage. Surely no one thinks the vegetation in Northern Cal...let alone Oregon and Wash...matches that of Southern Cal.

Mike Brock...it's getting late...fortunately


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Mike Brock wrote:
I don't think so. Neither does Raymond George . . . even stronger evidence exists. There are photos of Katy box cars [ in yellow ] carrying the "well" slogan shot in 1945. There are others shot later, New date: 1954 with no "well"...just "Southwest". To add to that, my 1943 MK&T timetable shows the "Well" and the back cover to the 1944 annual report shows "well". Apparently the "well" was dropped in '46.
That's what I get for believing the Texan who told me the sequence when I asked about it, in relation to a project to decal a box car. Ah, freight cars! Remember when we talked about them a lot on this list? <g>
Note to self: do your own research, don't trust what others (well-meaning as they may be) tell you.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

Well said, Bob. The great plains states are nothing like Ohio,
Indiana, and parts of Illinois. Richard Hendrickson
My head is swimming.... what does all this have to do with
freight cars??

Look... we talk about coal cars for a good reason -- the single
largest and most vital commodity on US railroads was coal during
the steam era, and it remains so today. It dwarfs agricultural
products by tonnage and ton-miles, and it did so during the STMFC
era as well. Was it such a big commodity on the AT&SF or SP? No.
But let's face it, AT&SF wasn't that important... kind of like
an overgrown version of the Rutland, really... only with cattle
instead of milk.

:-)

Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor
 

Mike Brock wrote

I hail from Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Mike, that one brief declaration answers so many questions...

:-) :-) :-)

P.S. The SP was the other railroad you're thinking of that
never went bankrupt in its history. Unlike its somewhat flaky
partner Union Pacific.


Tim O'Connor
 

Well said, Bob. The great plains states are nothing like Ohio,
Indiana, and parts of Illinois.
True enough. Flat as a pancake...like Florida.
Ummm... you do realize that the Black Hills of South Dakota
include some rather large mountains, right?


asychis@...
 

Mike Brock writes:

"None of this, however, explains the Mopac triple hopper operating in
captive
service on the B&O heading back to West Va. for another load. Perhaps B&O
crews couldn't distinguish between B&O and Mopac on the black hopper cars.
Or...maybe Mopac made nicer hopper cars...given that UP also "captured"
some
for use on the branch south of Provo, UT."

Mike do you have any additional information on MP hoppers in "captive"
service? I model the MP in the Southern Illinois coal fields and am always
looking for information on MP coal traffic in the 1950s.

Jerry Michels

**************Looking for love this summer? Find it now on AOL Personals.
(http://personals.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntuslove00000003)


asychis@...
 

Richard writes:

"The Q was a "western" railroad only from the perspective of easterners who
think
the west starts at the Mississippi River. However, for all of us
true westerners, the west begins at the Front Range. Period. Denver
and Cheyenne are west, but only barely. I mean to take nothing away
from the Burlington, which was in many ways an admirable railroad
(though, it must be said, with some of the ugliest steam locomotives
ever conceived). But a western railroad? Emphatically not.

So the Q's slogan Everywhere West was just a PR department ploy? :^)

Jerry Michels
**************Looking for love this summer? Find it now on AOL Personals.
(http://personals.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntuslove00000003)