More Freight Car Content in March MRH


Bill Welch
 

Tony T. has a long article w/many photos about Freight Cars in the March Model Railroad Hobbyist.


Bill Welch


A&Y Dave in MD
 

I read it and enjoyed it. I just wish it had pointed out that it was focused on a peri-WWII or later fleet. For example, the signature Southern cars were the 1937 steel boxcar and an even later car. This might have the broadest appeal, given the numbers of transition modelers, but does me no good for my 1934 modeling effort. The aging, outdated wood 36' boxcars that was replaced mostly by those '37 cars were a signature car in the 20s and 30s!  And there is a great Westerfield kit as well as an F&C version to model it.  According to "Captain' Snow's conductor books, those SU truss rod cars were the staple for merchandise (i.e., LCL) on the Winston-Salem division at least.  In addition there were vents and DD DS cars in the fleet (which only has the rare Sunshine kit to represent it).

If that's what happened on the road I know well, then that leaves me in the dark for the roads I don't.

This isn't complaining about Tony's article, it's a request to expand the concept to cover other eras! Who can write the article for the Depression era, the WWI to Depression era, the turn-of-the-century, or even the 50s?

I'll work on 1934, but I could use some help.

Dave

Sent from Dave Bott's iPad

On Mar 3, 2015, at 5:16 PM, fgexbill@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

Tony T. has a long article w/many photos about Freight Cars in the March Model Railroad Hobbyist.


Bill Welch



Tony Thompson
 

David Bott wrote:

 
I read it and enjoyed it. I just wish it had pointed out that it was focused on a peri-WWII or later fleet. For example, the signature Southern cars were the 1937 steel boxcar and an even later car. This might have the broadest appeal, given the numbers of transition modelers, but does me no good for my 1934 modeling effort . . .

 This kind of article can really only be done for a fairly narrow slice of years. The data shown in Figure 1 are for 1950, which SHOULD have supplied some clue about the approximate era being covered. Nothing whatever wrong with 1934, it's just that I happen to model 1953, and that's what I have researched, modeled, and published. I would love to read comparable articles for other time spans.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





rob.mclear3@...
 

Hi all

Tony's article is one of the better ones that I have read recently and I know it is for the 50's but I model 1947 so it is not that far ahead of my time frame and should be reasonably applicable to it.   Thanks for this one Tony a good read.   I'm sure Richard is smiling.

Regards
Rob McLear
Australia.


David
 

1934 is an interesting date to model. Almost nothing had been built in the few years previous, so the freight car fleet was almost entirely cars built 1900-1930 or so. The older wood-frame truss-rod cars would have been worn out and mostly junked by then, and the massive scrapping of the early steel and steel-frame cars was just beginning. To oversimplify, you need at least one of almost everything in the Westerfield catalog.

David Thompson


Charles Peck
 

Thank you, Tony, for sharing.
Folks, those of you who are holding your breath for the next installment of Tony's predigested research should
come to Cocoa Beach Prototype Rail 2016.  I do not know if he will be giving another clinic (I hope!!) but
if nothing else you could offer to buy him a meal or a few drinks.   
You are welcome, Tony.
Chuck Peck

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:02 AM, rob.mclear3@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

Hi all


Tony's article is one of the better ones that I have read recently and I know it is for the 50's but I model 1947 so it is not that far ahead of my time frame and should be reasonably applicable to it.   Thanks for this one Tony a good read.   I'm sure Richard is smiling.

Regards
Rob McLear
Australia.



Edward
 

David noted:

1934 is an interesting date to model. Almost nothing had been built in the few years previous, so the freight car fleet was almost entirely cars built 1900-1930 or so. . . . .

Quite a few freight cars were built to new designs that attempted a degree of standardization during USRA years of WW I and the following decade.  However US production dropped seriously from the stock market collapse and the following Great Depression which hit very hard by 1930.

Not much of a market for scrap metal through the 1930s as production was 'way down. The economy picked up a little by 1936/7 but sank again, until the US entered WW II.

These steel and steel framed cars built from 1918 and well into the 1920s were still reasonably new equipment by 1934, averaging 10-15 years  in age. Many would see service through WW II and into the 1950s.

Ed Bommer




Dave Parker
 

Regarding David's comment and Ed's response:

I also model 1934-35 with an emphasis on the B&M.  Based on the 1935 ORER, the largest component of the B&M's fleet was a group of 37', SUF wood box cars (both 30 and 40 ton) that were built BEFORE WWI.  There were still about 3000 of these cars in service, or 30% of the B&M freight fleet.  Less than half had been rebuilt with steel ends; the remainder still had wooden ends. AFIK, they rode on older trucks (mainly Fox or archbar) for the the duration of their use.  Even in 1940, there were more than 800 of these cars still in service.

Fine resin kits are available for the B&M's 1919 USRA DS box cars, and for the 1929-30 XM-1s (as per Tony's article), but these classes only totaled about 2500 cars in 1935.  I have yet to find a set of drawings, much less a model, for the more numerous pre-WWI cars.  Thus, despite Westerfield's focus on older cars, there remains a significant gap for B&M modelers interested in the 1930s that, for now, can only be filled via scratch-building.  I suspect the same be true for at least a few other roads.

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA


A&Y Dave in MD
 

1934 saw prohibition repeal, and slim window for beer billboard reefers before billboards disappeared, per Hendrickson and Kaminski. The area I model is Piedmont plateau in North Carolina, including W-S division of Southern, and A&Y, so there is fair amount of merchandise, furniture, tobacco, textiles, some oil/gas/kerosene, lots of farm-related commodities, like fertilizer, produce, farm implements, and hay, plus some gravel, ballast. There is the occasional carload of autos delivered.

A lot goes to/from Spencer yard, Norfolk, and Potomac Yard.  Once I've completed my combined spreadsheet for 9 months' of train lists, I'll be able to summarize by road name, car type, and contents to see patterns.  I can then show how time and region can matter in terms of what is typical. I hope to write an article blending Tony's and John Nehrich's articles.  Of corse I'm not the modeler that Tony, John, or Richard are (was 😥).  So I may ask list members to contribute photos of models and prototypes I've identified as illustrations.

A doable project, inspired by Tony's example and our shared ambitions and fueled by our different interests.

Dave

Sent from Dave Bott's iPad

On Mar 4, 2015, at 10:29 AM, edb8391@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

David noted:


1934 is an interesting date to model. Almost nothing had been built in the few years previous, so the freight car fleet was almost entirely cars built 1900-1930 or so. . . . .

Quite a few freight cars were built to new designs that attempted a degree of standardization during USRA years of WW I and the following decade.  However US production dropped seriously from the stock market collapse and the following Great Depression which hit very hard by 1930.

Not much of a market for scrap metal through the 1930s as production was 'way down. The economy picked up a little by 1936/7 but sank again, until the US entered WW II.

These steel and steel framed cars built from 1918 and well into the 1920s were still reasonably new equipment by 1934, averaging 10-15 years  in age. Many would see service through WW II and into the 1950s.

Ed Bommer




Eric Hansmann
 

I have been focused on late 1926 for over a decade now. I created a couple of pages on my blog that consistently receive some of the most visits each week. These are solid starting points for someone modeling a period in the 1920-1935 era. 


A guide to 1920s era HO scale plastic freight cars

A quick guide to Westerfield Models for a 1920s model railroad


These references can be accessed through my blog just below the Search bottom on the right side of the page. 

 
I don't go into as much detail as Tony does in his MRH article, but if you have an interest in this time period you are probably already reviewing ORER data for various car series. 

I need to create a page for other resin kit manufacturers with product that can also be used for the target years. F&C offers several and Yarmouth has a sweet Northern Pacific box car that is most worthy. I guess I better get crackin' on that.

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX


riverman_vt@...
 

   Respectfully,  I'm not sure that Dave Parker's comments with regard to obtaining 
models of the B&M's 37 ft. steel underframe cars constructed in the teens. True, their 
dose not seem to be a lot of info on them and I've yet to see actual railroad plans for
them. If one finds a photo of two, however, they are very much like the New Haven
double sheathed cars constructed in the same period, if not total duplicates. They
even share the same sloped endsill. If I really wanted one or two I wouldn't hesitate
to use one or two of the new Funaro & Camerlengo kits with one piece bodies for the
New Haven version and simply decorate them as B&M. Yeah, I know, the rivet counters
might not be happy but first they are going to have to do some real research and have
better luck than I have had in twenty odd years of looking to prove there are real 
significant differences between the two prototypes.

Cordially, Don Valentine


gary laakso
 

Don, what decals are there available for doing these cars as B&M? 
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
 
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 5:14 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] More Freight Car Content in March MRH
 
 

   Respectfully,  I'm not sure that Dave Parker's comments with regard to obtaining 

models of the B&M's 37 ft. steel underframe cars constructed in the teens. True, their
dose not seem to be a lot of info on them and I've yet to see actual railroad plans for
them. If one finds a photo of two, however, they are very much like the New Haven
double sheathed cars constructed in the same period, if not total duplicates. They
even share the same sloped endsill. If I really wanted one or two I wouldn't hesitate
to use one or two of the new Funaro & Camerlengo kits with one piece bodies for the
New Haven version and simply decorate them as B&M. Yeah, I know, the rivet counters
might not be happy but first they are going to have to do some real research and have
better luck than I have had in twenty odd years of looking to prove there are real
significant differences between the two prototypes.
 
Cordially, Don Valentine


Dave Parker
 

I can't quibble with Don Valentine's comments about using the NH cars as a very close stand-in for the early B&M cars.  But, I have a photo or two on the way, and there is a surviving car in VT that I plan to fully photograph and measure in May.  From that, I plan to scratch build using (drum roll please) scribed wood siding, a material I was very fond of during my first foray into HO scale some 45 years ago.  Not sure yet about the roof, but I'll figure something out.

Re: Gary's query, I could probably fake the decals starting with a Westerfield set and some odds and ends, but I am resigned to learning to create (and pay for) custom decals in white for several series of B&M cars from the 1930s.  The commercial selection is just not adequate at this time.

Best regards,

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA


John Barry
 

As Tony said, the applicability is limited to a thin slice of time.  Although certain signatures crossed those slices, the mix of signatures changes as some of our other posters have pointed out with the truss rod cars.  For myself, the Westerfield CD version of the Jan 45 ORER is my fleet truth.  Lots of, but not all of, the cars Tony mentioned were ubiquitous in my day.  One that he didn't pick for his competitor, Santa Fe, that was in decline by 53, but strong in 45 and had been since the 20's, was the Caswell gon.  I would posit that anyone modeling that era needs one as like his drop bottom gon (thank you Tony for selling me that extra), as they were widely interchanged and show up in many eastern photos.  That, is fortunately an easy do with an Intermountain RTR car, a wide variation of accurate markings as the lettering changed over the years.  On those, if the reweigh date is good for your era, or slightly before, the lettering really does match.

 
John Barry

ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights

707-490-9696

PO Box 44736
Washington, DC 20026-4736

__._





riverman_vt@...
 

Hi Gary and Dave,

   Wanted to think about the decal question for a day or so before responding. It is not an easy thing
since George Bishop passed away and Accucals came to an end other then the more popular sets
the Microscale chose to copy or duplicate and they have done little with freight car material. The best
bet is probably a Westerfield set for the USRA boxcars as they were the next type purchased anyway.
It would require cutting and piecing to get the right numbers for everything but may be the only game 
in town at the moment.

   I'm curious to know where you believe the surviving car in Vermont is, Dave, as living here I think
it would have been discovered years ago. If you mean the replacement station on the St.J. & L.C.
at Lamoille (East Hardwick) I'm not certain that it still exists but can check easily enough. By the 
same token some have siad it was an ex-B&M car while others have stated it was a New Haven car.
If it is (was) at another location I think I'd check locally before making a trip from California to view it.
At -18F at 5:00 AM this morning I think I'd wait a month or two in any case, though I think this is the 
last hurrah for the real cold mornings.

My best, Don Valentine