Topics

fleet composition


Mikebrock
 

Tim O'Connor says:

"To me those high ATSF and MILW numbers reveal a traffic artifact -- In other words,
there was probably some identifiable cause (like someone buying large quantities of
grain from Topeka KS, or whatever). In fact, ATSF-MILW-NP-CNW are all strongly
associated with grain, MILW-NP are also strongly associated with lumber, and CNW
strongly associated with paper too."

But, do we really care why ATSF and MILW show up more often than expected? By the same token, do we care what unusual event occurred causing 36 SP box cars to find a home in a WB UP frt on Sherman Hill in '53? I mean, maybe the SP yard master in Ogden was told to assemble a train of SP box cars for a publicity photo or perhaps an earthquake derailed a large number of SP box cars in Sacramento and SP wanted their cars from points east of SLC. Perhaps the objective is to develop "drivers"...or predictors and many seem to be seeking that. OTOH, I have to say that I don't care why frt car traffic produced such and such cars at such and such places. I might be surprised at the consist of some trains but, again, if all I'm trying to do is provide a simulation of frt car activity at a specific time...I'll go with what I know for sure happened rather than what should have happened [ or what should not have happened ].

For example, Westvaco leased 5 LO's from SHPX for their Chlorine Div, cars 25390-25394. Westvaco apparently had sites in various locals...including West Va and, surprise!, Wyoming. In fact the WY location was known as...surprise again!...Westvaco. Westvaco also leased 20 cars from SHPX for their chemical Div. Of these, cars 25495 to 25500 were assigned to the WY site. The book Big Boy Collection has photos of Laramie showing several of the Westvaco cars but I am unable to determine the car numbers although one chemical car can be seen. I believe there is a better photo spread on these cars at Laramie but I have not found it...yet. Nooooo problem. I have 3 of the Bowser 1958 Westvaco LO's numbered 25392-25394. Westvaco had 5 of these cars in their Chlorine Div and I have 3 of them. Now let's see. The photo was apparently taken in 1956, 3 yrs into the future. Hmmm. Oh well, what's three yrs? So, assuming my '49 Fraley's car count for 34 trains and the '49 traffic of 35 trains per day still holds in '56, and we project the '49 data to 1956, we have 134,890 cars passing through Laramie and at least 7 or so are Westvaco's. But which...chlorine or chemical? If 3 of the cars were chlorine, I have them covered. Mind you, however, every day is May 14 so it isn't as if I'm having the 3 cars appear every day in the summer/spring of 1953. Can't be winter [ which is Sep 1 through June1 ], the photo backdrops were shot in a very wet and green June.

If the Fraley '49 data works for '53 [ traffic wise ], we can expect 35 trains to roll through on May 14. That's a mere 2870 cars. Hmmm. If 3 were Westvaco's that means .001% of the cars are Westvaco's. Given that I am using about 300 frt cars and only 8 trains, I should use about 0.3 of a Westvaco car IF the .001% were even remotely correct. Given that UP ran 134890 cars through Laramie during the approximate month and a half and UP, itself owned about 50,000 cars, I kind of doubt that 135 Westvaco's would show up. I mean...where are these damned things coming from?

So, probably I should use about one Westvaco bolt.

The photo spread shows another interesting car. Yep, a CN box car. Now then...

Mike Brock


Scott H. Haycock
 

Mike,
two points of contention, not specifically related to your argument.

1- I thought a previous post established that Westvaco (Wyoming), and Westvaco (West Virginia) were two separate companies, and,

2_ Does winter in Laramie really last 9 months? :)


Scott Haycock


 


Tim O'Connor says:

"To me those high ATSF and MILW numbers reveal a traffic artifact -- In
other words,
there was probably some identifiable cause (like someone buying large
quantities of
grain from Topeka KS, or whatever). In fact, ATSF-MILW-NP-CNW are all
strongly
associated with grain, MILW-NP are also strongly associated with lumber, and
CNW
strongly associated with paper too."

But, do we really care why ATSF and MILW show up more often than expected?
By the same token, do we care what unusual event occurred causing 36 SP box
cars to find a home in a WB UP frt on Sherman Hill in '53? I mean, maybe the
SP yard master in Ogden was told to assemble a train of SP box cars for a
publicity photo or perhaps an earthquake derailed a large number of SP box
cars in Sacramento and SP wanted their cars from points east of SLC. Perhaps
the objective is to develop "drivers"...or predictors and many seem to be
seeking that. OTOH, I have to say that I don't care why frt car traffic
produced such and such cars at such and such places. I might be surprised at
the consist of some trains but, again, if all I'm trying to do is provide a
simulation of frt car activity at a specific time...I'll go with what I know
for sure happened rather than what should have happened [ or what should not
have happened ].

For example, Westvaco leased 5 LO's from SHPX for their Chlorine Div, cars
25390-25394. Westvaco apparently had sites in various locals...including
West Va and, surprise!, Wyoming. In fact the WY location was known
as...surprise again!...Westvaco. Westvaco also leased 20 cars from SHPX for
their chemical Div. Of these, cars 25495 to 25500 were assigned to the WY
site. The book Big Boy Collection has photos of Laramie showing several of
the Westvaco cars but I am unable to determine the car numbers although one
chemical car can be seen. I believe there is a better photo spread on these
cars at Laramie but I have not found it...yet. Nooooo problem. I have 3 of
the Bowser 1958 Westvaco LO's numbered 25392-25394. Westvaco had 5 of these
cars in their Chlorine Div and I have 3 of them. Now let's see. The photo
was apparently taken in 1956, 3 yrs into the future. Hmmm. Oh well, what's
three yrs? So, assuming my '49 Fraley's car count for 34 trains and the '49
traffic of 35 trains per day still holds in '56, and we project the '49 data
to 1956, we have 134,890 cars passing through Laramie and at least 7 or so
are Westvaco's. But which...chlorine or chemical? If 3 of the cars were
chlorine, I have them covered. Mind you, however, every day is May 14 so it
isn't as if I'm having the 3 cars appear every day in the summer/spring of
1953. Can't be winter [ which is Sep 1 through June1 ], the photo backdrops
were shot in a very wet and green June.

If the Fraley '49 data works for '53 [ traffic wise ], we can expect 35
trains to roll through on May 14. That's a mere 2870 cars. Hmmm. If 3 were
Westvaco's that means .001% of the cars are Westvaco's. Given that I am
using about 300 frt cars and only 8 trains, I should use about 0.3 of a
Westvaco car IF the .001% were even remotely correct. Given that UP ran
134890 cars through Laramie during the approximate month and a half and UP,
itself owned about 50,000 cars, I kind of doubt that 135 Westvaco's would
show up. I mean...where are these damned things coming from?

So, probably I should use about one Westvaco bolt.

The photo spread shows another interesting car. Yep, a CN box car. Now
then...

Mike Brock



Tim O'Connor
 

Mike Brock asks (somewhat rhetorically)

  > But, do we really care why ATSF and MILW show up more often than expected?


Yes, of course we do, because if they showed up MORE often on the Rutland RR,
then it means they showed up LESS often elsewhere. As Dan Holbrook said, more
or less, "man cannot live by percentages alone".

The percentages give us a baseline. From there, think about your particular
piece of railroad, your time period, particular traffic flows, local industries,
etc. All that combined, gives your traffic mix.

Tim O'



Aley, Jeff A
 

Scott & Mike,

 

               It was the same WestVaCo, eventually sold to Food Machinery Corp (FMC).

               The 1,958 cu-ft LO’s from Wyoming were carrying soda ash and were being shipped east.  A significant number of them went to the Westvaco (FMC) phosphate plant in Lawrence, KS on the UP.

 

With regard to the overall fleet composition, one must be careful when analyzing data for the UP (and, I presume, other RR’s as well).  Not all trains looked the same.  In fact, I believe many professional railroaders could often identify a train by its consist, because the car types were similar on a day-to-day basis.  The UP obviously operated “Fruit Trains” that were dominated by reefers (mostly, but not exclusively PFE).  In addition, we can learn from Mark Amfahr’s excellent articles in The Streamliner that they operated merchandise trains (almost entirely loaded box cars for the freight houses), lumber extras (many double-door box cars), and drag freights (mostly empties, plus low-value loads such as soda ash, sand, gravel, and coal).

Given that the trains were different, and given that we usually only have data for a SAMPLE of the trains, a statistician can see that our data might be highly biased.

 

Oh, and it gets worse.  The UP would also re-arrange the trains based on tonnage.  So they might combine all of a fruit train with the first quarter of a merchandise train to fill out the tonnage, and then send it out.  This has the effect of convoluting the data even further, but doesn’t mix the cars up “enough” to make each train “random”.

 

This is not to say that we should ignore data completely and just do whatever we like.  I’m am simply saying (as others have before) that we must be cautious when we draw conclusions from the data.

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

 

 

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 12:26 AM
To: Steam Era Freight Cars
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: fleet composition

 

 

Mike,

two points of contention, not specifically related to your argument.

 

1- I thought a previous post established that Westvaco (Wyoming), and Westvaco (West Virginia) were two separate companies, and,

 

2_ Does winter in Laramie really last 9 months? :)

 

 

Scott Haycock

 


 


Tim O'Connor says:

"To me those high ATSF and MILW numbers reveal a traffic artifact -- In
other words,
there was probably some identifiable cause (like someone buying large
quantities of
grain from Topeka KS, or whatever). In fact, ATSF-MILW-NP-CNW are all
strongly
associated with grain, MILW-NP are also strongly associated with lumber, and
CNW
strongly associated with paper too."

But, do we really care why ATSF and MILW show up more often than expected?
By the same token, do we care what unusual event occurred causing 36 SP box
cars to find a home in a WB UP frt on Sherman Hill in '53? I mean, maybe the
SP yard master in Ogden was told to assemble a train of SP box cars for a
publicity photo or perhaps an earthquake derailed a large number of SP box
cars in Sacramento and SP wanted their cars from points east of SLC. Perhaps
the objective is to develop "drivers"...or predictors and many seem to be
seeking that. OTOH, I have to say that I don't care why frt car traffic
produced such and such cars at such and such places. I might be surprised at
the consist of some trains but, again, if all I'm trying to do is provide a
simulation of frt car activity at a specific time...I'll go with what I know
for sure happened rather than what should have happened [ or what should not
have happened ].

For example, Westvaco leased 5 LO's from SHPX for their Chlorine Div, cars
25390-25394. Westvaco apparently had sites in various locals...including
West Va and, surprise!, Wyoming. In fact the WY location was known
as...surprise again!...Westvaco. Westvaco also leased 20 cars from SHPX for
their chemical Div. Of these, cars 25495 to 25500 were assigned to the WY
site. The book Big Boy Collection has photos of Laramie showing several of
the Westvaco cars but I am unable to determine the car numbers although one
chemical car can be seen. I believe there is a better photo spread on these
cars at Laramie but I have not found it...yet. Nooooo problem. I have 3 of
the Bowser 1958 Westvaco LO's numbered 25392-25394. Westvaco had 5 of these
cars in their Chlorine Div and I have 3 of them. Now let's see. The photo
was apparently taken in 1956, 3 yrs into the future. Hmmm. Oh well, what's
three yrs? So, assuming my '49 Fraley's car count for 34 trains and the '49
traffic of 35 trains per day still holds in '56, and we project the '49 data
to 1956, we have 134,890 cars passing through Laramie and at least 7 or so
are Westvaco's. But which...chlorine or chemical? If 3 of the cars were
chlorine, I have them covered. Mind you, however, every day is May 14 so it
isn't as if I'm having the 3 cars appear every day in the summer/spring of
1953. Can't be winter [ which is Sep 1 through June1 ], the photo backdrops
were shot in a very wet and green June.

If the Fraley '49 data works for '53 [ traffic wise ], we can expect 35
trains to roll through on May 14. That's a mere 2870 cars. Hmmm. If 3 were
Westvaco's that means .001% of the cars are Westvaco's. Given that I am
using about 300 frt cars and only 8 trains, I should use about 0.3 of a
Westvaco car IF the .001% were even remotely correct. Given that UP ran
134890 cars through Laramie during the approximate month and a half and UP,
itself owned about 50,000 cars, I kind of doubt that 135 Westvaco's would
show up. I mean...where are these damned things coming from?

So, probably I should use about one Westvaco bolt.

The photo spread shows another interesting car. Yep, a CN box car. Now
then...

Mike Brock

 


Allen Montgomery
 

Here at the Wyoming Division Historical Society, I have spent the last three years getting a feel for what the freight trains looked like on the UP. This is a summary of the way our trains look. 
Competing, parallel bridge route r.r. cars are seen moving west (empty) at the rear of the train.
East coast cars moving west are loads usually on the front end. 
East coast cars moving east are loads, seen throughout the train.
SP cars moving east (75% from Oakland,25% from LA). I have noticed in photos that they can be clumped into groups. As the SP wanted to use the Modoc line out of Oregon, most of the lumber off the SP still went to Ogden as opposed to the OSL coming into Granger.
SP and PFE cars moving west are mt's scattered throughout the train.
The Idaho division generated the greatest amount of tonnage on the UP system, so trains on and off the OSL have the largest amount of home road cars on the layout.
Unless they are loaded with manufactured goods, all flats and gons headed west are empty.
After that, anything is possible. We have operators that have been briefed on these generalities, who put together trains during the session, and I get a kick out of being able to identify a train based on the consist.
Of course, there are more 'rules' than this, but I write this as a way to highlight the ideas of this conversation. Please feel free to give me feed back.
Allen Montgomery





On Monday, July 27, 2015 9:36 AM, "'Aley, Jeff A' Jeff.A.Aley@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:


 
Scott & Mike,
 
               It was the same WestVaCo, eventually sold to Food Machinery Corp (FMC).
               The 1,958 cu-ft LO’s from Wyoming were carrying soda ash and were being shipped east.  A significant number of them went to the Westvaco (FMC) phosphate plant in Lawrence, KS on the UP.
 
With regard to the overall fleet composition, one must be careful when analyzing data for the UP (and, I presume, other RR’s as well).  Not all trains looked the same.  In fact, I believe many professional railroaders could often identify a train by its consist, because the car types were similar on a day-to-day basis.  The UP obviously operated “Fruit Trains” that were dominated by reefers (mostly, but not exclusively PFE).  In addition, we can learn from Mark Amfahr’s excellent articles in The Streamliner that they operated merchandise trains (almost entirely loaded box cars for the freight houses), lumber extras (many double-door box cars), and drag freights (mostly empties, plus low-value loads such as soda ash, sand, gravel, and coal).
Given that the trains were different, and given that we usually only have data for a SAMPLE of the trains, a statistician can see that our data might be highly biased.
 
Oh, and it gets worse.  The UP would also re-arrange the trains based on tonnage.  So they might combine all of a fruit train with the first quarter of a merchandise train to fill out the tonnage, and then send it out.  This has the effect of convoluting the data even further, but doesn’t mix the cars up “enough” to make each train “random”.
 
This is not to say that we should ignore data completely and just do whatever we like.  I’m am simply saying (as others have before) that we must be cautious when we draw conclusions from the data.
 
Regards,
 
-Jeff
 
 
 
 
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 12:26 AM
To: Steam Era Freight Cars
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: fleet composition
 
 
Mike,
two points of contention, not specifically related to your argument.
 
1- I thought a previous post established that Westvaco (Wyoming), and Westvaco (West Virginia) were two separate companies, and,
 
2_ Does winter in Laramie really last 9 months? :)
 
 
Scott Haycock
 

 

Tim O'Connor says:

"To me those high ATSF and MILW numbers reveal a traffic artifact -- In
other words,
there was probably some identifiable cause (like someone buying large
quantities of
grain from Topeka KS, or whatever). In fact, ATSF-MILW-NP-CNW are all
strongly
associated with grain, MILW-NP are also strongly associated with lumber, and
CNW
strongly associated with paper too."

But, do we really care why ATSF and MILW show up more often than expected?
By the same token, do we care what unusual event occurred causing 36 SP box
cars to find a home in a WB UP frt on Sherman Hill in '53? I mean, maybe the
SP yard master in Ogden was told to assemble a train of SP box cars for a
publicity photo or perhaps an earthquake derailed a large number of SP box
cars in Sacramento and SP wanted their cars from points east of SLC. Perhaps
the objective is to develop "drivers"...or predictors and many seem to be
seeking that. OTOH, I have to say that I don't care why frt car traffic
produced such and such cars at such and such places. I might be surprised at
the consist of some trains but, again, if all I'm trying to do is provide a
simulation of frt car activity at a specific time...I'll go with what I know
for sure happened rather than what should have happened [ or what should not
have happened ].

For example, Westvaco leased 5 LO's from SHPX for their Chlorine Div, cars
25390-25394. Westvaco apparently had sites in various locals...including
West Va and, surprise!, Wyoming. In fact the WY location was known
as...surprise again!...Westvaco. Westvaco also leased 20 cars from SHPX for
their chemical Div. Of these, cars 25495 to 25500 were assigned to the WY
site. The book Big Boy Collection has photos of Laramie showing several of
the Westvaco cars but I am unable to determine the car numbers although one
chemical car can be seen. I believe there is a better photo spread on these
cars at Laramie but I have not found it...yet. Nooooo problem. I have 3 of
the Bowser 1958 Westvaco LO's numbered 25392-25394. Westvaco had 5 of these
cars in their Chlorine Div and I have 3 of them. Now let's see. The photo
was apparently taken in 1956, 3 yrs into the future. Hmmm. Oh well, what's
three yrs? So, assuming my '49 Fraley's car count for 34 trains and the '49
traffic of 35 trains per day still holds in '56, and we project the '49 data
to 1956, we have 134,890 cars passing through Laramie and at least 7 or so
are Westvaco's. But which...chlorine or chemical? If 3 of the cars were
chlorine, I have them covered. Mind you, however, every day is May 14 so it
isn't as if I'm having the 3 cars appear every day in the summer/spring of
1953. Can't be winter [ which is Sep 1 through June1 ], the photo backdrops
were shot in a very wet and green June.

If the Fraley '49 data works for '53 [ traffic wise ], we can expect 35
trains to roll through on May 14. That's a mere 2870 cars. Hmmm. If 3 were
Westvaco's that means .001% of the cars are Westvaco's. Given that I am
using about 300 frt cars and only 8 trains, I should use about 0.3 of a
Westvaco car IF the .001% were even remotely correct. Given that UP ran
134890 cars through Laramie during the approximate month and a half and UP,
itself owned about 50,000 cars, I kind of doubt that 135 Westvaco's would
show up. I mean...where are these damned things coming from?

So, probably I should use about one Westvaco bolt.

The photo spread shows another interesting car. Yep, a CN box car. Now
then...

Mike Brock
 



Tony Thompson
 

Allen Montgomery wrote (in part):

 

SP and PFE cars moving west are mt's scattered throughout the train.

     Small comment: UP pulled many westward PFE empties from trains at North Platte, where PFE had a cleanout facility, and trash inside the cars, as well as remnant ice in bunkers or interior, was cleaned out. I would think that these cleaned PFE cars would tend to show in bunches in trains leaving North Platte westward. But in heavy harvest season, North Platte would get overloaded, and then overflow PFE cars were moved onward to Nampa and Pocatello for cleaning and inspection for repair.
     Your other "rules" sound reasonable, as long as not slavishly adhered to.

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





Mikebrock
 

Jeff Aley notes:

"It was the same WestVaCo, eventually sold to Food Machinery Corp (FMC)."

There were, however, two [ at least ] Westvaco companies. As Jeff says, FMC [ a Missouri Corp ] acquired Westvaco Chemical Corp. (chlorine and caustic soda used to produce organic insecticides and pesticides) in 1946. This Westvaco apparently leased the SHPX covered hoppers. To confuse the situation somewhat, another Westvaco (originally the Piedmont Pulp and Paper Company and then The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company), and then Westvaco operated an extensive paper [ boxes, etc. ] oriented business and still does as MeadWestvaco. As far as I am aware, this Westvaco leased no covered hoppers from SHPX. One has to wonder how many lawyers each Westvaco kept on staff.

"With regard to the overall fleet composition, one must be careful when analyzing data for the UP (and, I presume, other RR’s as well). Not all trains looked the same. In fact, I believe many professional railroaders could often identify a train by its consist, because the car types were similar on a day-to-day basis."

In fact, even some professional model railroaders can identify a train by its consist which is useful since Fraley [ at least ] did not identify a single train in his conductor's book...although he didn't hesitate to name the engineer and brakeman but not the fireman [ odd ]. Fortunately, he did list the locomotive.

"The UP obviously operated “Fruit Trains” that were dominated by reefers (mostly, but not exclusively PFE)."

Yes, but I prefer the term "reefer train" because, as Fraley shows, by far the majority of reefers were carrying spuds. Of course, commodities like fruit and spuds were seasonal.

"In addition, we can learn from Mark Amfahr’s excellent articles in The Streamliner that they operated merchandise trains (almost entirely loaded box cars for the freight houses), lumber extras (many double-door box cars), and drag freights (mostly empties, plus low-value loads such as soda ash, sand, gravel, and coal).
Given that the trains were different, and given that we usually only have data for a SAMPLE of the trains, a statistician can see that our data might be highly biased."

For sure. Using the criteria that if about a half of a train carried a specific item [ like spuds or coal or lumber ], here's how 34 trains might be labeled in March/April '49:

1. Lumber-9
2. Spuds/apples-4
3. Cattle/sheep- 3
4. MT [ PFE ]-3
5.MT coal-3
6.Gas-1
7.Ore-1
8.MT-tank-2

That is 26 of the 34 trains in the book. The other 8 might be described as carrying "stuff".

"Oh, and it gets worse. The UP would also re-arrange the trains based on tonnage. So they might combine all of a fruit train with the first quarter of a merchandise train to fill out the tonnage, and then send it out. This has the effect of convoluting the data even further, but doesn’t mix the cars up “enough” to make each train “random”.

As Jack Nicklaus said, "Nobody said it had to be fair".

"This is not to say that we should ignore data completely and just do whatever we like. I’m am simply saying (as others have before) that we must be cautious when we draw conclusions from the data."

Particularly since we have so little of it.

Mike Brock


Tim O'Connor
 

Mike

I REALLY think this whole issue can be greatly simplified for most layouts.

Let's assume you use good "switchlist" software to generate train switchlists
and random car assignments [aka waybills] (following your realistically programmed
car assignment criteria).

Now let's take one example -- A daily heavy freight that primarily carries
mineral products in covered hoppers, originating at say, Green River WY.

Now suppose you own 30 model cars for this service, and your operating rules
allow a train length of 25 cars. Ask a simple question:

HOW MANY DIFFERENT TRAINS OF 25 CARS CAN BE CREATED FROM A SET OF 30 CARS?

Well, it turns out, a LOT. In fact, you can create 142,506 different combinations
of freight cars from this set of 30 cars, chosen 25 at a time !!!

You can do this calculation for any train, or mix of trains, or mix of cars
that you wish. This is the famous "M out of N" combinatorial math formula. If
you had more cars (100) and a shorter train (20) you can be sure that you will
never, ever, ever have the same set of cars in the train, no matter how many
times you run that train, over a period of more than 10,000 years. :-)

Here's the calculator -- have fun!

http://www.numberempire.com/combinatorialcalculator.php

Tim O'Connor

P.S. If you play bridge (13 cards out of 52), the calculation shows there are over
600 BILLION possible hands. I guess that's why people find cards so interesting!


Dennis Storzek
 




---In STMFC@..., <brockm@...> wrote :

In fact, even some professional model railroaders can identify a train by
its consist which is useful since Fraley [ at least ] did not identify a
single train in his conductor's book...although he didn't hesitate to name
the engineer and brakeman but not the fireman [ odd ].
=============

Not odd at all. The brakemen worked directly for the conductor, so if there were any problems, or time slips, he was going to hear about it. 

He wanted to remember the engineer to make sure the BLE wasn't getting the engineer a better deal than the ORC was getting him :-) Also if any issues came up later about rules violations or train performance problems, he needed to know who was running. The fireman was out of his "sphere of influence", and was basically the engineer's problem.

Dennis Storzek


Tim O'Connor
 

I could identify any of the Conrail manifests that ran on the Boston & Albany
in the 1990's just by the cars on the trains. I'd think that was true of many
manifests in the STMFC era.

Tim O'Connor

In fact, even some professional model railroaders can identify a train by
its consist which is useful since Fraley [ at least ] did not identify a
single train in his conductor's book...although he didn't hesitate to name
the engineer and brakeman but not the fireman [ odd ].
=============

Not odd at all. The brakemen worked directly for the conductor, so if there were any problems, or time slips, he was going to hear about it.

He wanted to remember the engineer to make sure the BLE wasn't getting the engineer a better deal than the ORC was getting him :-) Also if any issues came up later about rules violations or train performance problems, he needed to know who was running. The fireman was out of his "sphere of influence", and was basically the engineer's problem.

Dennis Storzek


Mikebrock
 

Dennis Storzek says:

"Not odd at all. The brakemen worked directly for the conductor, so if there were any problems, or time slips, he was going to hear about it.

He wanted to remember the engineer to make sure the BLE wasn't getting the engineer a better deal than the ORC was getting him :-) Also if any issues came up later about rules violations or train performance problems, he needed to know who was running. The fireman was out of his "sphere of influence", and was basically the engineer's problem."

Not bad. Fraley typically had 2 brakemen...usually Newman and Meyer. He only missed indicating the engineer on 2 of the 34 trains.

Mike Brock
Dennis Storzek


Mikebrock
 

Tim O'Connor writes:

"I REALLY think this whole issue can be greatly simplified for most layouts."

Tim goes on to explain that even with relatively small numbers of cars in a fleet, if a smaller number is used to genrate a train, the odds strongly argue that the train's consist will be different...even for the same kind of train [ example, stock train ]. No arguement on that. However, my analysis of my Fraley was to determine the % of the total number of trains [ 34 ] that would be considered a particular type of train. I was not trying to make such trains unique. IOW, I now know that there were about 6 "types" of trains that could be identified by the car's consists. Their presence in the 34 trains of the Fraley are as follows:

1. Lumber: 9 trains, 26.4%
2. Reefer loaded: 4, 11.7%
3. Reefer MT: 3: 8.8%
4. Stock: 3: 8.8%
5. MT coal: 3: 8.8%
6. MT tank: 2: 5.8%
7. Other: 8: 23.5%

Unfortunately [ I think ] I can't populate my layout with 34 trains. In fact, I am confined to 8 frt trains unless I use infinite staging or reduce the number of passenger trains to less than 5. The only time I tried infinite staging we had several dispatchers screaming...

Anyhow, if I confine to 8 trains, I end up with 2 lumber trains, 2 reefer trains, one combined stock/MT coal, one combined MT tank/MT other, and 2 other. I can add 2 more trains through Buford staging...probably one other and one MT other.

Mike Brock


caboose9792@...
 

Even if Westvaco chemical and Westvaco paper were separate companies, being complementary industries why couldn't or wouldn't they do business? Caustic soda and chlorine just happen to be used in the manufacture of paper and pulp processing. Reportedly the largest user of caustic Soda  is the paper industry.  I guess this is getting into the operating side of things rather than STNFC but Mr. Brock's annalists is plausible. I suspect there is more to the "tale of to Westvaco" but that most likely fails outside of this group's speciality.
 
Mark "I need a vacation" Rickert 
 

In a message dated 7/27/2015 2:41:17 P.M. Central Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
There were, however, two [ at least ] Westvaco companies. As Jeff says, FMC
[ a Missouri Corp ] acquired Westvaco Chemical Corp. (chlorine and caustic
soda used to produce organic insecticides and pesticides) in 1946. This
Westvaco apparently leased the SHPX covered hoppers. To confuse the
situation somewhat, another Westvaco (originally the Piedmont Pulp and
Paper Company and then The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company), and then
Westvaco operated an extensive paper [ boxes, etc. ] oriented business and
still does as MeadWestvaco. As far as I am aware, this Westvaco leased no
covered hoppers from SHPX. One has to wonder how many lawyers each Westvaco
kept on staff.


devansprr
 

Mike,

Did UP have any published freight train schedule and consist books?

The PRR had a pretty extensive freight plan based on hundreds of "arranged freights" scheduled between different city pairs. Times were primarily to protect delivery times (1 day, 2 day, etc.) - all PRR freights ran as extras.

The books have appeared on e-bay, but they are very rare. I was able to buy one and the insight it gives into freight train consists is significant.

There has been a lot of speculation in the PRR world about how closely this "plan" was followed, but we have found data in the PA state archives (saved when Conrail was formed), from the WWII era that does support the theory that the schedules and blockings were adhered to as much as practical.

That should help a PRR modeler to properly populate through freight trains based on origin and destination pairs for specific traffic (e.g. stock cars, reefers, and the PRR's early container service.)

Unfortunately individual surviving PRR conductor consist reports are almost unknown, but some of the traffic study data does show two frequent operational tools specific to trunk line traffic:

1) For really busy city pairs (such as between East St. Louis and Enola yard in Harrisburg, PA), multiple "sections" would be run daily, but throughout the day, not one behind the other as would often happen in TT&TO (PRR main/trunk line traffic was ABS/operator controlled.) Those sections would have similar makeup, simplifying the staging issue.

2) For "light" city pairs, it was clear the PRR didn't like to "under-utilize" locomotives, while still meeting delivery times, so they might combine two different "arranged freights" over some divisions that were common to the two different arranged freight city pairs (e.g. a shorter train from Toledo to Baltimore might be combined with a "short" train from Cincinnati to NYCity while operating between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, without reclassification.) That would imply that between layout runs, two through trains in staging could legitimately swap the back halves of their trains once they returned to staging before heading out again as different trains. While car numbers would be repeated, the unique nature of the consist of the now four trains out of staging might be quite reasonable.

I wonder if any such behavior might be detected in the Fraley books?  (e.g. break the stats for trains into front half and back half, and see if the different halves begin to correlate.)

Empty routing/blocking can also be quite revealing. On the PRR, over significant portions of the mainline, it appears that western road WB empties may have been blocked to either Chicago or St. Louis pretty far east in the system. So WB ATSF empties would not appear very often with WB GN empties as they traveled west of Harrisburg (and WB NYC empties would not be seen at all.) So while the N-G theory on boxcar distribution should hold up well for trunk line loads, it would not work for individual strings of empties between certain city pairs (e.g. during WWII one would not expect to see many WB Southern box cars between Crestline, OH and Chicago, nor southbound GN empties into Potomac Yard in DC, since there was a massive imbalance between EB box car loads and WB box car loads.)

The blocking plans for many arranged freights also highlight the perils of deriving any consist information from looking at the first few cars behind the overwhelming number of  "head-end" photos, or cabin-end photos for that matter too.

Dave Evans


---In STMFC@..., <brockm@...> wrote :

Tim O'Connor writes:

"I REALLY think this whole issue can be greatly simplified for most
layouts."

Tim goes on to explain that even with relatively small numbers of cars in a
fleet, if a smaller number is used to genrate a train, the odds strongly
argue that the train's consist will be different...even for the same kind of
train [ example, stock train ]. No arguement on that. However, my analysis
of my Fraley was to determine the % of the total number of trains [ 34 ]
that would be considered a particular type of train. I was not trying to
make such trains unique. IOW, I now know that there were about 6 "types" of
trains that could be identified by the car's consists. Their presence in the
34 trains of the Fraley are as follows:

1. Lumber: 9 trains, 26.4%
2. Reefer loaded: 4, 11.7%
3. Reefer MT: 3: 8.8%
4. Stock: 3: 8.8%
5. MT coal: 3: 8.8%
6. MT tank: 2: 5.8%
7. Other: 8: 23.5%

Unfortunately [ I think ] I can't populate my layout with 34 trains. In
fact, I am confined to 8 frt trains unless I use infinite staging or reduce
the number of passenger trains to less than 5. The only time I tried
infinite staging we had several dispatchers screaming...

Anyhow, if I confine to 8 trains, I end up with 2 lumber trains, 2 reefer
trains, one combined stock/MT coal, one combined MT tank/MT other, and 2
other. I can add 2 more trains through Buford staging...probably one other
and one MT other.

Mike Brock


John Larkin
 

 I've never seen a "published" schedule for UP trains but I did work in Schedule Control where we had a 24/7 operation to schedule priority trains across the UP system, this back in
the 1980 time period.  We typically would monitor the status of the inbound connections (i.e., #247 off the C&NW) and then provide North Platte with the instructions on when to
expect the trains and what connections should be made, when scheduled freight trains might be held for a late connection, etc. 

The hottest trains were normally the auto parts trains (2) and the UPS connections.  Back then Amtrak was also a hot train and we took pride in keeping it on schedule.  Each train had
a scheduled time of arrival and departure but that was all on our timesheets (typed back then) where we logged the OS reports from dispatchers.  Going to a 24-hour clock, as we do
now, would have been very advantageous, particularly during the winter months when we had major storm delays hit western Nebraska and Wyoming. 

One of the few areas where we disagreed with our boss on was the desire to keep drag freights at 125 cars or more.  During cold snaps it would often take 2-4 hours just to pump the air up
in the yard at North Platte (westbound was our emphasis) and if a train made a stop enroute, say for a meet, the -20 degree temps would produce more delays because it would still
take 20-30 minutes to release air on the 150 car monsters they insisted on running during the winters (to save labor costs).  That's when an office job looked pretty good.

There may have printed schedules outside our office but I never saw any and computers were mainframe only around UP back then. 

John Larkin


Mikebrock
 

Dave Evans asks:

"Did UP have any published freight train schedule and consist books?"

Yes. The UP HS published a copy of the 1948 System Employee Time Table and they also published a 1944 Manifest and Perishable Train Schedule #6. The Time Table shows 3 scheduled second class frts in each direction through Laramie. We know that about 35 frt trains passed through Laramie on a given day. This comes from thre number of trains passing through Altamount Tunnel. I should double check that.

The '49 Conductor's book does show single trains with more than one "identifying" characteristic. IOW, a train of many lumber loads and [ for example, 25 loads of company coal ]. Another example is a train pulled by Big Boy 4018 with 10 cars of wine, 23 cars of lumber, 30 PFE cars of spuds, and 15 PFE cars of apples. What would you call that train...other than a freight?

Mike Brock


Tim O'Connor
 


  Another example is a train pulled by Big Boy 4018 with 10 cars of wine,
  23 cars of lumber, 30 PFE cars of spuds, and 15 PFE cars of apples. What
  would you call that train...other than a freight?
  Mike Brock

I'd call it a "fruit block" or a "perishables" manifest. The lumber probably
was just added to "fill out the tonnage" for that Big Boy.

Tim O'


Aley, Jeff A
 

I’d call it what the UP called it.  Each traffic type (originally a train, but combined at Ogden or Green River) had a symbol.  In the era in question, it was probably the RV / SPX / HF.

That’s RV = Roseville Fruit (10 cars of wine)

SPX = Seattle + Portland Manifest (23 cars of lumber)

HF = Hinkle Fruit (45 PFE’s of apples and spuds).

 

And I don’t call trains of reefers “reefer trains” because the prototype called them fruit trains or fruit blocks, even though potatoes are not fruits.  J

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

P.S. I’m assuming the wine was in reefers.  If in tank cars, then perhaps they would have moved on the OVE (Overland East Manifest).

 

 

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 12:59 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] RE: fleet composition

 

 


  Another example is a train pulled by Big Boy 4018 with 10 cars of wine,
  23 cars of lumber, 30 PFE cars of spuds, and 15 PFE cars of apples. What
  would you call that train...other than a freight?
  Mike Brock

I'd call it a "fruit block" or a "perishables" manifest. The lumber probably
was just added to "fill out the tonnage" for that Big Boy.

Tim O'


Mikebrock
 

Jeff Aley says:

"I'd call it what the UP called it. Each traffic type (originally a train, but combined at Ogden or Green River) had a symbol. In the era in question, it was probably the RV / SPX / HF.
That's RV = Roseville Fruit (10 cars of wine)
SPX = Seattle + Portland Manifest (23 cars of lumber)
HF = Hinkle Fruit (45 PFE's of apples and spuds)."

I would certainly agree that somewhere in the UP someone referred to trains using their symbols although Fraley never wrote a single symbol into his book. And, you would probably be right that the "correct" term would be the symbol. However, as I noticed in the book The Steam Locomotive by Ralph Johnson, Chief Engineer for Baldwin Locomotive Works, Johnson used the terms plain bearings, friction bearings and solid bearings all for the same bearings and all on the same page. In my own line of work, seldom did a "rocket scientist" use the "correct" term [ like Atlas Centaur ], preferring to use the general term...missle...for a rocket that certainly at the time was not a missle.

"And I don't call trains of reefers "reefer trains" because the prototype called them fruit trains or fruit blocks, even though potatoes are not fruits."

Probably so...except, how many reefers would be required in the train?


"P.S. I'm assuming the wine was in reefers. If in tank cars, then perhaps they would have moved on the OVE (Overland East Manifest)."

It's not that simple...of course. 1 NRC, 2 PFE, 4 SHPX, 3 GATX

Mike Brock


np328
 

Mike Brock asks: What would you call a train of 10 cars of wine, 23 cars of lumber, 30 PFE cars of spuds, and 15 PFE cars of apples?

Trick question Mike.

Mike Brock fails to state if the lumber is sold or roller lumber. If lumber was sold enroute on the NP, it was switched out at the next convenient yard that a higher priority freight could shortly pick it up. Once sold, prior roller lumber was to be delivered yesterday and considered as hot as the perishables.

   On the NP, from the records I have seen, it would be dispatched as a perishable designation. On the UP, perhaps one of those that Jeff had listed.   

    On the NP, whenever one freight was disbanded at a major sort point (like Laurel on the NP) and joined with another to consolidate tonnage, the new train always held the higher designation of the two older ones. 

    In the example Mike gives, the wine could freeze or overheat in winter or summer respectively, as could the apples or spuds and that is where the damage claims would be. The lumber could always be put off in a yard track or switched out later. 

    On the NP, if the fruit train needed filler tonnage, even company coal, it still traveled on the fruit train designation. The ice melts no matter what. The heaters need servicing, and in protected service, both those things checked. 

    I would believe the UP historical references Mike mentioned yesterday would  cover his question under the above mentioned disbanded.                  Jim Dick