Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers


Bob Chaparro
 

Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

How accurate are the ORERs?

I seem to recall someone mentioning that occasionally the ORERs have listings of freight cars lumped together when these cars had different characteristics.

From my experience I am aware of one probably inconsequential error that was repeated for several years.

In August 1918, the United States Railway Administration announced that the SFRD (Despatch) would be under Federal control of the USRA effective January 1, 1919. The USRA then took overall control of SFRD (Despatch) cars.

The Santa Fe immediately reorganized Despatch, which had been a separate company, as the Santa Fe Refrigerator Department, an operating department of the railroad. This allowed Santa Fe a bit more control of the refrigerator cars and operations as allowed under the USRA regulations. SFRD then stood for Santa Fe Refrigerator Department.

As late as 1924 (six years after the “D” in SFRD stood for Department) the Official Railway Equipment Registers still listed SFRD reporting marks as Santa Fe Refrigerator DESPATCH. The Registers had not caught up with the official company change.

Not really a big deal.

But again, in terms of car listings, how accurate are the ORERs?

Can we assume that accuracy increased over time?

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Edward
 
Edited

Bob and all,

When you consider how all that detail and data were handled back then, the degree of ORER accuracy is barely short of miraculous.
It was all done in the "BC" era - before computers.
Everything was written up on paper reports, typed and kept in the road's roster files, often using the roads own car classification system.
These would be the resource for the ORER which were then retyped (no speedy copier machines back then), proofread, corrected and/or retyped if need be, and put into the ICC/AAR car classification system used by the ORER.

All this was in long lists that had to be reviewed and checked several times for accuracy before submission to the ORER for printing.
No telling how many times if there may have been a gap or error because some report had not completed the rounds, or something got lost., or was omitted, that an 'educated guess' likely was used, with a note to correct it for the next issue - if recalled.

Ah, yes! Typing all that up (with carbon copies) on a good old Underwood Model 5. . . .
Ed Bommer


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Bob,

There certainly were errors, which is understandable given the complexity of the document and that it was issued quarterly (was it monthly in the early days?). The correctness also depends on the accuracy and completeness of the information provided by the railroads themselves. I was surprised at the paucity of information the Pacific Great Eastern provided, as noted in recent discussions here.

Also, some railroads listed their cabooses and other non-revenue cars, though most did not. Handy information if you model that particular railroad. Even in my October 1958 ORER, Clinchfield, Norfolk & Western and some others included lists and car numbers of work equipment. Other lines noted their passenger equipment.

The listing dates for some railroads, particularly shortlines, were often way earlier than an ORER's issue date. If there were no changes to report, then they may not have been required to send in an update, or perhaps just ignored such a bothersome requirement.

Once or twice I considered making an ORER page for my model railroad, not as a hoax, but as sort of a document for my vision of the whole line and all its non-modeled rolling stock. This could be fun.

Nothing wrong with Unverwood 5s. I learned typing on one in high school, and owned a used Underwood 5 all the way through college.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Tue, May 4, 2021 at 7:58 PM Bob Chaparro via groups.io <chiefbobbb=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

How accurate are the ORERs?

I seem to recall someone mentioning that occasionally the ORERs have listings of freight cars lumped together when these cars had different characteristics.

From my experience I am aware of one probably inconsequential error that was repeated for several years.

In August 1918, the United States Railway Administration announced that the SFRD (Despatch) would be under Federal control of the USRA effective January 1, 1919. The USRA then took overall control of SFRD (Despatch) cars.

The Santa Fe immediately reorganized Despatch, which had been a separate company, as the Santa Fe Refrigerator Department, an operating department of the railroad. This allowed Santa Fe a bit more control of the refrigerator cars and operations as allowed under the USRA regulations. SFRD then stood for Santa Fe Refrigerator Department.

As late as 1924 (six years after the “D” in SFRD stood for Department) the Official Railway Equipment Registers still listed SFRD reporting marks as Santa Fe Refrigerator DESPATCH. The Registers had not caught up with the official company change.

Not really a big deal.

But again, in terms of car listings, how accurate are the ORERs?

Can we assume that accuracy increased over time?

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


akerboomk
 

1)    They were only as accurate as the data the railroads supplied

2)    I have noted a couple times where an intermediate line was removed but the following line’s “CLASS” field (using “dittos”) wasn’t fixed for an issue or 2
(but now I can’t seem to find the specific examples, so the example below is “made up”)

 

e.g.

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

101-200 BOX

201-300 “

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

 

Became

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 “

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

 

And then

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 BOX

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

 

 

3)    Once they claimed there were 110 cars in series 12500-12599

 

But, as Ed said – it is remarkable the accuracy they had

(but then again, how would we know if they are wrong? – in particular the car counts)

 


--
Ken Akerboom


gary laakso
 

The number of freight cars, passenger cars, work equipment and locomotive would have been reviewed by potential buyers of mortgage bonds since they were part of the collateral supporting the bonds along with the physical plant.  The need for cash really helped record keeping and reporting.  Plus, when collateral was destroyed, it had to be replaced and there were periodic reporting requirements for equipment under the mortgages.  I suspect that the mortgage agents visited the railroads to make sure that equipment pledged was in fact there. 

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of akerboomk
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 5:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

 

  1. They were only as accurate as the data the railroads supplied
  2. I have noted a couple times where an intermediate line was removed but the following line’s “CLASS” field (using “dittos”) wasn’t fixed for an issue or 2
    (but now I can’t seem to find the specific examples, so the example below is “made up”)

 

e.g.

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

101-200 BOX

201-300 “

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

 

Became

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 “

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

 

And then

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 BOX

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

 

 

  1. Once they claimed there were 110 cars in series 12500-12599

 

But, as Ed said – it is remarkable the accuracy they had

(but then again, how would we know if they are wrong? – in particular the car counts)

 


--
Ken Akerboom


gary laakso
 

The use of equipment trusts to finance rolling stock and locomotives followed the Transportation Act of 1920 and the re-financing of existing mortgages to carve out rolling stock and locomotives from the mortgages.

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of gary laakso
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 5:40 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

 

The number of freight cars, passenger cars, work equipment and locomotive would have been reviewed by potential buyers of mortgage bonds since they were part of the collateral supporting the bonds along with the physical plant.  The need for cash really helped record keeping and reporting.  Plus, when collateral was destroyed, it had to be replaced and there were periodic reporting requirements for equipment under the mortgages.  I suspect that the mortgage agents visited the railroads to make sure that equipment pledged was in fact there. 

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of akerboomk
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 5:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

 

  1. They were only as accurate as the data the railroads supplied
  2. I have noted a couple times where an intermediate line was removed but the following line’s “CLASS” field (using “dittos”) wasn’t fixed for an issue or 2
    (but now I can’t seem to find the specific examples, so the example below is “made up”)

 

e.g.

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

101-200 BOX

201-300 “

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

 

Became

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 “

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

 

And then

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 BOX

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

 

 

  1. Once they claimed there were 110 cars in series 12500-12599

 

But, as Ed said – it is remarkable the accuracy they had

(but then again, how would we know if they are wrong? – in particular the car counts)

 


--
Ken Akerboom


Larry Goolsby
 

One more point, especially regarding the SFRD question, is that the listings tended to reflect how cars were actually marked and not how the owning RR or company may have changed its name. Thus after mergers, cars still rolling with pre-merger names and reporting marks continued to be listed as such within the new company's entry. Not sure if this explains the SFRD situation though. 

Larry Goolsby 


George Eichelberger
 

I have jumped in on this topic before. Our concept of how “accurate” the ORERS misses the point of their intended use and how the railroads maintained the information in them.

They were NOT intended to be a roster of equipment! They were used to describe cars in interchange service. If a car was interchanged, it needed to be included in the ORER data. If a car was listed in the Register but it had already been stricken from the books of the owner IT DID NOT MATTER as that car could not be interchanged. In that case, the quantity of cars in that series would be incorrect. I expect there would be many errors for car series in the process of being scrapped or renumbered. Between the lead time needed to get the data for the next version on the Register, time to print and the time that copy was “current”, scrapping, renumbering or addition of new cars would continue.

Using Southern Railway System data, there are multiple internal memos discussing changes to be made in the next ORER. There are examples where a car series was shown in the ORER that did not exist. In one case, a group of rebuilt 40’ box cars were shown to have 70-T capy, trucks. In anticipation of the cars being placed in service, the ORER listing was modified before publication. Problem was, the cars were rebuilt with 50-T trucks so they could not be used in interchange service with those ORER road numbers.

Again, a Sou Rwy example, when a series of cars was due to be retired, the "quantity of cars” did not need to be maintained exactly. Cars would simply “disappear” from interchange service. Maintaining a “count down” of car quantities in the ORER served no business purpose.

So new cars could be used as soon as they were delivered, the entire series would be listed beforehand. Like scrapped cars, if that road number did not yet exist, there was no way the car could be interchanged so the “error” would be meaningless.

I agree ORERS are important documents but, while railfans may want to know how many cars are in series “X”, that was not the reference used to update ICC records or a railroad’s mechanical data or rosters.

Ike


Robert J Miller CFA
 

Technically, they were known as Equipment Trusts. As such each trust would have a trustee, who was responsible for receiving and disbursing the interest payments on the bonds. Unlike a mortgage, the borrower typically did not have the right to pay the bonds off early, except in cases where damaged equipment was scrapped.

There were two common types of equipment trusts. Under one type the borrower acquired title to the equipment only after the full term of the bonds, which was normally 20 years, and the principal of the notes was paid in full. Under the second type the borrower acquired partial title after each year’s interest and a partial principal payment were made. Full title came at maturity of the bonds, again the typical term was 20 years. The equipment also had to be insured against loss.

I spent most of my working life managing investments for trusts and individuals. I recall buying an equipment trust bond for an account I managed, which held some locomotives acquired by the Santa Fe. A year or two into the life of the equipment trust one locomotive was wrecked and subsequently scrapped. We received a payment from the trustee of the equipment trust representing the value of the locomotive because the trust no longer owned the stated number of locomotives.

I can’t speak to the OPER’s accuracy, but the trustees of equipment trusts would have had serial numbers, etc. for everything each trust owned. Failure to keep adequate records and do audits could expose the trustee to significant financial liability.


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of gary laakso <vasa0vasa@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 9:00:47 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers
 

The use of equipment trusts to finance rolling stock and locomotives followed the Transportation Act of 1920 and the re-financing of existing mortgages to carve out rolling stock and locomotives from the mortgages.

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of gary laakso
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 5:40 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

 

The number of freight cars, passenger cars, work equipment and locomotive would have been reviewed by potential buyers of mortgage bonds since they were part of the collateral supporting the bonds along with the physical plant.  The need for cash really helped record keeping and reporting.  Plus, when collateral was destroyed, it had to be replaced and there were periodic reporting requirements for equipment under the mortgages.  I suspect that the mortgage agents visited the railroads to make sure that equipment pledged was in fact there. 

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of akerboomk
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 5:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

 

  1. They were only as accurate as the data the railroads supplied
  2. I have noted a couple times where an intermediate line was removed but the following line’s “CLASS” field (using “dittos”) wasn’t fixed for an issue or 2
    (but now I can’t seem to find the specific examples, so the example below is “made up”)

 

e.g.

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

101-200 BOX

201-300 “

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

 

Became

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 “

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

 

And then

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

1-100     BOX, SPECIAL

201-300 BOX

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

 

 

  1. Once they claimed there were 110 cars in series 12500-12599

 

But, as Ed said – it is remarkable the accuracy they had

(but then again, how would we know if they are wrong? – in particular the car counts)

 


--
Ken Akerboom


Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 06:00 AM, gary laakso wrote:
The use of equipment trusts to finance rolling stock and locomotives followed the Transportation Act of 1920 and the re-financing of existing mortgages to carve out rolling stock and locomotives from the mortgages.
Thank you for this. It answers a question I've long had.

In the early years of the twentieth century, and perhaps before, it was relatively common for railroads to buy new equipment and number it in existing number series to "fill in" vacancies left by equipment  destroyed by wrecks. The Soo Line did this a lot with cabooses; buy twenty new cabooses but only number 14 in a straight series, assigning random numbers to the other six. It really made the caboose roster hard to understand in the days when primary source roster material was not readily available, since these randomly numbered cars bore no resemblance to the rest of the series. Now that there is better documentation available, I can see that the practice also extended to the freightcar fleet in general, but it was more noticeable with cabooses, since there were more photos available, allowing one to see the discontinuity of the fleet.

I had always suspected the purpose was to keep the value of the installed equipment constant, i.e. I started the year with 100 cabooses, and at year end I still have 100 cabooses, plus betterments, and I always wondered if there was an incentive to do this in being able to expense the replacements immediately rather than having to capitalize and depreciate them over time. I also wondered what ended the practice, and It appears this act which separated equipment trusts from the overall value of the property is the reason.

Dennis Storzek


Ian Cranstone
 

The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada engaged in this practice as well, and continued it as late as 1915 based upon available documentation. I’ve had the opportunity to consult a car ledger held by Library and Archives Canada, and they also had the interesting practice of extensive rebuilds of cars (1890s era), in which a boxcar would be rebuilt – which pretty much seems to consist of jacking up the number and inserting a completely new car (28’ or 29’ foot cars would emerge as a 34’ or later a 36’ car). Until I became aware of this practice, I was baffled as to how they managed to keep number series fully occupied for years.

Ian Cranstone

Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

lamontc@...

http://freightcars.nakina.net


On May 5, 2021, at 2:08 PM, Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 06:00 AM, gary laakso wrote:
The use of equipment trusts to finance rolling stock and locomotives followed the Transportation Act of 1920 and the re-financing of existing mortgages to carve out rolling stock and locomotives from the mortgages.
Thank you for this. It answers a question I've long had.

In the early years of the twentieth century, and perhaps before, it was relatively common for railroads to buy new equipment and number it in existing number series to "fill in" vacancies left by equipment  destroyed by wrecks. The Soo Line did this a lot with cabooses; buy twenty new cabooses but only number 14 in a straight series, assigning random numbers to the other six. It really made the caboose roster hard to understand in the days when primary source roster material was not readily available, since these randomly numbered cars bore no resemblance to the rest of the series. Now that there is better documentation available, I can see that the practice also extended to the freightcar fleet in general, but it was more noticeable with cabooses, since there were more photos available, allowing one to see the discontinuity of the fleet.

I had always suspected the purpose was to keep the value of the installed equipment constant, i.e. I started the year with 100 cabooses, and at year end I still have 100 cabooses, plus betterments, and I always wondered if there was an incentive to do this in being able to expense the replacements immediately rather than having to capitalize and depreciate them over time. I also wondered what ended the practice, and It appears this act which separated equipment trusts from the overall value of the property is the reason.

Dennis Storzek


Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:34 AM, Ian Cranstone wrote:
and they also had the interesting practice of extensive rebuilds of cars (1890s era), in which a boxcar would be rebuilt – which pretty much seems to consist of jacking up the number and inserting a completely new car (28’ or 29’ foot cars would emerge as a 34’ or later a 36’ car)
The Soo engaged in this practice also, again very evident in the caboose fleet. Dimensions inexplicably change for just one car in a series, and the records just claim "rebuilt." I've made my peace with not arguing with the primary source; if they say it was rebuilt, it was rebuilt. But I'm thoroughly convinced that the rebuilding process consisted of stripping the trucks, ironwork, and stove from the wrecked car and applying them to a brand new body, built to the then current standard.

Dennis Storzek


Charles Peck
 

On the subject of MAJOR rebuilds, I recall a story from my grandfather who was a boilermaker foreman
at the L&N RR South Louisville Shops.  He told of "rebuilding" a locomotive where they could not even
 salvage the old numberplate. He told that there was basically an open budget for repair and no authority 
or budget for new construction. Therefore, as long as you could use any significant piece of a wreck, it 
 was a repair. Even if nothing but the old sand dome and throttle, it became a repair with the old number 
and all the latest modifications. 
I can imagine a car shop working under that same limitation.  Rebuild anything, but no new construction. 
Chuck Peck

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 3:37 PM Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:
On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:34 AM, Ian Cranstone wrote:
and they also had the interesting practice of extensive rebuilds of cars (1890s era), in which a boxcar would be rebuilt – which pretty much seems to consist of jacking up the number and inserting a completely new car (28’ or 29’ foot cars would emerge as a 34’ or later a 36’ car)
The Soo engaged in this practice also, again very evident in the caboose fleet. Dimensions inexplicably change for just one car in a series, and the records just claim "rebuilt." I've made my peace with not arguing with the primary source; if they say it was rebuilt, it was rebuilt. But I'm thoroughly convinced that the rebuilding process consisted of stripping the trucks, ironwork, and stove from the wrecked car and applying them to a brand new body, built to the then current standard.

Dennis Storzek


Kenneth Montero
 

Chuck,
 
This "rebuilding" probably was a result of federal tax laws.
 
It is my understanding that, during our time period, railroads were allowed to write off (deduct) the cost of "repairs" much quicker than they could depreciate new construction (whether built in-house or by someone else) for tax purposes.  I don't know if it also got favorable treatment in the rate-setting process (determining a railroad's capital value in calculating a rate of return on assets). This may be why many cars were stripped down to the frame and a new body and appliances were applied in the name of "repairs" rather than purchasing or building entirely new equipment, and the same would apply to locomotives.
 
Ken Montero
 

On 05/05/2021 11:15 PM Charles Peck <lnnrr152@...> wrote:
 
 
On the subject of MAJOR rebuilds, I recall a story from my grandfather who was a boilermaker foreman
at the L&N RR South Louisville Shops.  He told of "rebuilding" a locomotive where they could not even
 salvage the old numberplate. He told that there was basically an open budget for repair and no authority 
or budget for new construction. Therefore, as long as you could use any significant piece of a wreck, it 
 was a repair. Even if nothing but the old sand dome and throttle, it became a repair with the old number 
and all the latest modifications. 
I can imagine a car shop working under that same limitation.  Rebuild anything, but no new construction. 
Chuck Peck

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 3:37 PM Dennis Storzek < destorzek@...> wrote:
On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:34 AM, Ian Cranstone wrote:
and they also had the interesting practice of extensive rebuilds of cars (1890s era), in which a boxcar would be rebuilt – which pretty much seems to consist of jacking up the number and inserting a completely new car (28’ or 29’ foot cars would emerge as a 34’ or later a 36’ car)
The Soo engaged in this practice also, again very evident in the caboose fleet. Dimensions inexplicably change for just one car in a series, and the records just claim "rebuilt." I've made my peace with not arguing with the primary source; if they say it was rebuilt, it was rebuilt. But I'm thoroughly convinced that the rebuilding process consisted of stripping the trucks, ironwork, and stove from the wrecked car and applying them to a brand new body, built to the then current standard.

Dennis Storzek

 

 


np328
 

    I have heard the same as Chuck and Ken. 
Additions and Betterments are one line on my railroads AFE's. Depreciation is another. Salvage is another. 

A fellow researcher, Hudson Leighton used to joke that, the shop would have an overhead crane pull the carbody off a set of trucks and then set a new body on the trucks and stencil the former cars number on the shell and out it would roll. Same old car.....  as far as the railroad was concerned.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                            Jim Dick - Roseville, MN 


Tony Thompson
 

Ken Montero wrote:

This "rebuilding" probably was a result of federal tax laws.
 
It is my understanding that, during our time period, railroads were allowed to write off (deduct) the cost of "repairs" much quicker than they could depreciate new construction (whether built in-house or by someone else) for tax purposes.  

True, but this changed greatly in 1948, when the IRS considerably tightened the rules on rebuilding. You will notice that those giant rebuild and refurbish programs on most railroads faded away after 1948.

Tony Thompson




Larry Goolsby
 

ACL bought several thousand new 53', 50-ton pulpwood rack cars in the 1950-53 period from Bethlehem and P-S (the "Old Rivets" of freight cars - studded with what looked like thousands of rivets on all surfaces). ACL also "rebuilt some old flat cars" using what was probably the "use one old piece" approach cited above, using "kits" of components to construct 100 more pulpwood cars in the company shops identical to those coming from the car builders - but these were stenciled as built in 1916. According to the retired employee who told me this story, it was done for favorable tax treatment. 

Larry Goolsby 


Andy Carlson
 

As Tony stated, "......rebuilding on most railroads faded away after 1948."

A notable exception was the Great Northern--whose large rebuilding programs came to be with a warp speed after the early 1950s and was following a rather lackluster rebuilding program prior to 1948. Lucky for us, these post 1948 rebuilds produced quite a few cool cars.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 11:19:37 PM PDT, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Ken Montero wrote:

This "rebuilding" probably was a result of federal tax laws.
 
It is my understanding that, during our time period, railroads were allowed to write off (deduct) the cost of "repairs" much quicker than they could depreciate new construction (whether built in-house or by someone else) for tax purposes.  

True, but this changed greatly in 1948, when the IRS considerably tightened the rules on rebuilding. You will notice that those giant rebuild and refurbish programs on most railroads faded away after 1948.

Tony Thompson




 

The practice goes on today in building construction. Tear the whole building down, leaving only one bare wall, and erect a new building under the grandfathered codes.

 

 

Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni

 

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Charles Peck <lnnrr152@...>
Reply-To: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 10:15 PM
To: <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Accuracy Of The Official Railway Equipment Registers

 

On the subject of MAJOR rebuilds, I recall a story from my grandfather who was a boilermaker foreman

at the L&N RR South Louisville Shops.  He told of "rebuilding" a locomotive where they could not even

 salvage the old numberplate. He told that there was basically an open budget for repair and no authority 

or budget for new construction. Therefore, as long as you could use any significant piece of a wreck, it 

 was a repair. Even if nothing but the old sand dome and throttle, it became a repair with the old number 

and all the latest modifications. 

I can imagine a car shop working under that same limitation.  Rebuild anything, but no new construction. 

Chuck Peck

 

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 3:37 PM Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:34 AM, Ian Cranstone wrote:

and they also had the interesting practice of extensive rebuilds of cars (1890s era), in which a boxcar would be rebuilt – which pretty much seems to consist of jacking up the number and inserting a completely new car (28’ or 29’ foot cars would emerge as a 34’ or later a 36’ car)

The Soo engaged in this practice also, again very evident in the caboose fleet. Dimensions inexplicably change for just one car in a series, and the records just claim "rebuilt." I've made my peace with not arguing with the primary source; if they say it was rebuilt, it was rebuilt. But I'm thoroughly convinced that the rebuilding process consisted of stripping the trucks, ironwork, and stove from the wrecked car and applying them to a brand new body, built to the then current standard.

Dennis Storzek


spsalso
 

And, after the "remodeled" building is complete and signed off, you can apply for a permit to replace that crappy old wall.


Ed

Edward Sutorik